The way we are educated has evolved significantly over time. As technology has become more advanced, it has allowed for a shift towards dynamic online learning platforms.
Now, the learning environment has shrunk into something you can carry with you. So long as you have an internet connection and device to access it, you can learn anywhere at any time.
Online education is now a common and popular alternative to traditional educational institutions. You can study anything from professional skills courses to GCSEs and degrees online.
If online courses provide recognised qualifications, they are regulated in the same way as the ones given on campus. So, you can get the same level of education without having to step foot in a classroom.
With its snowballing popularity, many traditional institutions are now adding an online arm to their offering. While many people are familiar with the uses and benefits of online education, some have yet to experience them. Below are some of the most common uses of online education.
Easier to Switch Up Your Career
Perhaps not something you immediately think of, but online education makes the transition between careers easier than it was before.
Switching careers is always daunting as you’re completely stepping out of your comfort zone and into something new. Previously workers could only re-train in another field if they went back to full-time education or night school. Often requiring them to quit their job if they couldn’t re-arrange shifts to fit in their studies.
This would mean they would be at risk of little to no income while studying. And, unless your employer is extremely supportive many don’t allow you the time off to pursue another career. As online education provides a flexible way to learn, you can study discreetly around your existing work schedule.
Meaning you can re-train and re-qualify without jeopardising your current employment. Removing these pressures lets you focus on getting the skills you need to succeed and enjoy the learning process.
Continue to Build Your Skills
Where previously people in full-time employment wouldn’t have time for further study, they can continue to build their skills online.
Online education providers offer numerous career-related courses and qualifications. By taking the initiative to upskill, you can have a bigger hand in your professional development. Rather than depending on company provided training opportunities, you decide what skills you want to learn and when.
You can train in the areas that interest or benefit you and make yourself an attractive candidate for future opportunities. Perhaps pursuing areas of the business your employer wouldn’t have otherwise considered you for.
Continuing to learn is a sure-fire way to have an advantage in the workplace and progress in your career.
Freedom of Choice
Online education is the most flexible way a person can learn, especially when you choose independent study over online classes. This is because there are no classes to attend or timetables to stick to. You are provided with access to the entirety of the course materials and given the freedom to move through them as you please.
By setting the structure and pace yourself, you choose when it’s suitable to learn. There is also a much greater choice when it comes to the courses that are provided. Courses provided on campus need to generate a certain amount of money for them to be worthwhile. If they fail to return enough to cover the overheads of the school, they won’t be run.
Online courses don’t have to factor in the same running costs. Especially independent online learning courses which don’t require teachers to deliver classes. With far fewer expenses involved, there is less risk in providing niche courses and therefore more on offer for students. You are free to choose the course that best suits your interests and needs. Not choose one from a small and generic selection.
Removes Barriers to Education
There are many reasons people can’t or won’t return to traditional education. With its rigid structure and set location, it alienates a lot of prospective students.
More commonly this is due to work or family care commitments. Swapping shifts or arranging childcare isn’t always feasible and would stop many pursuing their education further. Thankfully, these worries aren’t an issue when learning online. You can simply log on when it suits, in the evenings after work or while your children nap, it’s up to you.
Learning outside of the classroom also greatly benefits students with differing abilities. Physical disabilities can make it hard for students to travel to and navigate a campus. Rather than battling the crowds, students can log on comfortably from home. This can also be said for anyone enduring mental health issues. With distance education, you free to learn in peace when you feel up to it.
Other students may not have access to reliable transport. Especially those living in more remote areas. So long as they have an internet connection, they can benefit from an education that otherwise would be unavailable.
There are many people who don’t relish the thought of going back into a classroom. Whether it’s because they are nervous about learning in front of others, or they just prefer their own space.
Any fears or concerns associated with classroom learning are removed with online education. There is still the opportunity to seek professional advice from your dedicated tutor, but any feedback is personal and direct. You don’t have to put your hand up in front of others and stop the class while you ask questions.
What’s more, is the learning materials are available for the duration of the course. So, if you feel you need to go back and spend more time on a topic, you can. You can spend as much time as you need going over areas that need more attention until you are confident.
This encourages a more enjoyable and comfortable learning environment which enables many students to study more effectively.
There are so many uses and benefits to online education. Its flexibility and accessibility make education available to all and encourages both personal and professional development.
If you’re considering online education, you should consider studying with learndirect. As a leading UK distance learning provider, they have many courses on offer to help you achieve your learning goals.