“Originally published at blog.ed2go.com on 15th June 2020 .”
The coronavirus pandemic changed the way that we go to school, work and even interact with one other. But we’ve also learned that many things can be done remotely just as efficiently: working, shopping and even learning can be done entirely online.
Online learning has been around since the University of Illinois used an Intranet of connected computers for students in 1960. It has changed a lot over the years, but one thing remains the same. Online learning is an ideal way for many people to enhance their skills and prepare for a successful career.
In fact, the National Center for Education Statistics reported there where 6,932,074 students enrolled in online education in the fall of 2018, and that number has grown exponentially since the beginning of 2020 and our current pandemic. Here are 5 ways online learning can benefit you no matter where you are in your career today—even if you’re feeling stuck at home.
Online learning is ideal for working professionals
It’s easy to think that online learning is for someone else, but many of the online students today may have more in common with you than you think. Did you know that the average age of online learners is 32?
This means that many of the students who are currently completing online programs are working adults, parents, and those considered non-traditional students — just like you. Learning online means that you’ll have access to your coursework whenever and wherever you find time.
Whether you are traveling for work, sitting on the sidelines at a youth sporting event, or relaxing on the couch after a hard day, you’ll be able to dive into your studies when it’s most convenient for you. In other words, when life happens, online courses allow you to keep learning.
Online learning can jumpstart your career
Most of the students who are enrolled in an online program and doing it for one of two reasons — either they want to switch industries (36 percent) or they want to accelerate their careers (32 percent).
Many of the most in-demand jobs in the world including those in healthcare, technology, business, trades, and other industries are supported and even led by people who trained for their positions in a distance-based environment.
Whether you need to find a job because you’ve been laid off due to the coronavirus, you’re ready to move up, or you want to change your career entirely, there are reputable online programs available to help you achieve your goals.
Online learning is more cost effective for many
Even if you’re not currently out of work, the economic changes we’re facing and the current state of the world have us all spending less and saving more. But, education is an investment in your most valuable asset—you.
Online learning isn’t just an investment in your future that will pay off in the long term the same way a traditional, classroom-based program will. It’s also an investment that can be less costly in the short term. In recent years, there have been several articles that have come out saying that the costs of traditional education and online education really aren’t that different.
However, these studies often only looked at the price of tuition, not taking into account the costs of commuting, room and board, childcare, and many of the other expenses that don’t occur in online programs. It’s important to do your research, and look for any hidden fees when comparing the costs of various programs so you can make an informed decision.
Online learning offers students personal attention
When you may be feeling more isolated than ever before, it’s important to know you have someone in your corner—someone you can turn to for help with your studies. Most online courses cap class sizes to ensure a more intimate relationship with instructors and other students even though all interaction is conducted online through discussions, emails, and chats.
Online learning environments also benefit almost every type of student no matter how they learn. Studies by the American Education Research Association have shown that the slowest learner in a classroom takes five times longer to learn than the fastest student. Most online learning environments allow students to work as quickly or as slowly as they need to in order to master the material. This means you will be able to truly move forward at your own pace for a more personal approach.
Online learning can fully prepare you for success
Gone are the days when employers and academics frowned upon online learning. In many cases, this is the preferred method of training and skill enhancement because it shows you have high levels of self-motivation and the ability to work on your own—not to mention that it doesn’t take you away from your job if you’re a working professional.
The International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning even found that students in online learning programs have a higher average score on standardized tests (59 percent) than those in traditional programs (50 percent).
Many online programs are even lead by highly-respected experts in the field of study you are pursuing. You’ll often be able to learn from and work with someone who has been in the trenches and found success when you learn online.
If you’re considering gaining new skills to land a job, taking courses to move up in your career, or completing education that can help you change careers altogether; online learning is a great way to start. With many online programs, like those from ed2go, you can gain the necessary training and skills you need to achieve your goals — even from the comfort of your home while practicing safe social distancing.
You’ll get personalized attention from our enrollment counselors and course facilitators. You’ll have the opportunity to interact with other peers as well as experts in your field. You’ll be given 24/7 access to materials, so you can learn when it most convenient for you. And, you’ll be one step closer to that career you’re dreaming about.
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