How we see it, education has changed drastically over the years. The good news is that due to the rise of the internet and new technologies, being physically present in a classroom isn’t fully necessary.
With a good internet connection and some technical skills, you have access to quality online classes. But the question many are asking themselves is if online education is important? With experience as both an online teacher and student, I’ll share with you why online education is the future.
5 Reasons Why Are Online Courses Important
A recent study conducted by the Babson Survey Research Group found that over 30 percent of college students are taking courses online . These students are interested in the new opportunities that learning through a computer offers them.
Here are 5 reasons why students are flocking to online classes:
Most online students cite flexibility as their favorite part of online learning. It enables them to set their own pace with a schedule that meets everyone’s needs. Online education allows for a better balance between work and studies.
In a traditional education classroom, you are required to be on campus during a set period of time that might cause conflict with your work or personal life. By taking online classes, you get to study and show up when it is convenient for you.
To handle this kind of flexibility, you will need to have good time management skills in order to succeed in this online environment.
Related Article: How Many Hour Per Day Should You Study For An Online Course?
2. Wide Selection
With hundreds of schools now offering an online course or an entire online degree, there are many options to teach and learn about.
Whether you are interested in certification to help with your career advancement or wanting to pursue a Master’s degree, online learners can find the best program that fits their needs.
You can even take classes from a prestigious university without ever having to set foot on campus.
A virtual classroom makes education accessible to international students and locals who can’t make it out to the traditional learning environment.
An online student can study anywhere, from the beach to the mountains.
No longer confined by a rigid schedule or lengthy commute, these students are saving themselves money and time. An individual can receive a quality education with simply a reliable internet connection.
Accessibility is one of the key advantages of online studying that has many prospective students who are self-motivated and ready to access this virtual environment anywhere in the world.
Some universities even have something called a hybrid course that combines the traditional and virtual learning setting in order to reach the most people. For example, a biology class might hold the lecture portion virtually while having students come on campus to apply their new skills at a lab.
Related Article: Benefits of Online vs Traditional Courses
4. Unique Online Learning Experience
The experience you have with an online school is going to be unique to your situation.
Depending on the level of the program, you might have more intensive course homework or assignments that require key skills for advancement.
Learning online means you will have smaller classes than those on campus.
You will have better access to your professor as well. At most virtual schools, professors are accessible throughout the day and ready to give you feedback and help.
Another perk of the online experience is that you will have access to some of the most diverse learning materials ranging from videos to books. Students learn through an education that is tailor-designed to be effective.
Lastly, an online program is typically more affordable than its counterpart, with more options for paying. Some of these classes let you play per class, giving you the ability to create your own schedule and go at your own pace.
These online degrees also give out scholarships and discounts that help lighten the load. But most students find most of their savings comes in the form of gas and class materials. A typical course will give you the books and other items for free. By studying online, you save time and money.
“Online learning is rapidly becoming one of the most cost-effective ways to educate the world’s rapidly expanding workforce.” -- Jack Messman, CEO and Harvard Graduate
While cheaper, you will still be getting an education on par with other more traditional education programs.
Read More: What's the Average Cost of an Online Course?
Why Are Online Courses Important for Professionals?
After discussing the importance of online learning, let's talk about why studying online is especially helpful for the working professional.
Learn New Skills or Improve Old Ones
A majority of these online classes are designed to give working individuals more information and more flexibility from the comfort of their own home all through a computer screen.
You will want to take advantage of these programs that are designed to develop skills.
Whether you want to pursue an additional certification or an advanced degree, you’ll find that an online school will have major benefits for you. Online classes and learning management systems give you many benefits, including:
- Flexible schedule
- A comfortable learning space
- High-tech ways to communicate
Relevance to Current Job
Many working professionals find online classes and online learning a more enjoyable experience than what they remembered from learning in school.
The reason is they get to interact with and discuss their experiences with others on a class discussion forum.
You will be able to relate what you are learning right back to your job and see how it is improving your work performance while still studying.
Online education is designed to tie directly into your work life by asking you to write papers on your work experience and to apply the principles you’ve learned in your current work setting.
New Career Opportunities
Another reason professionals are gravitating to an online class is the desire to round out their resumes to open new doors and positions. By earning a degree or certificate, one can begin to reinvent themselves and find new career paths.
You might find that you’ve made connections with other professionals while learning and find new doors opened to you.
Online classes are a perfect opportunity to try new things and see if other career options sound interesting to you.
Are Online Classes Worth the Effort?
Online classes are so important and very much worth the effort.
Don’t forget that over 90% of students think that studying online is the same or better than the traditional learning experience and on par with hybrid courses . While each situation is unique, I trust you’ll find a program that works for you.
Studying via a virtual education means you get to submit assignments at your own convenience from both the coffee shop and home. It will take self discipline but is totally possible.