Online Degree Flexible Option for Military –

A growing number of students are turning to online for their higher education. Among these students are the people who serve and protect our country.

Military learners often benefit from the flexibility of online courses. This was the main reason why Brad Cordell chose to pursue his degree online.

Cordell, 37, has served in the U.S. Army for almost 13 years. Currently, he’s a captain promotable infantry officer. He’s stationed at Fort Benning in Columbus, Ga. and is pursuing his online MBA from Columbus State University.

“The program is flexible with my schedule because sometimes I don’t know how busy I’ll be. I can get my syllabus and adapt my schedule around field time and training,” Cordell said. “I started the program in August 2012. I’ve never taken any online program before. This is my first experience with it, and it’s been great.”

Cordell, who earned an undergraduate liberal arts degree in history, said the skills acquired with a liberal arts degree make a powerful element once combined with the knowledge gained from a business degree.

“An MBA is one of the most versatile degrees to get. It makes you more marketable,” he said. “This degree shows that I’m pretty competitive within the military itself. It really does give you all the foundations you need to excel in any element.”

Cordell’s experience in the military has helped him while pursuing his MBA, namely because of his time management abilities. Similarly, he hopes to use the knowledge he gains from completing his MBA in the military.

“An MBA is not just a degree in business, but also a leadership degree. While broadening your outlook on civilian systems, it also helps you adapt to things that are military-focused,” he said. “You don’t really think about what your job actually entails until you start putting it into practice outside the military itself. I see a lot of what the military has taught me—leadership development and time management—that all comes into play with what I’m doing in this degree program.”

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With a two-year-old son and a baby expected to be born any day now, Cordell said being able to manage quality time with his family is extremely important.

“It’s still a sacrifice, but I feel it’s better for me to go ahead and continue my educational pursuits while my kids are still young,” he said. “Pursuing my degree online is everything you’d expect of a challenge. For example, when you get online and take a quiz, you may be timed 20 minutes. So you better be prepared when you take a quiz or test. It’s definitely not a give-me.”

Cordell said he looked heavily into accredited degree programs before deciding on the WebMBA program.

“It’s important to look at accreditation of the degree you’re getting. They’re not all equal,” Cordell said. “If you try to get a degree that’s a give-me, and you’re not trying to challenge yourself, you’ll probably end up wasting a lot of money. I looked at all the degrees out there and CSU offers the best value for the money for an MBA, especially with the military benefits.”

Cordell said the education benefits are something all military soldiers should consider.

“You get a lot of benefits for the sacrifices you make for the military. The benefits we get with education are tremendous. It’s very humbling, and it makes you want to work that much harder,” he said. “The military has benefits such as tuition assistance. If you are not using it, you’re doing yourself a disservice.”

So far, Cordell is doing well in the MBA program—part of which he credits to his team. He’s taken on leadership roles and managed to make all A’s in his courses.

“If I get to a higher threshold of ranks, this degree will help me run organizations as massive as the military is,” he said. “A degree seems to go a long way in the civilian world and military experience transcends into the corporate world.”

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