Online learning is a popular alternative to traditional on-campus, in-person learning. In 2019, Research and Markets forecasted that the online education market will reach $230 billion by 2025—and given the major impact of COVID-19, it’s likely that online programs will see even greater growth. the pandemic has demonstrated what a practical, sustainable model online learning is. It keeps education accessible during a public health crisis, natural disaster, or other circumstance where students and faculty can’t travel. It can serve students across a wider geographic range, bringing in voices from across the country—and beyond. The online learning environment also promotes a better work-life balance. In this post, we outline the advantages of online learning and how you can leverage them to foster your personal and professional development.
1. You don’t need to relocate
With online classes, you don’t need to move to a different city or commute long distances in order to attend the program of your choice. You can stay where you are and keep your current job while you work toward enhancing your career with an online college or graduate degree (However, some programs require fieldwork experience, which may necessitate relocation.)
On the other hand, if you want to become a digital nomad—someone who embraces a location-independent, technology-enabled lifestyle—online education may allow you to do that too. You can watch lectures and complete your coursework wherever you are—whether that’s at home, in a café, or on an exotic beach.
2. Online learning makes it possible to keep your job
Many graduate students can’t afford to take time off from work. Or they want to keep working on career advancement while staying in their current position, improving their credentials and applying their learning on the job. So if you want to continue working at your current job while earning your degree, online education is a great way to go. You don’t have to choose between school and work—you can do both.
3. It’s easier to concentrate, participate, and achieve optimal school-life balance
Since different people are productive at different times of day, online learning allows you to work at the time when your brain is most engaged. Also, some people have trouble concentrating and participating in crowded classrooms. Online learning can make it easier for students to focus and for more introverted students to chime in with questions or ideas, which can help boost their confidence and positivity.
Whether you’re a full-time or part-time online student, the online learning experience allows for a much more flexible schedule. Some elements may be synchronous: You may need to attend live lectures, demonstrations, or discussion sessions. But many elements will be asynchronous, meaning that you can complete them at your own pace, learning at the time of day and in the place that works best for you.
When you’re more in control of your schedule, time management goes more smoothly. It’s easier to maintain an active social and family life while earning your college degree or graduate degree. It is possible to have it all: education, professional development, and a vibrant personal life.