The entertainment industry is probably one of the most inflexible career areas for entertainers in terms of pursuing outside personal or academic goals, like furthering their education. For many stars, especially child stars who get into the business early on, the opportunity to complete their education is cut short or eliminated completely so they can concentrate on growing their acting career. In these cases, tutors are sometimes brought in for very young children, and older children or young adults often pursue distance learning courses to complete their academic requirements or to pursue a degree.
There are several famous actors who have gone the route of distance learning, and with great success. In cases where the actors have attended online college or other distance learning, their actions have helped the distance learning industry further prove that individuals can pursue their career and their academic goals.
Arnold Schwarznegger, a famous actor turned politician, began his academic pursuits in the 70s when he started taking business classes at Santa Monica College. Because of other obligations, including the burgeoning of his now famous acting career, he was unable to continue his studies. He did, however, in 1976 earn an online degree in Business and International Economics from the University of Wisconsin-Superior. The overall perception about distance learning improves positively when people see that even famous celebrities were successful at pursuing their online educational goals.
Other famous names include Hilary Duff, who has pursued her academics in a virtual manner since the time she was a child actor and could not attend location-based schools. Also, the famous NBA basketball star Shaquille O’Neal pursued his bachelor’s and master’s degree through online courses at the University of Phoenix. Due to his success with his online courses in distance learning, he was also later given an honorary degree from another college which was attributed to that achievement.