Monday, September 21, 2015

How to Get a Higher Education While you Commute

I’ve looked at the statistics for commuting duration and decided that I can get the equivalent of a master's degree while I commute to work and back home.  Master Degree programs vary widely in terms of credit hours, but according to my research an average master's degree usually requires about 36 Credit Hours.  Credit hours are measured as Contact Hours with a professor and then you add another 3 hours of homework.  That’s 4 hours or your personal time per credit hour.  Now multiply by 15 weeks (length of the semester) and your grand total for master’s degree is 2160 hours.

Now that we know how much a typical master degree costs in terms of hours, how long will it take me to get the equivalent education hours while I drive down the road? I’m glad you asked…

Let’s assume that you start your education at the moment you jump in the car and stop when you arrive at work.  We’ll assume the same scenario for the trip from work to home.  

Daily 1 Way Commute in Minutes
Years to Get Master's Degree

Based on the numbers in the table above it could take you anywhere from a little over 2 year to 8 ½ years to get the equivalent hours of education for a master’s degree.   You might be asking yourself a few questions…

  • Where am I going to find a college professor to ride along with me for the duration of my commute?
  • And how will I convince him or her to show up at my house right when I leave for work?
  • Can he or she find a way back to the college or university so I don’t have to drop them off?
  • How much is this going to cost me for the convenience and quality of this education?

Fortunately you don’t need to find that special college professor.  You’ve probably already hear of by Amazon.  Audible is a subscription service that holds a vast amount of material for every kind of reader/listener.

For our use case of getting the equivalent of a master’s degree, I researched audible’s collection of “The Great Courses” audio books. I determined that Audible has approximately 400 titles “The Great Courses Titles” that sum to 6,300 hours of educational listening. NOTE: This is ONLY “The Great Courses” material which is a fraction of the content on Audible. Many of these titles are recorded by University Professors who hold Ph.D’s is the subject of interest. just found the professor that will ride along with you every day.

Caveats include
  • No face time with a real professor
  • No office hours
  • No homework
  • No accreditation for all your work
  • No group projects that are core for many master's degree programs

Nevertheless, you can learn a ton and apply a amazing amount of what you learn by consistently listening day after day.

Check out  Find some courses of interest from “The Great Course” or other self help or business.  DO NOT get a novel...unless you are pursuing Creative Writing or Literature. You need to be learning on your commute to invest the time.

Please leave comments and let me know about what kind of “Master’s Degree” you would like to get while you drive?

-All The Best, Steve.