If you’re thinking about getting some further qualifications to boost your career options, you may find yourself torn between the traditional approach of attending a college in person and the modern one of studying online. These days, most employers and further education institutions alike value qualifications from properly accredited online universities just as much as those gained in person. They recognize that studying online opens up options for lots of people who are unable to study in person and that because it requires a high level of self-discipline, online study can actually be a sign of greater maturity and capability. Online study also offers a lot of advantages to students themselves, the benefits of which will be explored in this article.
No need to relocate
Sometimes going to college is a welcome opportunity to experience new places and cultures, but for many people, that’s neither practical nor desirable. If you have a partner and children, you may not want to uproot your family, or be parted from it, for the sake of study. You may want to keep on working at a job you love or you may own your home and not want to go through the hassle of selling it. Many find that it’s simply too expensive to relocate. For some disabled or chronically ill people, relocating is simply not possible, and even commuting to a college in a nearby town can be difficult. Online study means you don’t have to worry about any of this. Online learning allows students to gain their qualifications from the comfort of their own homes.
Work and study in unison
The traditional solution to studying while working is to take night classes, but in today’s world, that doesn’t always work. For example, if your shift pattern varies or if you’re frequently called upon to do a lot of overtime, night and weekend classes might not be an option. Studying online means that you will generally be able to set your own schedule and do your coursework whenever it suits you. Where there are fixed-time elements to online study, such as tutorials, you’ll usually find that these are flexible. Where there are in-person elements such as lab work, they’re usually either adjustable or condensed so that you can fit them around your schedule.
If you’re raising kids or if you look after elderly or disabled family members, you may be limited in the time and space you have to study. Studying online gives you the flexibility to deal with this, even if you end up needing to study early in the morning or late at night. It makes it easier for you to break up units of study and approach them in little bits where necessary. For parents, studying at home has an added benefit in that it helps children understand that learning can be a positive experience for those that have the motivation to do so. Many parents choose to study at the same time as their kids are doing their homework, and find that it brings them closer together.
Some people don’t like the idea of their employers knowing that they’re studying alongside their work because they worry that their study might impact their employability. Others don’t want family members to find out about their studies because it might cause tension at home. Equally, some people work better in a comfortable setting and are happier to regulate their own schedule rather than have one imposed upon them. Whatever your reason, good to have the option of studying in the comfort of your own home, provided you have a stable internet connection. You can access almost all material online through your chosen university’s library, so studying in private at home offers a comfortable solution to study autonomously.
An abundance of choice
Relying on traditional options such as night classes or small-town colleges can be very limiting in terms of course material. By contrast, studying online gives you access to a vast range of different courses, making it much easier to find exactly what you need to advance your career or explore niche interests. If you choose to study nursing at Carson-Newman University, you’ll benefit from professors with a truly in-depth understanding of the healthcare sector. You’ll have the chance to meet them in person during a three-day residency in an otherwise highly flexible course which allows you to build up the clinical hours necessary to complete your qualification and work in a variety of settings.
Another benefit of online education is the opportunity to learn from the best in the field without having to pay hefty fees to secure a place at an exclusive college. Online, because class sizes can be much larger, expert instruction is available at a fraction of the price. Students may also benefit from a reduction in living costs. Relocating to a physical education institution can be expensive, as can living independently. Students that choose to study online also avoid the expensive travel costs that come with regularly commuting to college and clinical practice settings.
Many online educational institutions offer exploratory modules which allow you to test your abilities in different areas or discover what you find most exciting before you commit to a full-length course, and some allow transfers between courses in the early stages. Education is much more enjoyable when you can engage with a subject that you’re passionate about instead of simply making do with the best thing you can find locally. Online study makes education accessible and practical for a much wider range of people, opening up exciting new career opportunities.