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December 13, 2019

Online Degrees are Fast Growing in Popularity: Here's Why

While online courses went from being seen as marginal at best to fraudulent at worst, they are now growing in popularity and prominence across the board. More top-level schools are now embracing the trend and introducing their own online or hybrid offerings. And we can expect most schools to have at least one online component in their programs in the near future. Industry is also taking notes, and online programs from accredited institutions are now getting the same recognition as any brick and mortar schools. Let’s take a look at some of the main factors fuelling the trend and how they could change the future of education as we know it.

Online Classes Offer More Liberty and Flexibility

One of the main reasons why online classes are so prized by students is the flexibility they offer. They allow students to do their coursework from wherever they are, whether it’s at home, their favourite coffee shop, or all the way across the globe. All they need is a reliable internet connection and a laptop and they can attend classes, catch up on work, work on projects with other students, or re-watch old lectures.

This is also a great option for people who live in remote areas and can’t manage to relocate near a major school. The flexibility that an online class offers also allows you to take your work with you and work from different environments depending on the circumstances.

Not only that, but these programs often give you the chance to stretch your work out or accelerate courses. This is a great option for anyone trying to get their qualifications as soon as possible, or it can make it easier for them if they are currently working, which brings us to our next point…

It Allows Professionals to Specialise and Further their Development

Another point in favour of online classes is that they offer a prime opportunity for people currently working in positions to further their education. They could either get a specific skill, specialise their knowledge, get a degree that complements their current qualifications, or move to a completely different field. It also allows people to take advantage of advancement opportunities within their organisation or elsewhere.

For instance, online classes could be a great way for nursing professionals to specialise in fields like neonatal care, family nurse practice, or education. Engineers can decide to seek an MBA and work in managerial roles or move into consulting. This offers a great opportunity for anyone who was thinking of returning to school, but can’t due to their circumstances.

Some Courses are Tailormade for Online Learning

While some programs require more work in a clinical or lab setting, some programs are tailormade for online learning, such as data science and analytics, for instance. Data scientists and analysts who go through an online degree get the exact same level of qualifications as with any other program, and some additional perks as well. They also have the benefit of working with cutting-edge technology, and can often benefit from even greater access to faculty.

At their infancy, a lot of people saw online programs as impersonal and of lesser quality, and in many ways, they were right. But things have changed greatly since then, and new technologies have made online classes more personal than ever. Students can see their teachers live and vice versa, and teachers will routinely engage in one on one video conferences with their students. In many ways, online colleges make reaching teaching staff even easier than in traditional college. Direct assistance can also be given more easily through live chat.

Some teachers have even said that teaching online allowed them to build a closer connection with their students. They get to see how and where they live, get introduced to their friends and parents, and give them advice or help them apply some of the concepts learned in class to their direct environment. The best part is that these solid relationships can expand well beyond class, where teachers often become mentors to graduates and assist them throughout their professional journey.

It’s Cost Efficient

While some online colleges charge a lot less in tuition fees, it is not always the case. However, students can still get tons of savings. For one, they don’t have to worry about student housing or campus fees. They’ll also end up saving on study material, transportation, and meals for instance. Online courses are the perfect option for a student who’d still like to get family support while they pursue their education stress-free.

A Global Approach

Another benefit of the non-local nature of online courses is that they often attract people from all over the globe. You’ll get a chance to get insights from people coming from very different realities. This could open you up to various needs and opportunities in other parts of the world. It will also open your eyes to other cultures, and learn from them.

Not only that, but it allows students to build global, personal and professional networks that will benefit them for years to come.

A Perfect Fit with the On-Demand Generation

One of the other reasons why online learning is so popular at the moment is because of how it resonates with the current generation of students. With all the technology tools we have at our disposal, customers are beginning to expect this level of on-demand access and pervasiveness everywhere, and that includes their education options. We can expect more students in the future to demand more online learning options, and institutions to accommodate them.

Online education is exploding in popularity, and is finally getting the respect and recognition it deserves. It offers access to education to people who otherwise would’ve been limited, and could very well soon become the norm rather than the exception. Future or current students would be wise to consider all the things online education has to offer, and start looking at some of the offerings currently available.

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