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Originally Published on AccreditedSchoolsOnline.org

When students take a class in a traditional classroom environment, they usually sit at a desk, surrounded by their peers. The teacher and class gather every day (or week) at a set time and spend a set amount of time together. Students may work together on class projects and may decide to continue their interaction outside of the classroom setting.

Benefits of Online Classes

With distance learning, students can usually “show up” whenever it is convenient for them. Because the coursework is online, they can generally access it anytime, and from anywhere. The digital learning experience may include watching a pre-recorded or live streaming video or reading and working with online, interactive text. Communications with the teacher — and perhaps with classmates — take place electronically. Instead of raising their hand to ask the teacher a question, students shoot the instructor an email or online message. Often, students are able to progress at their own speed, taking the time they need to digest a complex concept or a new list of medical terms.

Online classes allow students like you to set your schedule and pursue a new career path without having to give up your current job, or rearrange your life to make it work. Besides being self-paced, studying to become a medical assistant online lets you be independent and take charge of your own education. You can build your confidence in your skills and knowledge on your terms.

Flexibility of Online Courses

Because online education is so flexible, it requires a great deal of personal accountability and self-motivation. Online education works best for adults who are willing to do whatever it takes to advance their education — even if “what it takes” is logging onto the computer after tucking the kids into bed after a full day of work.

Being a medical assistant requires some organization and time management skills, so learning those while in school is not only good for your grades - it can prepare you to become confident in your role. Whether you’ve taken online courses before, or this is your first time, it’s important to take ownership of a study schedule. Plan ahead each week by setting aside time to study and take exams in your calendar or calendar app. Make sure you meet those study goals as often as possible. Eventually, you’ll be a pro at managing your busy schedule and still getting quality study time in.

Combine Online Learning With Hands-On Experience

Medical assistant programs online can also follow a hybrid or blended approach, requiring a combination of web-based and in-person learning. Students can avoid attending classes on campus, but have to complete a clinical experience at a local health care setting under the supervision of a qualified health care professional. Online medical assistant programs can help their students find appropriate clinical settings.

If you’re considering making a career change, becoming a medical assistant could be the right move for you. With a projected 29% increase in the need for skilled medical assistants by 2026, there’s no better time than now to get started. With Penn Foster’s nationally accredited online medical assistant associate degree, you can work toward a career you enjoy. Not sure if becoming a medical assistant is right for you? Explore more Allied Health careers and speak to an Admissions Specialist today at 1.888.427.6500.