Across the globe, around half of students have completed some type of online learning. It is the fastest-growing market in the education industry and is projected to be worth more than $370 billion by 2026.
8 in 10 businesses now offer online education and training solutions with statistics showing it improves employee performance by 15-25%. Online education can increase student and employee retention by up to 50% and can even reduce the time it takes for a person to master a subject by 40-60%.
For individuals, upskilling in whatever form boosts a workers earning power. In one survey, nearly half (42%) of online learners said their courses increased their salary or bonuses by an avarage of $17,000 and $14,000 respectively.
Online learning technology to make learning fun and interactive with most students reporting that online learning is preferable to traditional education.
There are a myriad of reasons to opt for online education, this article explores some of the many benefits of online learning.
The key advantages of learning online
1. You will likely have more flexibility when scheduling your coursework
Scheduling your academic activities can be difficult, especially if you have professional or familial responsibilities. Fortunately, online learning can give you a lot more flexibility in this area.
2. You will probably save a lot of money
When learning from home, instead of a traditional classroom, you can save money in several ways. The first savings is on transportation: Not only will you save on fuel and car maintenance, but you will likely also save on additional costs, such as parkingand refreshments.
By the way, the cost of tuition can be less than many brick-and-mortar institutions because the school will not have the overhead costs of maintaining a classroom setting, so this can be advantageous for both parties.
3. You will likely be able to learn at your own pace
Honestly, life can get busy, and learning at your own pace is ideal for many. This is a great benefit if you are especially busy at work for a week or something significant comes up in your personal life.
You don’t always have to be dedicated to getting to class at a particular time, so this can provide you with a lot more flexibility. In short, having a bit more freedom when it comes to your schedule can make a world of difference.
4. You can create your own learning environment
Maybe you prefer to listen to music as you study. Perhaps you like to light a candle and write in an especially thick, heavy notebook. On the other hand, you might want to type your notes on your desktop computer instead of your laptop. Whatever the case may be, you now have free reign over your own learning environment. The world is your oyster.
5. You can communicate with your professor at almost any time during the day
You can communicate with your professor at any time—more often than not—if you are working remotely. While they are not usually available late at night, you will likely be able to contact them from 9 am to 5 pm Mondays through Fridays with any questions you have.
In a traditional classroom setting, you will likely only be able to communicate one-on-one with your professor during their designated office hours, or maybe for a few minutes after class. When learning online, you will likely be able to communicate with your professor via email, live chat, or phone to get the feedback you need or assistance to help improve your online learning experience.
6. Chances are, it will be easy to access any necessary documentation
If you are at home, it will likely be much easier to access all necessary documentation, as well as a day planner you might have, textbooks you could be using, and more. You could even have a corkboard with sticky notes if that’s what you want.
7. You will likely have greater access to the specific programs you want
There are almost always more options for learning remotely. For instance, you could get a degree in writing or enroll in seminary if that is your calling, because you can study from institutions in different states, and maybe even other countries in some cases. This is quite an advantage because you have a lot more flexibility when it comes to your subject matter.
8. You may gain new technical skills
Online learning will not only help you achieve your educational goals but can also help you gain new skills that will be beneficial when embarking on a new career. To complete your online studies, you will likely need to become familiar with many digital learning tools, content management systems, collaboration tools, and basic technical troubleshooting. However, there is often help available if these are challenging for you to navigate.
You will probably gain experience communicating remotely, which is becoming more and more common in businesses throughout the world.
In addition, you will probably become familiar with virtual programs, such as:
Understanding programs can often provide you with the tools you will need to be successful in many jobs, and even the knowledge to complete quite a few creative projects.
9. You will likely learn how to self-motivate
Another skill that you will probably develop during the online learning process is self-motivation. In an online environment, you will probably have to learn proper time management skills and keep yourself inspired to complete tasks and stay on track so that you can complete the coursework on time. This will likely involve setting your own deadlines and constructing your day so that you can meet those goals. This particular skill can be seen as valuable to potential employers as they will probably view you as a self-starter who can tackle any project.
10. You will probably improve your critical thinking skills
Learning often provides the need to apply critical-thinking strategies to your daily routine. While this skill is also developed in a classroom, it can be more pronounced in an independent learning setting. This is because online learning is a more self-paced and self-motivated environment, so you may have to find ways to inspire yourself or think differently about a complex subject. In addition, the remote community of students may provide a wider array of perspectives if they are from all over the world.
11. You may broaden your perspective
Online learning programs benefit students from around the globe. This will probably provide for a broader range of perspectives in your online discussions and lead to improved cross-cultural understanding. Being exposed to new ideas, trends, and points of view by different students will likely enhance your educational experience and prepare you for your future goals in every area of life.
Whether you are looking for greater flexibility, you want to gain more marketable skills, or you are looking for the opportunity to learn in your own environment, online education can help you meet your goals and provide you with a myriad of benefits.
Online learning FAQ’s
While online education is quite popular, it is also a huge adjustment for a lot of people. Fortunately, there is almost always assistance available to you so that you can gain as much clarity as possible.
If you are not sure if online education is for you, you might want to consider asking yourself some questions before diving in.
How do I know if online education is right for me?
There are some people who love online education, while others may not find that it suits them.
You might want to ask yourself the following questions:
Are you tech-savvy?
Do you have the necessary technology?
Do you mind being alone while you are learning?
Are you sensitive to being on the computer for long periods of time?
Are you a person who is largely self-motivated?
If you are tech-savvy, then it is probably a good idea to take part in online education. On the other hand, you might want to learn more before participating if technology is especially difficult for you to navigate. That said, there are usually chats or assistants you can talk to online so that you can learn enough to understand everything you need to in order to take a course. If you want to educate yourself further about technology, you could consider taking a beginner computer science class in person before attending any online classes.
You will almost always need to have a computer in order to take an online class, especially if you are writing papers. That said, an iPad with a keyboard may also do the trick, and you can sometimes do a lot from an iPhone, but not everything. If you have this technology and know how to navigate it, you should likely be just fine.
One difference with online learning is that you will probably be alone while you are taking your classes. This is an advantage for a lot of people, but it could also potentially lead to more loneliness if you aren’t involved in other activities where you can be more social. In addition, you can often have a more flexible schedule if you participate in online learning.
If you are sensitive to being on a computer for long periods of time, online learning could be a challenge for you. That being said, you might want to purchase a pair of blue light-filtering glasses that are used to ease eye strain.
In addition, if you are someone who is easily motivated, then online education will likely be quite doable. On the other hand, it might be a bit difficult for you if you tend to have trouble focusing when you are alone. That said, there are often set deadlines and other measures to help you meet your goals.
How do I know if an online degree program is credible?
Some online degree programs are better than others, which is why it’s so important to do your research before participating in one.
You will want to look for:
A commitment to education
Strong student resources
Statistics about what graduates have accomplished
You should probably seek an accredited online institution with a strong commitment to education and substantial student resources. It’s also probably important to research statistics about what graduates have accomplished. Earning an online degree can offer you flexibility if you are working and/or raising a family and want to go to school at the same time.
What technical skills do students need?
There are only some technical skills that are required to succeed in online learning.
These usually include:
The ability to create new documents
The ability to use a word-processing program
The ability to navigate the internet
The ability to download software
That said, most online programs do have student orientations, and you can often ask someone for technical help remotely.
How does online education work on a day-to-day basis?
On a day-to-day basis, online education is often quite flexible, but this depends on the particular program you are participating in.
Online learning includes:
Hybrid BA, MA, and PhD programs
Online universities and colleges
Short courses and certificates
Free classes online from universities
Specialized online workshops
There are a myriad of options when it comes to online learning, and some are much more extensive than others. You will likely want to ask as many questions as necessary before participating in whichever type of online education you prefer so that you are as prepared as possible.
What’s the difference between virtual and online e-learning?
There is a difference between eLearning and virtual online education. This is because eLearning does not require students and teachers to be online at the same time while online learning does.
About EHL Group
EHL Group is the global reference in education, innovation and consulting for the hospitality and service sector.
With expertise dating back to 1893, EHL Group now offers a wide range of leading educational programs from apprenticeships to master’s degrees, as well as professional and executive education, on three campuses in Switzerland and Singapore. EHL Group also offers consulting and certification services to companies and learning centers around the world. True to its values and committed to building a sustainable world, EHL Group’s purpose is to provide education, services and working environments that are people-centered and open to the world. www.ehlgroup.com
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