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Online schools helps women get degrees

With jobs, kids and homes to juggle, attending school was just one ball too many. With online education, that has changed for many women.
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Written by ZDNet Editors, Contributors on

As online education makes its way into more households, moms who previously would have had to postpone their educational objectives are now studying at home, reports ARA Content.

With women joining the workforce at a higher rate than men over the next 10 years, according to the Labor Department's Bureau of Statistics, it's important that women are able to earn advanced degrees - not only for their own earning potential but also for society at large.

Regina Wheeler-Fairly, 40, is a perfect example. She started off as an entry-level data-key operator working for the state of Texas. With only a high-school diploma, she couldn't advance her career unless she had a B.A. Being a single mother of four made it impossible for her to go to a regular college. Wheeler-Fairly enrolled in the for-profit University of Phoenix to earn her degree at home.

"It would have been impossible for me to go to a regular 'ground' college because I am a single mother and would have had to find a sitter for my four kids," recounts Wheeler-Fairly, who over the past 10 years has earned three advanced degrees online in the technology field from the University of Phoenix, and is currently working towards her fourth, a PhD in organization and leadership.

The degrees helped her move up the career ladder.

"I got a huge promotion, like $20,000 a year," says Wheeler-Fairly proudly, "and became an enterprise network technician for the city of Phoenix. My next goal, after I get my doctorate, is to move into business administration."

And she serves as an inspiration to others in similar circumstances.

"Single mothers from here and back home in Texas come to me," she says, "And they say, look at you Regina, you have kids, you were a single mom, if you can do it, I can do it.' And I say to them, 'Challenges will be there. Obstacles will be there, but if you can just make up your mind, that this is what you want to do, you can just focus on it. I guarantee you can do it, too.'"

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