Advancing technology has transformed almost every aspect of our lives from the personal to the practical and, thanks to online learning, to the professional. If you’re currently employed, but you need to study for a qualification in order to progress your career further, it can be difficult to keep your current job and study alongside any family commitments and responsibilities you have. The answer could be online degrees, however. More and more universities and educational institutions offering online degrees and qualifications which you can fit around your schedule. Whether you’re looking to make a career change or acquire specific skills or knowledge to help you progress on your chosen path, here are some of the key reasons why you should be considering an online qualification to boost your career.
1. You Don’t Have to Give Up Work
In the past, returning to education would have meant leaving work or at least reducing your hours, both of which not only pose a financial challenge for most people but can also be counterproductive when trying to advance a career. Online learning enables you to study around your current employment when it suits you, meaning you can keep your position and avoid a gap in your resume. Many employers may also appreciate that you clearly have excellent time management and organizational skills.
2. Online Learning Offers Flexibility
Online learning is often self-paced which means you can complete the course’s targets at any time, so your career doesn’t need to be negatively affected. You don’t have to spend time or money commuting to a class; all you need is a computer and an internet connection. Your materials and lectures are usually accessible online, so you can choose when you want to study and can do so from the comfort of home or wherever you are able to study best.
On-demand courses are usually accessible via the internet only, with no printed materials because everything you need is online. Some courses also offer live online classes so you can sit at home and watch and listen to a tutor deliver a lesson. What’s more, you can ask your tutor questions throughout.
You can also choose how much time you spend studying at any one time. For example, you may want to only complete an hour or two of study during the week but have several hours at the weekend. Luckily, there are ways you can balance education with family commitments as well as your full-time job.
3. Tailor Your Learning to Your Career
Online learning enables you to choose the perfect course for your career as you don’t need to worry about locations. There is a vast variety of degrees on offer which are focused on career enhancement for adults rather than undergraduates. For example, if you have already achieved a degree in mathematics but are looking for more commercial skills which you can apply to business, you can study for a Masters in statistics online. You’ll find that, when you progress through your course, you can use what you’re learning in your career and pass on value to your employer in terms of your improved performance.
4. Online Learning is More Affordable
The cost of returning to education can often be a deterrent for people with financial commitments. The price of online courses will vary depending on which provider and course you choose, but on average, online courses tend to be more affordable than attending a traditional school. You also need to consider that you’ll be saving money on travel and accommodation by staying at home. If the cost of learning is a problem for you, then you may want to consider grants or loans from the government to help with the cost. There are many free online courses which you can take, but these are more targeted toward soft skills than industry-specific learning.
5. Get Sponsored to Study
Some employers offer tuition assistance to employees to reduce turnover and recruiting costs, and they also recognize the value of a distance learning qualification. Online learning students show they can prioritize and manage tasks effectively, and it shows you have ambition and a commitment to your industry. If distance learning is something your employer encourages, you should take advantage of the opportunity.
6. Networking Opportunities
Although you may assume that online learning would be a very isolated way to study, many courses are interactive in real time via video link and social media. This means you can interact with tutors and fellow students and build relationships to expand your professional network.
7. Before You Start an Online Course
Millions of students all over the world are turning to technology and online courses to further their careers. Through an online learning platform, they can achieve things they never thought possible and access opportunities which can change their futures for the better. However, there are some things to consider before making the commitment to an online course.
- Online learning is not an easy option and, in some cases, requires more planning and motivation than a traditional course. Be realistic about the amount of time you can give to studying and if it is sustainable for the duration of the course.
- To start an online course, you need to have a high level of self-motivation and determination. It’s also crucial that you choose the qualification and learning format which is right for you and will be of real value to you in your career. Do some research around the qualifications which are most highly valued in your industry and what will give you an advantage over other candidates when it comes to securing future positions.
- It’s also important to remember that while online learning is flexible, it’s best to plan and stick to a study routine as much as possible. Don’t put off tasks or reading indefinitely and be as disciplined as you can when it comes to sticking to your schedule.
- You need to have the right technology and a good internet connection to ensure you can access the course without issues.