For working professionals, life is a sea of schedules, meetings, and deadlines.

Add family, friends, and hobbies to that list, and life fills up fast.

That’s why online learning can be a great fit. Students don’t have to choose between living or learning—they can live and learn. Capella University students* were recently asked why they chose to earn a degree online. Here are the four benefits that rose to the top in interviews with them.

*Actual Capella learners who agreed to be profiled for this story.

1. Flexibility

Online learning flexes to your needs, not the other way around. You’re not tied to attending class at a particular time for a set amount of hours. You get to choose when and how you do your coursework. You create the schedule and call the shots.

Here are firsthand accounts from Capella students:

“I work full time and I have a ranch. Going to school nights or weekends would keep me from taking care of my animals. So online learning allows me to study before work and late evenings after all my barn chores are done. I can ride my horses on weekend mornings, then study weekend afternoons or evenings. Online learning allows you to work, live your life, and still go to school.” — Leana, FlexPath student

“I knew I was going to be working full time while in grad school. I knew my evenings were going to be filled with church and business events, so I needed a flexible solution.” — Kimberly, GuidedPath student

“I wanted the flexibility to continue to work full time and be a father.” — James, GuidedPath student

2. Access

In addition to learning anytime, you can learn anywhere with online courses. Technology makes online learning mobile. Want to submit coursework while watching your kids’ basketball game? No problem. Need to connect with your professor over the lunch hour? Easy. As long as you have a Wi-Fi connection, you can do it.

Capella students love anytime access:

“Wherever life takes me—if I change jobs or my schedule at work changes—I can take school along with me.” — Alycia, GuidedPath student

“Sitting at home in front of the computer is more relaxing, and online learning in private seems so much more effective. I absorb more, without the distraction of other elements.” — Darlene, GuidedPath student

3. Independence

For many students, the best part of online education is the autonomy—they’re treated like individuals. Gone are the days of one-size-fits-all approaches to education. FlexPath, Capella’s self-paced format, allows you to move at a pace that’s right for you, rather than the pace set by instructors or the overall group.

Here’s what Capella students have to say about freedom:
“I chose to learn online because I am a very independent learner and retain things very easily.” — Kerstan, FlexPath Student

4. Convenience

For independent learners, the flexibility and access to online learning adds up to one big benefit: convenience. If you’re juggling a family, job, and other responsibilities, the last thing you need is one more event that requires time on your calendar or a drive to campus.

Learning online lets you complete coursework on your schedule. You don’t have to choose between living or learning. Online courses allow you to live AND learn.

Capella students understand the importance of convenience:

“The convenience of learning at your own pace is an awesome benefit.” —Robert, FlexPath student
“For me, choosing Capella was partly a matter of time and distance. I live an hour and a half from the nearest university with graduate programs and I work a full-time job. Online education saves me a lot of time and gas.” — Mike, GuidedPath Student

“I can study and learn at my own pace. There’s a lot less time pressure.” — Laurenda, FlexPath student

Learn more about Capella’s two flexible online learning formats: GuidedPath and FlexPath.

Important information about the educational debt, earnings, and completion rates of students who attended these programs.