The internet has given us many glorious things. YouTube, a rise in the gig economy, and cat memes. Along with all of that great stuff, we have been given some excellent opportunities. We can connect with long lost relatives, we can order flowers to our best friend on the other side of the world, and we can enhance our lives however we choose. In fact, online learning comes with a plethora of perks that face-to-face learning just doesn’t have. The Babson Survey Research Group found that there were around 3 million students in the US currently enrolled on a full-time course, and more than 6 million taking part of their degree online. Where once upon a time online courses were not seen as close to equal to a classroom taught degree, they are now ranking highly for reputation among recruiters.
So what are the main perks of online learning? What makes it so unique and the best option for so many of us?
The flexibility and convenience of an online course are undeniable. Online courses give students of any age the ability to fit a session in around their usual day to day routines. The course materials are always available to them, so be it at 3:00am when the insomnia kicks in or 4.30pm in the schoolyard waiting to pick up the kids you can access what you need. You can balance family commitments and deadlines much easier.
Career advancement, without having to force the issue in the workplace. Sometimes the workplace can be tricky, and the people you need to speak to about raises and promotions aren’t always willing to move you forward based on the number of years worked. It might be necessary that you ‘prove’ your knowledge with a degree in something. Earning a degree around your usual job will show not only that you are ambitious but that you are up for a challenge and independent.
The range of courses is incredible. You won’t be tied to a specific location based on their reputation for being the best in particular fields. In fact, you can check out the best and most widely-recognized aviation degrees or the most prolific creative writing degrees and be sure that you are going to be studying from the best – without needing to move to a different state or a different country.
Saving a lot of money is one of the huge perks. By opting to study online, you are going to incur lower overall costs. Because the university doesn’t have have the same overheads a lot of the savings that they make will be passed on to the students. You won’t have commuting costs, those pesky “gaps between classes” coffee and sandwich costs, or the cost of using other university facilities. You might even find that your course materials and textbook content is available via your course portal too.
This might go without saying, but you will be in a much more comfortable environment. While most classes will have hardback plastic chairs, you have the luxury of studying from your couch or bed should you choose to. Wearing your pajamas and fluffy socks while completing a course in say, neurosciences, is a massive pro when it comes to online vs. face-to-face learning. It won’t matter if it’s laundry day or not, the only person who will be caring about what you’re wearing is you.
If you don’t really like to be in amongst the people of the world, then there is probably nothing better than learning you can study at home, and never speak to another human. You can happily skip the blazing heat or the snowstorms that make traffic impossible to navigate or packed out tubes. You’ll never miss a lesson because your train or bus was late, and you’re going to save a fortune on gas too.
Even a very basic course will require you to have some basic computer skills to match. If you aren’t really used to working on a computer, this is going to be a great learning experience. You will be improving your technical skills in order to access the course, download materials, watch any of the provided lectures, submit your work and any online exams. When you are learning this at home, you will have much longer to get to grips with the things that you don’t know.
You can make the most of your materials. When you go to a class, you are relying on your brain to remember all the critical information and make notes that make sense. While some of us manage that with ease, others of us are going to need the type of notes you can read over and over again. When you have an online learning portal, you can watch the same lecture repeatedly until you feel like you fully grasp the content that was covered.