• Career advancement and hobbies:
Studying online gives you more flexibility. You can work and fit your work schedule (and your hobbies) around your coursework more easily; even more so if you are taking an asynchronous class: an online class where you don’t have to log in at a specific time for a live session but you can study and interact with your instructor and your fellow classmates at your own pace through, for example, the discussion forum.
In a survey conducted by The Learning House, 44% of online students reported improvements in their employment standing, for example by obtaining a full-time job within 12 months of graduation, and 45% reported a salary increase.
By the time you finish your online course, you will have gained more work experience and learned new skills that will help you advance in your career!
• Flexible schedule and environment:
By studying online, you choose your own learning environment that works best for your needs: be it your bedroom, your study, the café across the street, or your local gym, listening to your instructor’s lecture podcast as you run on the treadmill. Isn’t that awesome?
Taking an online course also means that you don’t have to commute to class, which means less time spent on the bus and more study time sitting on your couch, the sound of a crackling fireplace in the background. You no longer have to worry about driving in the snowstorm and missing an important class!
• Lower costs and debts:
Studying online means that you pay the tuition fee, possibly book supplies, an online application fee, and few other items. You don’t, however, incur the costs of housing (which can range from $10,000 to $12,000 per year) and transportation, which translates to lower debts and more savings.
• Lower total costs:
Online programs prove a more affordable option than traditional colleges. Though not all online degrees offer less expensive net tuition prices than traditional colleges, associated expenses almost always cost less. For example, there are no commuting costs, and sometimes required course materials, such as textbooks, are available online at no cost. In addition, many colleges and universities accept credits earned via free massive open online courses (MOOCs), the most recent advance in online education. These free online courses can help students fulfill general education requirements.
• Self-discipline and responsibility:
Who says that having to be more self-disciplined is a disadvantage? It is true that studying online requires more self-motivation and time-management skills, because you will spend a lot of time on your own without someone physically close to keep you focused on deadlines. Look at it this way: your online course will not only teach you geology or poetry, it will also help you become more self-motivated, a trait that will make you stand out in the workplace and beyond. It will look great on your resume.
• More choice of course topics:
Let’s face it, when thinking about what to study, besides for interest and career opportunities, where to study is also a deciding factor. This may limit the choice of subjects or courses to take. Studying online at your own convenience allows you to no longer worry about class location when choosing what to learn next. By taking an online course, you can really focus on the subject you are interested in and choose from the variety of online courses and programs.
• Variety of programs and courses:
From traditional four-year universities to completely online career colleges, higher education today offers a variety of options for students. This means that no matter what students study, from nursing to neuroscience, they can find the courses or programs they need online. Students can also earn every academic degree online, from a career certificate to a doctorate.
• More comfortable learning environment:
Commercials that feature online students studying in their pajamas only skims the surface of one of the benefits of online education: no physical class sessions. Students listen to lectures and complete assignments sent to them electronically, with no need to fight traffic, leave work early for class, or miss important family time.
• Convenience and flexibility:
Online courses give students the opportunity to plan study time around the rest of their day, instead of the other way around. Students can study and work at their convenience. Course material is always accessible online, making special library trips unnecessary. All of these benefits help students balance work and family commitments with their education.
• More interaction and greater ability to concentrate:
While contradictory evidence about the rate of online student participation versus participation in traditional courses exists, one thing remains certain: Online courses offer shy or more reticent students the opportunity to participate in class discussions more easily than face-to-face class sessions. Some students even report better concentration in online classes due to the lack of classroom activity.
• Continue in your profession:
Even if someone wants to complete a degree, it may not mean they want to leave their current job. For most students today, increasing college costs mandate that some students continue working while in school. The previously mentioned flexibility of online programs enable students to keep working while also pursuing academic credentials.
• Avoid commuting:
During snowstorms and thunderstorms, colleges may cancel classes to avoid putting commuting students at risk of dangerous driving conditions. Rather than miss important class sessions, students in online courses can always “attend” by participating in discussion boards or chat sessions, turning in their work on time, and watching lectures or reading materials. Many students also find substantial savings on fuel costs with no commute for classes.
• Improve your technical skills:
Even the most basic online course requires the development of new computer skills, as students learn to navigate different learning management systems (LMS) and programs. The participation skills students learn within their online courses translate to many professions, including creating and sharing documents, incorporating audio/video materials into assignments, completing online training sessions, etc. Some schools even offer students free Laptops, Smart Phones or iPads.
• Transfer credits:
For college students who want to attend summer classes, but live too far from their colleges and/or work summer jobs, taking online classes from an accredited college and transferring the credits to their primary college can be beneficial. Students can earn college credit while still enjoying their summer vacation or fulfilling the responsibilities of their seasonal employment. Similarly, if a college or university does not offer enough open sections of a required course, students can take the course online at another college and transfer the credits.
Students in online programs can effectively manage their time, learn the materials, and complete assignments on their own schedules to name just a few benefits of online learning.
We only listed Some benefits to learning online but, having been an online student myself, I know there are many more. Can you think of other advantages or reasons why you prefer to take your next course online?
Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section!