In recent times, due to the Coivd-19 pandemic, online working and learning has become a new normal for many. With many schools and offices closed to limit contact and the spread of the disease, people have had to turn to the internet to continue working and learning in safety.
Online learning is not a completely new phenomenon, however, and existed before the pandemic. It will also continue to exist once this pandemic has ended. One might assume that the only advantage of online learning is in such situations, where being in a physical classroom could be considered a health hazard. This could not be farther from the truth.
Virtual schools and colleges have around for a long time, and offer many advantages other than just being social distancing compliant. Here we have some reasons you should consider online learning, regardless of whether or not there is a pandemic:
Online classes do not require one to be physically present in a classroom, sitting on uncomfortable chairs, clustered together with too many students. All class materials can be accessed through the internet, meaning all you need is a computer and an internet connection to participate. Other than that you’re free to set up for your class in any way you want.
This comfort, while a massive advantage, can also be detrimental, so it is important not to get too comfortable, such as by taking classes in bed. Instead it may be more appropriate to set and follow a schedule that involves waking up on time, showering, getting properly dressed, and then sitting down for class. All you need is a desk, and a comfortable chair to sit on.
Online courses can be found on a very large variety of subject, from something as mundane as cooking, to something as complex as neuroscience. It doesn’t matter where you live, as these courses can be taken from the comfort of your own home, with many of the most prestigious colleges and universities offering online courses on many subjects.
The great thing about the sheer variety of online learning options is that it’s always possible to find something that interests you, and that is within your price range. Let’s say you’re interested in learning world history, just do a web search for online world history courses and you’re sure to find pages upon pages of results.
Online courses look great on a resume. They show potential employers that you’re willing to go above and beyond to improve and broaden you skillset. Earning an online degree can even give you the edge you need to get that next big promotion you’ve been chasing.
It’s also a way of learning skills that are not traditionally associated with your career, but that are valuable to have nonetheless, and can broaden career prospect for you later down the line, such as coding or web design, two skills that are in great demand in the modern age.
Whilst browsing online courses, you might notice that many are marked as “self-paced”. What this means is that students can complete their objectives at their own pace, and can work with instructors to set a schedule tailored to their own needs. This makes it easier to take an online course in tandem with traditional schooling or a job.
It also allows parents looking to complete their higher education the ability to return to school, without disrupting their childcare responsibilities, an advantage traditional education cannot match. One can even choose to forego attending live sessions, and instead access course materials anytime they want, meaning they may study at night, after taking care of all their other responsibilities.
Online courses tend to be cheaper than most traditional education, as a result of not having to pay for all the amenities required to run a physical classroom and all the amenities required therein. While the average tuition cost varies from course to course, it is generally cheaper, and many colleges offer free courses as well.
For example, MIT makes all their course materials available on their website at no cost. Though free courses seldom come with any form of certification, they are still incredibly useful as a way to expand your skills, or to learn from prestigious instructors and schools.
So, while the pandemic may hopefully end soon, that doesn’t mean you should forget about online learning. It is a cheaper and far more convenient method of expanding your skills and brightening up your resume than traditional education, and that won’t change even after the pandemic ends. All you need is a passion for learning and a quick internet search, and then the world of online learning will open up many new avenues and opportunities for you, that you may have otherwise missed.