Flexibility: One Reason Charles Harding Chose NC State Online

Image of Harding with his toddler

Harding enjoys time with his toddler while earning his NC State Online degree.

Charles Harding is a research and development consultant and data analyst who runs his own consulting firm. However, Harding understands that to be a successful business owner he needs to stay up to date with current trends, technologies and methodologies. To meet this goal, he chose to pursue a Graduate Certificate in Applied Statistics and Data Management through NC State Online. He felt that the structure of the NC State Online program would be best for his career needs and that the flexibility of online classes would fit his life responsibilities.

“I know that it is important to keep my skill set fresh,” Harding said. “Before, I gleaned what I needed for my job mostly from books and research articles. I chose NC State because I was impressed by the excellent reputation of its statistics department. In addition, the option to take asynchronous classes was important to me because I didn’t want to interrupt my career and because I have a toddler at home.”

For Harding, participating in online and distance classes that were also rigorous and well taught was critical in his decision to stay with NC State.

“I applied to the NC State program and enrolled during the COVID-19 pandemic, when in-person education had been halted at most universities,” Harding said. “As universities reopened, I considered switching to a program closer to where I live. However, I enjoyed the high quality of the NC State program’s statistics classes and was impressed by the teaching skill and responsiveness of the professors. Associate Teaching Professor Jonathan Duggins was unusually skilled at understanding and resolving the sources of students’ misunderstandings of course material. Associate Teaching Professor Justin Post presented lectures that made complicated material clear and memorable. Professor Jason Osborne demonstrated his depth of experience in experimental design. Finally, Teaching Professor Herle McGowan covered a huge amount of useful statistical content without being overwhelming — a difficult line to walk.”

As a working dad, Harding also appreciated the convenience and flexibility of being able to watch the lectures at any time.

“The online option was hugely helpful to me as a parent of a young child and as someone with a job that is more than full time,” Harding said. “The availability of a strong online program like NC State’s opens up opportunities that used to be more difficult for parents or guardians of young children and for other caregivers.”

Looking ahead, Harding is grateful for the information that he has gained while in the online program and for the time to continue his education while balancing his work and life responsibilities.

“Before I enrolled in the NC State program, on-the-job learning provided me with an in-depth understanding of several specific areas of statistics, but my understanding was uneven and lacked breadth,” Harding said. “NC State’s statistics courses helped to improve the breadth of my education. 2023 is the year that I plan to use this information to further both my investment in my consulting business and my education. I’ve applied for and been accepted to the Online Master of Statistics degree program with NC State. I’m hopeful it will be a great year!”

Are you interested in enrolling in the online Applied Statistics and Data Management program? Visit the program page, or check out online.ncsu.edu/programs for a full list of degree and certificate programs.