Fortunately, many universities offer online degree programs, which are a great option for people who have very busy lifestyles.
Online education is gaining serious momentum, with more than six million people enrolling in the States alone. This comes as no surprise, considering the fact that online learning offers a plethora of benefits, such as lower costs and an opportunity to learn at your own time.
Read on to learn about the most important benefits of online learning.
1. Save Money
If you attend on-campus classes, you are very likely to spend large sums of money on transportation and accommodation. With online learning, you don’t have to worry about such expenses as you can study from the comfort of your home.
Moreover, many online learning programs are designed for people who are employed. If you have a job, you’ll be able to keep it while studying online which, in turn, means that you might have to take a smaller student loan. Considering the fact that it takes about twenty years to pay off a student loan debt, decreasing your debt load is a great way to save yourself some money and lots of headaches.
2. Work On Your Own Schedule
With online learning, scheduling and absenteeism issues are virtually non-existent. Even though some online programs might require participation in lectures at certain times, those lectures are usually archived for later reference.
Online education is more flexible than convenient education, allowing students to learn at their own pace. Flexibility is especially important for those who have to work or take care of their children as they can create a learning schedule that doesn’t interfere with other responsibilities.
3. Learn from Any Location
Technology advances have made education widely accessible. All you need is an internet connection and a laptop, and you’ll be able to study from any location in the world.
Today, more than thirty brick-and-mortar educational institutions offer MOOC-based degrees, through partnerships with tech-ed companies like Udacity and Coursera. Even highly prestigious schools like Stanford, Harvard, and MIT have started offering full online courses for free. MOOCs usually have the same study material and the same tutors you would get if you were attending on-campus classes.
In addition, both digital and traditional educational institutions are perfecting more intimate learning options, with smaller classes and more one-on-one interactions between students and professors.
4. Choose from a Wide Selection of Programs
The number of higher education schools and universities offering online programs is increasing, so students can choose from a wide variety of options for different levels and disciplines.
When choosing the best online degree program for you, think about what you want to do with your degree and/or what majors will help you achieve your career goals. From quantum physics and mathematics to music composition and communications, there’s something for everybody.
5. Online Education is Valued
The reputation of online learning is getting better and better. One study from 2012 showed that more than 75% of academic leaders thought that online education was equal to or better than learning in a physical classroom.
Employers are also starting to value online education. Recent research shows that more hiring managers consider online degrees to be highly valuable, as long as they come from accredited institutions.
So, whether you are looking for a career change, a promotion, or even to start your own company, an online degree can open many doors as it provides you with the expertise and skills to further your professional and personal development.
6. Get More Practical Skills
Online education allows students to develop both hard and soft skills and reach a new level of academic and employment excellence.
One of the most important side benefits is getting comfortable with using technology. Whether you’re working with someone across the world or across the state, becoming skilled at technology for digital workshops, video conferencing, online tutorials, team-building exercises, and collaboration is a skill set that you’re likely to need in the future.
Besides the ability to expand and strengthen your technical skillset, you’ll also learn how to communicate effectively and work well as an individual and in a team.
7. Get Faster and More Frequent Feedback
People who take online courses tend to have more contact with their tutors than those who learn in traditional classrooms. This is because online students are usually asked to complete more assessments in order for the tutors to be able to monitor their progress and competence. This allows for any learning issues to be identified and addressed in a timely manner.
In addition to regular support from professors who are always available, innovative technology allows students to access virtual learning environments, webinars, as well as a wide range of interactive learning tools. They also offer 24/7 access to online materials, test papers, resources, and more.
8. Network with Professionals Around the World
Studies have shown that networking is a very important component of career success, with 85% of job placements occurring as a result of professional connections.
Even without the in-person interactions that take place in traditional classroom settings, online students can grow their professional network by embracing a different approach.
Online education allows you to connect and build relationships with colleagues, professors, and professionals in your industry. These connections might prove to be very useful for potential career opportunities in the future.
The concept of education has changed significantly within the last few years. Being present in a physical classroom is no longer the only learning option. With the advance of the internet and new technologies, students have access to a quality education wherever and whenever they want. This alternative to traditional education is a convenient solution with numerous options for students all over the world.
These are just a few of the reasons why you should consider online learning and why 90% of students believe that online education is the same or even better than the conventional classroom experience.