This article was written by guest author Mariana Ashley of OnlineColleges.net.
Online education represents a bevy of opportunities for many looking to pursue an advanced degree, but more than anything, it presents a very real second chance to those usually excluded from getting a higher education. For mothers especially, online degrees enable them to be engaged moms while still advancing their education in order to pursue their dream careers. If you’re hoping to capture the mom market when it comes to online education in any form, consider the following:
1. Emphasize work-school-life balance, something mothers respond to immediately.
If there’s one thing that the popular publication The Atlantic demonstrated recently, it’s that women of all ages are very much concerned about the question of whether they can “have it all.” After publishing this controversial piece about mothers and careers, the article garnered thousands of comments and tons of media attention. When selling online learning, it’s important to tap into this discussion by showing how mothers, if they really can’t have it all, can at least come close by working on the their academic and career advancement while still being there for their children at home.
2. Highlight the convenience of online education without over-selling it.
There’s no doubt about it—online education is convenient in so many ways. But those who market online programs, I believe, often oversell this fact by making it seem that online degrees are somehow easier than traditional degrees. This is not necessarily true, and you should make it clear that online degree programs take up just as much time as traditional programs in terms of studying, homework, research, etc. The convenience factor comes in when we talk about transportation, class time, etc. So many purveyors of online degrees are disingenuous in this respect, so don’t be like the rest of them. Be upfront.
3. Encourage mothers to enroll in online education programs for the sake of their children.
For many families, education transcends the pragmatic purpose of improving career prospects. Education means participating in the political system, it means learning for its own sake, and it also means inspiring future generations. Mothers who pursue advanced degrees often do it for their children, too. They want them to understand the value of learning by learning themselves.
4. Point your market to different careers that are great for mothers.
Most mothers who enroll in degree programs are usually in their 20s, 30s, and 40s, and their primary motivation is improving their career prospects, even if they are also motivated by other factors. Many mothers hope to begin entirely new careers or switch the career track they had before having children. As such, it’s important to educate potential student-mothers about their options after they graduate. This Yahoo! article is a great start in pointing mothers to viable career fields that they can pursue even with the demands of motherhood.
Online education was in its infancy a decade ago. Now, online education’s increasing popularity demonstrates that it will develop and grow and continue to offer opportunities for educators, businesses, and students with dreams (and with children). Good luck!
This guest post is provided by Mariana Ashley, who writes about educational issues for OnlineColleges.net and can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.