As the needs in society are evolving, universities are constantly adapting to figure out how to best offer a quality education, while still making it accessible for everyone. In recent years, an eight-week intensive structure has been developed that allows students the ability to graduate in an incredibly short amount of time.
This is a hugely beneficial transition from traditional education for many different student profiles. If you just graduated from high school and you’re itching to get into the workforce or if you’re working a full-time job and you want to finish a degree program as soon as possible, then the ability to get a college degree in just 8 weeks is revolutionary.
Now it should be said that this comes with some caveats and limitations, but in general, an eight-week intensive structure is a fantastic way for students to obtain a degree that will change their life in a very short time. Typically, these eight-week intensive programs, like the one at the University of Virgin Islands, consists of online classes that allow for a deal of flexibility.
So with that said, let’s look at the main benefits of getting your degree in 8 weeks, see what degrees are available to you, and, finally, what you need to do to succeed and graduate.
Benefits of 8-Week Online Programs
There are tons of advantages to finishing your college degree in just 8 weeks. For today’s article, we’ll be focusing just on the advantages that apply to the online 8-week program. Plus, for these programs, the best part is that all these benefits apply to every student.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a single mom who wants to go back to school or if you’re an 18-year-old kid who doesn’t really know what you want to do with your life, these types of programs can prove to be life-changing. So let’s look at some of the biggest benefits:
In a traditional classroom setting, university classes take anywhere from 12-14 weeks to complete. For people that are working at the same time, that means that they’ll be spending more time trying to balance a huge workload.
Luckily, in these eight-week programs, students can get their degrees as fast as possible. If you’re going back to school for a specific degree, you might have enough transfer credits to get a new degree from start to finish in two months. For many people, that can be a life-altering event.
And this fast-paced environment doesn’t only benefit mean that you’ll “get it done with” faster, it also means that you’ll be studying more intensely during that time. By engaging with the content, you’re likely to develop a deeper understanding of the subject and ultimately do better academically, as well. Since you won’t have long breaks between classes, you’ll be able to drill the class content into your head so that you’ll never forget anything.
Since 8-week programs are often focused on getting an education in a short amount of time, the overall cost goes down considerably. Firstly, you must consider that for a 100% distance education degree, there’s no need to pay institutional fees or anything related to on-campus activities. Instead, you’ll only be paying for tuition.
By keeping the cost lower, students will be less stressed about paying their bills and more concentrated on their class content. This low cost ends up being an advantage both for the student’s pocket and for their overall educational quality.
This next advantage is something that is enticing to a lot of students. Online programs are inherently more flexible. Especially when it comes to asynchronous classes, students are able to study when and where they want.
So if you’re thinking about going back to school but you’re stuck to an irregular work schedule or maybe you can’t afford a babysitter, then an 8-week online program is best for you. You can study on your own time and on your own terms. Since you’ll be setting the pace for your education, you have complete control over your academic experience.
Finally, one of the best parts of having an online 8-week program is that it’s accessible to nearly everyone. If you live in a rural area and don’t want to commute - online education is a blessing. If you want to start a new career as soon as possible - the intensive courses are exactly what you need. And if you want a quality education without going into debt - then an affordable online school is the right course of action.
These intensive online courses help make education more accessible to everyone. This means that a larger population has the ability to acquire an education that can improve the quality of their lives. In this sense, these online programs are a great way to improve society as a whole.
What Programs Can Be Completed in 8 Weeks?
So now that you know just a few of the great benefits of a high-quality online education, you’re probably thinking about what you can actually study. Universally, there are many different degree programs that have become accredited to be completed within just 8 weeks.
We’ll be listing just a few of these programs, but remember that this list isn’t comprehensive, but rather just a great place to get started.
Associates and Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice
Depending on what your goals are, you might be interested in completing either an Associate's or a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice. Both of these online programs focus on teaching you about the legal, justice, and court system, as well as giving you in-depth knowledge about criminal behavior and sociological concepts.
Depending on what your goals are, you might opt for one program or the other. If you’re looking to get into law enforcement, but you’d also like to start your education at the same time, then an Associate's Degree might be a great option for you. Even though it’s not often necessary to become a police officer, a degree in Criminal Justice will give you that extra edge when it’s time for a promotion.
And if you’re considering going into anything from Social Work to Cyber Investigation, then a Bachelor’s Degree might be the right choice for you. If you already have some transfer credits, you might be able to complete the entire program in 8-weeks and immediately jump-start your career into these much-needed professions.
Bachelor of Arts in Accounting
Are you an incredibly organized and detail-oriented person with a knack for numbers? Getting your Bachelor of Arts in Accounting is one of the best ways to put those skills to the test and secure some amazing job opportunities. In just 8 weeks, you could develop the skills you need to start working at an investment firm and earn a very respectable salary.
Bachelor of Arts in Business Management
A degree in Management is, simply put, one of the most flexible degrees you could possibly acquire. No matter where you go in life, having the right management skills and business acumen will lead you down the road to success.
Business degrees are one of the most highly sought-after and also one of the least-regretted programs, so in just 8 weeks you could be making one of the most important decisions of your life.
Master of Business Administration
Let’s say you already have your Bachelor’s in Business Management, but you’re ready to go one step further and get a more advanced degree. In many cases, you’ll be able to finish your Master’s degree in just 8 weeks and you’ll have an MBA that will be landing you high-profile jobs in no time.
Master of Science in Leadership
Even though this Master’s is one of the most overlooked, it definitely shouldn’t be underestimated. Developing the right leadership skills is something that will take you far in life no matter where your career path takes you. Whether you want to find a career in international corporations or even work in government agencies, it takes proper leadership skills to get things done right.
How Do 8-Week Programs Work?
Online 8-week programs typically consist of intensive courses that can be completed at the student’s pace. Students can choose the number of courses they want to take, often based on the time they have available and the number of classes that they need to graduate.
For example, most Bachelor’s of Criminal Justice require 120 credit hours to graduate. For students who are going back to college and have transferable credit hours, they could complete the entire Bachelor’s program within one year.
Ultimately, the 8-week programs are designed to be flexible enough so that the educational experience adapts to every student’s individual needs. Students who want to focus full-time on their studies can take more courses during every 8-week term, while students who have a very busy schedule can divide their classes in an easier way.
In each of the terms, the class material will be presented in a much shorter time than in a traditional classroom, however, the same amount of content matter will be discussed. For that reason, it’s often referred to as an intensive degree program because students will need to push through the same amount of material in a shorter timeframe.
In terms of financial aid, it’s important to note that usually, these degree programs will bill students per credit hour, not by semester. This means that you’ll be able to apply for financial aid just like any other student at an on-campus university would.
Like previously mentioned, the good news is that these online intensive programs tend to be much more affordable, as you’re only paying for the credit hours. For example, at UVI, the undergraduate program for B.A. of Criminal Justice costs $434/credit hour with no additional institutional fees.
Before moving on to how to succeed in an 8-week program, don’t forget that transfer credits are a huge factor in determining how long it takes you to complete the degree. If you are 18 and have never taken any college courses, then naturally you won’t be able to finish the entire program in only 8 weeks.
On the other hand, if you’ve already been to a university and you have work experience, it’s usually quite easy to transfer over credits to help you complete your program in as little time as possible. In fact, if you’ve spent time as a manager in the workforce, that might even be considered towards your degree program.
Tips for Success in an 8-week Course
Now that you’ve seen all the benefits of an online 8-week program, it’s time to consider what to do once you actually enroll. When you finally make that life-changing decision to register for an 8-week course, try to consider these tips and strategies that will lead you to success:
1. Make sure this fast pace suits you
First and foremost, make sure that you’re fine with learning at a fast pace. Although it can be enticing to finish as soon as possible, don’t overload yourself each term. In the end, if you do poorly in your classes because you’re overwhelmed, that’s not helping anyone.
So the best thing to do is to make sure that you’re being realistic with the amount of time you can spend learning each week. You can talk to academic advisors who can guide you through this process and talk to you about what the right course load is for you.
If you’re working a full-time job, you’ll most likely be able to handle one or two intensive classes each term, especially if you’re a self-motivated person. But any more than that might be difficult for the average person. But you know yourself better than anyone else, so put some thought into how much time you can realistically dedicate each term.
2. Schedule your time effectively
Once you have made that decision, the next important step is to schedule your time effectively. For online courses, it’s generally more effective to establish a routine for yourself. Try to study at the same time each week and stick to your schedule.
Another positive about these 8-week programs is that the professors have them designed very efficiently, so you’ll likely know all your due dates right at the beginning. This means on Day 1, you can organize yourself for the rest of the term. This is part of those organizational skills that will serve you later in your career!
3. Try to be flexible
While scheduling your time well is important, it’s equally important to maintain a flexible mindset. Every professor is different and will have different expectations of you. That means that you’ll need to be able to adapt to each and every class.
You can think of this as another practical challenge that will lead you to success. Flexibility is an important trait to have, but for increased career opportunities and for your mental health. If you are constantly stressed because things aren’t going exactly as you planned, then that is going to take a toll on your well-being.
So a great way to guarantee that you stay healthy is by developing a flexible perspective when it comes to your education.
4. Balance your workload
This is related to step two, as well. Balancing your workload effectively is one of the most important steps you can take to guarantee a smooth academic experience. Firstly, this is important because it’s going to prevent burnout. Student breakdowns and burnout is a real issue, and it usually stems from poor time management skills in conjunction with a high workload.
Try to do your best to complete your studies when you need to, but also make time to do things you enjoy. If you are working 24/7, you’re much more likely to burn out. So plan breaks, make time for things you enjoy, and learn at a pace that you can handle.
Last but not least, you should always be communicating with your teachers and colleagues as much as possible. Not only is this going to make your online degree program feel more personal and real, but it will also help you make sure that you’re staying up to date with the work you need to do.
So if something comes up in your life that you know will put you behind in your studies, the best thing to do is communicate that to your professor as soon as possible. Remember, teachers are people too, so with good communication skills, you’ll guarantee a great experience for everyone.
Ready to Get Your Degree in 8 Weeks?
Regardless of which direction you’re heading towards in the future, there’s a good chance that there’s an 8-week online program that can help you achieve your goals. Thanks to great online technologies and innovative educational techniques, it’s never been easier and more accessible for students to take that first step into getting the degree they’ve dreamed of.
So if all of this sounds like something you’re interested in, make sure to check out the University of the Virgin Island’s 8-week online programs so you can set yourself up for the future, and apply.