Currently, the challenges facing the conventional universities and colleges which include shortages in courses offered, higher tuition fees and budget cuts has prompted a lot of students to look for alternative means of education. Online education has apparently become one of the most preferred forms of higher education alternative – as this is reflected in the approximately three million students who are fully enrolled in online degree programs now and another six million who are taking a minimum of one online course as a part of their degree program. Online learning has been proven to be just as efficient as education in person or one-on-one. This has faltered the initial skepticism as the consistent improvement of the reputation of online education has assisted in fuelling its growth. All of this implies that scholars ranging from recent graduates from high school to working professional find many rationales to take some or their entire degree courses online. The Following Are 10 Advantages of Online Learning
- Variety of Courses and Programs
Unlike the typical four-year period to complete degrees in the universities, online education offers a variety of alternatives for students. This implies that regardless of your choice of course – nursing to neuroscience – you can find any degree program or course you wish to study online. You can as well earn any academic qualification you desire online – from a career certificate to a doctorate.
- Reduced Total Cost
Online courses or programs are more affordable compared to the conventional universities. Although not all online degrees are less expensive in their tuition fees than universities or colleges, the associated costs are in most cases, less costly. Taking, for instance, the cost of transportation and course materials likes textbooks – these are already provided for free online and often available to students. Additionally, universities, as well as colleges, have started accepting credits earned through the free Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) which is the most recent advancement in online education. These free online courses have great potentials to assist students to fulfill general education requirements at little or no cost to them.
- Comfortable Learning Environment
There are no physical class sessions requiring you to leave the comfort of your home. You can have your pajamas on and study from your bed or while relaxing in your Jacuzzi. This is just one of the numerous benefits of taking online education. Assignments can be completed from your home because lectures and other lecture materials are sent electronically to you the student to study and complete assignments. There will not be a need for you to beat traffic, struggle to have a parking space, leave work early for classes or even miss precious family together time.
- Flexibility and Convenience
Studying online enable students the opportunity to plan their study time around their schedule for the day and not the reverse. Students can work or study when they are most disposed to it, whether it is during the early hours of the day or even late at night. With online degree programs, students do not need to prepare to visit the library as all the course materials required are available online. These make online education a suitable alternative for students who wish to balance their study, work and family lifestyle and commitments.
- Increased Interaction and Ability to Concentrate
While there is a conflicting proof about the rate of online student engagement against engagement in conventional degrees, one thing is sure – online courses provides an opportunity for introverts, shy or more reserved students to join in class and group discussions or chats with more ease than the traditional face-to-face classroom session. Most students have confirmed that online courses give them room for proper concentration since other students or classroom activities do not distract them.
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- Career Advancement
There is an opportunity for career advancement in online education as students can take online degrees from basic to doctorate while attending to family needs, working or even while in-between jobs. With this academic work, discontinuity or gaps can be explained in a resume. Additionally, earning an online degree would show to your potential employers that you are ambitious and desire to be informed at all times as well as prepare you for new challenges.
- Continuation in Profession
Desiring to complete an online degree program does not imply that you wish to discontinue your present job or profession. College cost for most students implies that they need to continue in their jobs to be able to meet up with tuition fees and other costs in school. The earlier highlighted flexibility in online education is a benefit that enables students to continue in their profession or job while pursuing their academic qualifications.
- Avoid Commuting
When there are thunderstorms or snowstorms in most cases, colleges and universities will cancel classes for that day. Otherwise, you stand a risk of being hurt or caught up in dangerous driving conditions. However, with online classes, there are no such cases, and they will not miss important lessons. Students taking online courses can attend classes by engaging in discussion boards or chat sessions. Their works can be turned in on a timely basis, while they read materials or watch lectures. Many students realize that they save a significant amount on the cost of fuel if they do not have to commute to a physical campus irrespective of the weather condition.
- Improving Technical Skills
Development of new technical skills is required for even the most basic online degree, as students try to acquaint themselves with the various programs and learning management systems (LMS). The skills leaned by students while participating in their online programs translates to several professions, which includes completing online training sessions, incorporating video/audio contents into assignments, creating and sharing documents, etc.
- Credits Transfer
For students who desire to attend summer classes, but stay too far away from their colleges or universities or perhaps wish to work during summer – taking online courses from any recognized college and in turn transferring the credits earned to their main college is a great idea. With online classes, students can earn their college credits while fulfilling the demands of their seasonal jobs or enjoying summer vacation. Likewise, if a college or university is not capable of offering adequate open sections of a mandatory course, students can offer the course online and subsequently transfer the credits. These are some of the numerous benefits or advantages of taking online degree programs. Students taking an online course can manage their time, study the materials available to them and complete their assignments when they desire.
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