Online education has experienced tremendous growth over the last ten years. Thanks to the increased accessibility of the internet and cheaper computers, the opportunities for non-traditional education have seen an explosion in new adoptions.
According to a report from the National Center for Education Statistics, the number of enrollments in online courses in the United States has been steadily on the rise. In 2015, there were 5.9 million students enrolled, a number that has grown to 6.3 million at the end of 2016, the latest years for which data is available.
There are plenty of benefits of online education over traditional methods of teaching, including more accessible hours and easier access to course materials. Here are five of the most popular reasons for taking online classes.
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More choice of course topics
When enrolling in a course, it’s important to consider not only what you’re interested in studying, but where you’re going to study it, too. For lots of people, this severely limits the number of options they have.
Studying online gets rid of this barrier. There’s no need to worry about relocating to a new area to follow a new career prospect.
Same quality as physical courses
Accredited online universities need to meet minimum criteria and curriculum standards set by a governing body, just like traditional schools. Since the standards are the same, you can be sure that the quality of education you are being offered in either case is similar.
A lot of the benefits offered by being physically present are also transferred to online courses. Students are free to interact with the instructors, collaborate with students and are granted access to the necessary study materials.
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Study and work at the same time
For most professionals, making time to attend classes while still being employed presents a major challenge. It requires having to readjust your schedule or in extreme cases, quitting your job to make up time. For someone that’s not been saving money or has inflexible timetables, something has to give.
One of the biggest advantages of online education is the ability to simultaneously study and work at the same time. According to a study carried out by The Learning House, 72% of undergraduate students and 81% of graduates enrolled in online courses were working either part-time or full time.
Taking an online course is a great way to improve career prospects for someone looking to switch careers or taking a new course to improve their standing at a current job.
A lot of people will also benefit from the ready access to assignment writing help online, as compared to getting help from unavailable lecturers. The online writing services provide students with high-quality writing of thesis, dissertation and essays.
The best online courses in the world are much cheaper than attending a physical traditional campus. Costs vary from program to program, but the absence of the need to access amenities and physical access to school buildings drives the costs down.
Some universities even offer financial aid for the less fortunate. Best of all, many online courses by some of the world’s top universities are free.
Free courses don’t normally offer certificates after completion, but it’s an excellent opportunity to expose yourself to some of the world’s top educators.
Flexible schedule and environment
Studying online allows you to choose any learning environment that works best for your needs, in your room, in the library, or even on the move – while going for a run or a brisk evening walk around the neighborhood.
Part of the allure of enrolling in an online learning course is the ability to take courses as fast or as slow as you need to. On most online programs, you’ll notice a ‘self-paced’ label somewhere on them.
This indicates that you’re free to begin working towards the targets outlined by the program at any time and finish them whenever you’re comfortable. And since you don’t have to commute to class, you are going to save a lot of time anyway.
Taking online classes is also a recommended method of dealing with social anxiety for students whose physical attendance causes a significant amount of discomfort.
There are hundreds of online colleges offering high-quality education to choose from. Depending on your needs, there is a course out there that covers your area of expertise or interest. These include internationally-recognized universities like MIT, from whom you can acquire free educational material on some courses. Online courses offer enough flexibility and resources to fit anyone’s schedule and fit most people’s requirements.
Emma Rundle is a tech expert working with student entrepreneurs and startups to help them scale new heights in the business world. She also works as an academic writer with online writing services in areas of engineering, science and technology. In her free time, she likes to work on her weekly podcasts, do painting and cooking seafood for her family.