The current challenges faced by traditional colleges and universities, which include higher enrollments, budget cuts and shortages of courses, have caused many students to seek alternatives. With nearly three million students currently enrolled in fully online degree programs and six million taking at least one online course as part of their degree program, online education has clearly become one of the higher education alternatives more popular The constantly improving reputation of online learning has also helped fuel its expansion, as initial skepticism has failed in the face of evidence that online learning can be as effective as face-to-face education.
All this means that students, from professionals working to recent high school graduates, find many reasons to take all or some of their courses online. Below are 10 advantages for online learning.
1. Variety of programs and courses: from traditional four-year universities to fully online professional universities, today’s higher education offers a variety of options for students. This means that no matter what students want to study, from nursing to neuroscience, they can find online the courses or degree programs they need. They can also obtain all academic degrees online, from a career certificate to a PhD.
2. Lower total costs: online programs may be a more affordable option than traditional universities. Although not all online degrees have net tuition fees that are less expensive than traditional schools (link to the OEDB article I wrote about university costs), the associated costs are almost always less expensive. For example, there are no daily transportation costs and, sometimes, there are no materials required for the course, such as textbooks, because they are often available for free online. In addition, many colleges and universities have begun to accept credits earned through free mass online courses (MOOCs), the most recent advance in online education. Free online courses like these can help students meet general education requirements at little or no cost.
3. More comfortable learning environment: the advertisements presented by online students who study in their pajamas only touch the surface of one of the main benefits of online education: there are no physical classes. Conferences and other materials are sent electronically to the student, who will then read them and complete the assignments. Students will not have to fight traffic, find parking spaces, leave work early to go to class or lose important time for the family.
4. Comfort and flexibility: online courses give students the opportunity to plan their study time for the rest of the day, rather than the other way around. Students can study and work when they are at peak energy, either early in the morning or late at night. The course material is always accessible online, so it is not necessary to schedule special trips to a library. All this makes online learning course a good alternative for students who need to balance their family and work commitments.
5. More interaction and greater capacity for concentration: although there is contradictory evidence about the participation rate of online students versus participation in traditional courses, one thing is certain: such online courses offer reticent or shy more students the chance to participate in class discussions or chats more smoothly than face-to-face class sessions. Some students even report that it is easier to concentrate on online courses because they are not distracted by other students or because of the activity in the classroom.
6. Career advancement: Students can take online courses and even complete degrees while working, while in the middle of work, or while taking the time to start a family. This academic work will explain any discontinuity or loopholes in a resume as well. In addition to this, getting a degree can show prospective employers that you are ambitious and want to stay updated and informed and are always prepared for any new challenge.
7. Continue in your profession: even if someone wants to complete a degree program, that does not mean they want to quit their current job. For most students today, university costs mean that you need to keep working while you are at college just to meet the expenses. The aforementioned flexibility of online degree programs allows them to earn while they are at work and study simultaneously