There has never been an easier time to be a student than now. The future is also looking quite promising. Just think about it!
Right now you can have a drone deliver a pizza to your doorsteps in record time compared to a human pizza delivery guy. You are walking around with a device inside your pocket or purse with so much information that you couldn’t consume in a lifetime. Not forgetting that the small device has more computing power than it took to land the first man on the moon.
That said, it is quite surprising that there are still small pockets of people distributed around the world who still have not fully embraced the use of technology in learning. Unfortunately, sometimes such people are in positions of influence or are thought leaders. So their negative views of online learning lead to so many missed opportunities and stacking up of unnecessary expenditures.
Why You Should Embrace Online College
In this article, we are going to take a look at some ten reasons why you should fully embrace online college and online learning in general. Without much further ado, let us dive right into it:
- Affordable and Lessens Student Debt Burden
Most young adults enter the job market with a heavy yolk of student loan debt, which they must repay. College education, especially in the ivy league institutions, doesn’t come cheap. You pay an arm and limb to go through the system, especially if you fail to secure a scholarship.
Most Americans go through college thanks to student loans, and when they enter the job market. For the early years of their work-life, their paychecks go towards servicing student loan debt. Add to that other loans such as auto loans and mortgage. The young adult will need almost a decade to clear their debt obligations and start saving towards investment that will give them the financial freedom most people desire.
With an online college, the tuition fee is much less compared to on-campus learning. There are also those costs associated with attending school physically that are avoided when taking online classes. Expenses such as accommodation, commuting expenses, cost of time stuck in traffic, course materials such as textbooks. Online classes are without a doubt more affordable.
2. A Comfortable Learning Environment
Admittedly, those commercials showing students taking classes from a study table in their bedroom while wearing their pajamas look amazing. However, that is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of comfort that comes with taking online classes.
Each individual student gets to learn from an environment customized by them for their unique comfort. So if one likes the AC on or off, too much or too little light, white noise in the background or complete silence, no bullies to bother you, and no bad hair day to mess up your day in the class among other benefits.
The bottom line is while taking online classes, most students are likely to be learning from an environment they find the most comfortable. The traditional lecture room setup is too generic to suit each individual’s unique preferences.
Let us not forget how inconveniencing college life can be for the disabled. People with eye problems (long- and short-sighted), hearing difficulty, or some other form of physical disability. Although colleges have done a commendable job in accommodating students with disabilities, still the home environment will likely be more accomodating.
3. The Convenience and Flexibility of On-Demand Learning
Most college students are young adults with various responsibilities and obligations. Some are moms, have a part-time or full-time job, others are running their own companies, some must work to put food on the table for their family.
Basically, when someone is at college, they probably have other commitments outside the lecture room. That is why the traditional college of attending class does not work for many; not really, it has a lot of sacrifices.
However, with online learning, you can still attend classes without compromising on your other responsibilities and obligations. You can still do a full-time job, and take classes in the evenings and weekends from your computer. You can still attend to your kids at home, and when they have settled in, grab your laptop and continue with your classes.
The college works around your schedule, instead of arranging your activities around the class schedules.
4. Wider Choice of Programs and Courses
Most colleges, even the very best in the world, cannot provide all the programs and courses from one facility. You will always find that they lack certain courses or programs.
That may be caused by a lack of enough student quorum to warrant offering the program at a given campus. It could also be they lack the capacity to provide more courses, as it will mean additional lecturers and students using limited lecture halls.
With online colleges, you can study virtually any course or program that can be offered virtually. Whether the students are few or many, it does not matter. Since you can take the course from just about any location on Earth, the issue of limited campus facilities does not matter.
There is also a plethora of online colleges, and switching from one to the other is a simple matter of clicking here and there on your computer.
5. Ideal for Career Advancements
Suppose you are a not-so-young adult. You are well established in your working life and have a regular 9-to-5 job every day. You have your boss, or could be the boss, but your work needs you to be physically there every day. At the same time, you want to advance your career.
Does that mean you scale down on your responsibilities at work or do something worse, like quitting your job to further your education at college? That could be financial suicide, especially if your saving will not be enough to push you through the years you are going to spend in college furthering your education.
That is where online colleges really come through; you can continue your regular career duties at your 9-to-5 while taking classes online. If you are at a junior position at your organization, you can take online classes without quitting work or your learning affecting your productivity. Upon your graduation, you can present the HR your new additional skills, and be eligible for promotion when a vacancy emerges needing higher education qualifications.
6. Complete College Faster
There are so many time-wasting opportunities that come with brick-and-mortar colleges. Including commuting, changing from one lecture hall to the next, the process of physically submitting papers to the lecturer, and many others.
With an online college, everything happens at a click of a button behind a computer screen. There is minimal time wastage, and a student can take a number of courses back to back. Within no time they are done with the entire learning and ready for graduation. All thanks to the efficiency that comes with digital technology.
Four-year college life could be reduced to two or sometimes one year if the learning process is taken online.
7. Learn at Your Own Pace
The mistake most lecturers make while teaching in class, is to assume that all students’ pace of learning is equal. There are those who are very impatient with the lecturer and feel he or she is too slow and repetitive. That by itself could lead to the student’s mind wandering off during classes.
Then there are those students who like a step-by-step approach with each step being exhaustively explained. If the lecturer were to go at such a student’s pace, the syllabus will never be completed in time.
Therein lies the problem, some students are too fast, others are too slow. So you find students failing classes, which really they should not be failing. The beauty of online classes is that every student can learn at their own pace.
The slow one can keep rewinding the recorded video teaching by the lecturer. The fast ones can skip parts they feel they already have had a good grasp, hence no need to dwell on it.
8. Network Far and Wide
In a lot of ways, online classes are structured just like the traditional classes, except everything, happens remotely. Yes, there are virtual member boards where classmates get to interact with each other especially when given group assignments.
Often, you find classmates come from far and wide; they may not even be on the same continent, yet will collaborate on the same assignment. The beauty of it is that each student gets to meet and interact with new people from far and wide.
That network of friends can later turn into something more beneficial beyond just classwork. They could collaborate on a new business, given each comes from a different country, and thus can easily identify economic opportunities if they merged their entrepreneurial ambitions.
9. It instills Discipline, Self-Initiative, and Commitment
Admittedly, some students may not find online learning ideal because personally they lack discipline, self-initiative, and commitment. However, those who follow through with the program will have to master these skills.
Turns out, those skills are also very appealing to employers. Especially those who believe in Laissez-faire type of management. In a nutshell, online college teaches you tough skills that will make it easier for you to navigate the job sector or the entrepreneurial environment where discipline, commitment, and self-initiative are essential.
10. You Can Transfer Credits
Did you know that there are accredited online colleges to which you can transfer credits from the regular brick-and-mortar college and vice versa? That makes online colleges beneficial especially if there are reasons you may not be able to physically attend a college.
During such a season you can take the online classes from the accredited online college. When seasons change and you can now attend the traditional college, you simply transfer credit from the online college to the brick-and-mortar college.
Research by the US Department of Education shows that students taking online education outperform those attending the traditional brick-and-mortar classes [PDF]. So with all the cost-cutting benefits, convenience, and efficiency, why would anyone not advocate for more of the online classes and less of the traditional classes?
Article provided by Advocate Staffing – 1500+ successful K-12 and Higher Education executive searches completed. Ranked #1 Education Executive Search Firm (2016, 2017, 2018 & 2019)
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