The Internet has become an indispensable tool. It allows us to communicate instantly with friends and family around the world, to get up-to-the-minute news, and to find information on any topic that tickles our fancy. But more and more people are turning to the Internet nowadays with a more substantial goal in mind — to earn an online degree and advance their careers.
With the majority of today’s universities and business schools now offering online courses, you can do almost everything right from your home computer: collect those last few college credits, learn to use new software, even earn your MBA. Employees and employers alike appreciate the convenience and flexibility that e-learning provides.
Here are some advantages to taking your education to the Internet:
- Freedom to learn where you live. Online learning removes the physical barriers between the student and the school, allowing you to attend the educational institution of your choice, no matter where you happen to live. Live on the West Coast but want to attend an East Coast school? No problem.
- Reduced material costs. Another advantage to e-learning is the ability to instruct students without an extensive library of textbooks, manuals, or teaching materials. Necessary texts are often available electronically when you log on to the system. This reduces your expenses for books, computer software, and other costly materials.
- Customizable learning. Many online courses are self-paced and allow you the chance to speed up or slow down as needed. They are often also self-directed, giving students the ability to choose content and tools appropriate to personal interests, needs, and skill levels. Such customization accommodates various learning styles and allows you to approach the information in whichever way is best for you.
- Simplicity. Because courses are conducted online, class size is rarely an issue. With e-learning, students are no longer denied entry to a class due to over-enrollment. Previously time-consuming or complicated procedures, such as class registration, are now as simple as the click of a mouse. Payment is also handled electronically.
- Accessibility and convenience. Gone are the days of squeezing classes into an already jam-packed work schedule or slogging through rush hour traffic en route to a crowded campus. Online learning allows you to schedule classes and study times that are convenient to you, no matter how your day is structured.
- Flexibility. Many online degree programs let you study on your own terms and allow you to develop presentations or take exams on your own time schedule. Programs tend to be flexible and attuned to student needs, as opposed to campus-based programs, which are traditionally organized around classroom availability and the schedules of faculty and staff.
- Savings in both time and money. Anyone in business knows how true it is that time is money. Online degree programs let you save on both — from the valuable time saved by cutting out commuting, parking, and traipsing across enormous campuses to the money saved on transportation costs, meals, childcare, and more.
- Interactive learning environment. Surprisingly, online learning often fosters greater student interaction and collaboration than a traditional classroom setting, because of the level playing field where every member of the class has an equal voice. The electronic medium also ensures that each student has equal access to the instructor’s time and attention, something that is not always the case in a classroom full of students with different personality types. In addition, working with other students on group projects is made easier when everyone is online.