Are you considering an online educational program?
With the current challenges facing traditional colleges and universities, which include higher tuition fees, budget cuts, and lack of courses, many students as well as those who love learning have turned to online educational programs. With nearly three million students currently enrolled in fully online degree programs and eight million taking at least one online course as part of their degree program, online education has become one of the most popular higher education alternatives.
Online learning’s ever-improving reputation has helped fuel its expansion, as initial skepticism stumbled in the face of evidence showing online learning could be just as effective as face-to-face education. I have taken many people and the experience has been completely unique because these programs are completely convenient and flexible. They provide educational information that will build your business instantly. You will be surprised to know that some of these online courses are free! However, the focus of taking free online courses is the personal knowledge obtained. Certificates received in some cases are not from accredited educational institutes.
Online educational programs versus traditional educational programs
All of this means that students, from working professionals to recent high school graduates, find plenty of reasons to take all or some of their courses online. Here are some of the major advantages of online education:
- Various programs and coursesFrom traditional four-year universities to fully online vocational colleges, today’s higher education offers a wide variety of options for learners. This means that no matter what students want to study, from cooking to rocket science, they can find the education they need online. They can also earn every academic degree online, ranging from a professional certificate to a Ph.D.
- Lower total costsOnline education programs can be a more affordable option than traditional colleges. Although not all online degrees have net fees that are less expensive than traditional colleges, the associated costs are almost always less expensive. There are no commuting costs, and there are also no required study materials such as textbooks because all the reading material is freely available online. In addition, many colleges and universities have begun accepting credits earned through Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), the latest advancement in online education. Free online courses such as these can help students meet their general education requirements at little or no cost.
- A more comfortable learning environmentThese days, commercials showing online students studying in their pajamas have become commonplace to describe one of the primary benefits of online education. There are no physical lessons. Lectures and reading materials are sent electronically to the student, who will then read them and complete the assignments. Students won’t have to battle traffic, find parking, leave work early to go to class, or miss important family time.
- Comfort and flexibilityOnline tutorials give students the opportunity to plan their study time around the rest of their day, rather than the other way around. Students can study and work when they are at their peak energy, be it early in the morning or late at night. Course materials are always accessible online and are asynchronous, so there’s no need to schedule private trips to a library either. All this makes online learning attractive.
- Avoid hoppingDuring bad weather, colleges may cancel classes. Also, the traffic situation like in Lagos where I reside may pose a serious problem for those who attend traditional education. Instead of students getting late or missing out on online tutorials, they can always “clip in” by participating in discussion boards or in chat sessions, turning in their work on time, watching lectures or reading materials. Many students also find that the amount they save on fuel costs can be significant if they generally don’t have to commute to the actual campus, regardless of weather conditions.
- Improve your technical skillsEven the most basic online educational programs require the development of new computer skills, as students learn to navigate different learning management systems (LMS) programs. The skills students learn participating in their online courses translate into many careers, including creating and sharing documents, incorporating audio/video materials into your assignments, completing online training sessions, and so on. All of this forms part of their learning as well.
All these benefits described above are clear reasons for the astronomical growth of e-learning. Today, there are many e-learning institutes that offer certificates and degrees in modern subjects. For those who are wondering if it is a valid alternative, I tell you that it is. For networkers and those who run their businesses, online education becomes a better alternative because you will not have to leave your job to continue learning.