There is no doubt that higher education is a huge industry these days. As the job market becomes more competitive and employees have to continue to develop professionally (whatever their profession), “lifelong learning” or online learning has become a necessity, not just a bonus. Not improving can be the difference between getting the job of your dreams and losing a slightly more qualified candidate – or simply being resubmitted for promotion.
Even for those who are not in the workforce, education is the surest path to better relationships, better finances, and a better quality of life for all. Jim Ron, America’s greatest business philosopher, is known to say that “formal education will feed you – self-study will make you happy!” But what is education on the Internet (or “education on the Web”) that makes it so popular? How do we know if online training is right for us or is it better to sign up for online courses somewhere locally?
Benefits of Online Learning
The most obvious advantage of online education is its total flexibility in terms of time. It allows you to fully study your calendar, around the many other commitments that you already have in your life. You can study while working full time, shift work or taking care of children or parents. Whether you are at your best early in the morning or late at night, you can study at a time convenient to you. You don’t have to worry about catching teachers during office hours, and lessons are available 24 hours a day, so you don’t have to worry about adjusting to your teacher’s schedule.
The geographic flexibility it offers is also useful. Suddenly, transport logistics becomes a problem. You can take online courses in other cities – really in other countries. The cost of travel like gas and parking or public transportation is a thing of the past; and you don’t have to adjust your travel time (not to mention cutting all the hassle between lessons if you study more than one at the same time!)
However, much more important than logistics for many students is the fact that online learning allows you to personalize your learning. If you already know some of the course material, there is no need to wait for your students to cover it before moving on to what you * want * to learn. If you have trouble understanding a particular concept, you can take as much time as you want without feeling like you are slowing down your classmates. You can find courses that are exported to the medium * in which you learn best – be it audio, video, or a written word.
Online courses can be much more accessible than face-to-face courses. The fees are often lower; before even taking into account the lack of transportation, parking, child care, and any need to eat. Most online courses will allow you to take full-time training at your own pace, so you can take your course in much less time than if you were taking weekly courses.
Is online education for everyone?
The truth is that online education will not be for everyone. To get started, you need to have a basic understanding of how to use a computer and connect to the Internet, not everyone does. However, the fact that you are reading this article online suggests that you already have this understanding. You must have regular Internet access – and it will be easier for you to study your schedule if you can connect to the network at home rather than in a user-friendly or public library.
Just like the face-to-face lessons (maybe a little more), you need to be organized and motivated enough. You need to know exactly why you want to finish the course you signed up for and understand what difference it will make in your life. You need to be able to plan when you take the time to learn and commit to sticking to your plans. However, if you know what you want to learn from online education and are ready to follow the programs you have set for yourself, “online training” can offer you enormous opportunities! It can reduce the logistical problems associated with studying important courses while providing you with much more pleasant, practical, and personalized training. All of this, and often at a cost far less than face-to-face hours – it’s no wonder Forbes magazine identified online education as “one of the biggest emerging trends of the decade.”