Understanding the Importance of Online Learning in the 21st Century

Online learning represents an education system no longer bound to a specific location. Giving everyone access to the educational resources needed to learn new skills and better understand the world around us. People who work full-time, stay-at-home parents, and people who are ‘unlucky’ enough not to live near a school no longer have to sacrifice other aspects of their lives to receive a quality education.

Online Learning

While 20th-century education was all for conformity and compliance over creativity, such skills are now a relic. Today’s employers want innovators and dreamers on their team. People with broad interests and familiar with the latest technology trends in their professions.

To understand the importance of a 21st-century education, we must look at the benefits and the problems it solves.

  1. Reduced Cost

The total average cost of an online degree is $50,000 less than that of a traditional degree.  Online education costs less because it eliminates the construction and maintenance of classrooms as well as meal provisions.

Online Learning

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While for students, you’ll save on money for gas to get you to school. You won’t have to move or look for a place near the school- saving you rent money. You’ll have access to Financial Aid. And have the option to pay fees in instalments as you work through the course.

And if, for example, you want to enrol in Game Development. Harvard offers a 12-week program that costs $149. Giving you the flexibility to learn from home, at a reduced cost, and at your own pace.

  1. Communication Skills

Although all classroom interactions happen online, this type of environment improves communication skills. Why? Students have to learn how to communicate clearly to their instructors and tutors. Using a professional tone in both spoken and written communications. And pay close attention to tone and word choice.

The communication skills gained in an online class benefit student in the workforce. Writing emails, proposals, and memos in the workplace become second nature. Setting you up for success in your new role.

  1. Time Management

The guy who said, “School is hard work,” was most likely talking about the traditional classroom setting. Online learning cuts out the hard and leaves you with the work. You determine how much you want to learn and how often you do it.

From millennials to Gen Zers, adults of all ages are attracted to the flexibility of online learning. Which makes it possible to balance the demands of family, work, and school. You are essentially in charge of your own learning experience.

With the freedom to learn anywhere and anytime, online students develop great time management skills. Learning how to juggle various aspects of daily life with the demands of an online coursework, preparing you for the workplace environment.

Time management is a skill many modern companies look for when taking on new hires. Particularly in remote workers and even more so in the increasing virtual environment of the gig economy.

  1. Career Advancement

Pursuing an online education not only shows you have great time management skills but also that you’re committed to learning. Eager to acquire new skills and advance your career. Whether you’re a CEO or an entry-level hire, an online course makes you stand out in today’s competitive job market.

Online Learning

Photo by Micheile Henderson on Unsplash

Contrary to popular belief, learning online doesn’t cheapen your education. In fact, 34% of online students are professionals who want to move up the career ladder. While 36% are people who want to make a career switch. From developing communication skills to effective time management, an online education gives you hands-on experience with the technology relevant to your field.

Letting you translate your knowledge of collaboration tools and tech-savviness into an immediate workplace benefit.

  1. Networking

If you haven’t taken an online course, you probably think it’s an isolating experience. One with little to no networking opportunities. And you would be absolutely wrong. The 21st century is all about technology. Connecting people with the tap of a button in ways you could only imagine five decades ago.

Social platforms like LinkedIn were created for building professional relationships. Connecting people in the same field, with similar passions and pursuing complementary goals.

Online Learning

Photo by NordWood Themes on Unsplash

Online education connects you with students, instructors, and tutors in your field- widening your network. Making it possible to build meaningful connections. And have thought-provoking conversations at the comfort of your living room.

  1. Numerous Programs

Traditional education offers a wide range of programs to choose from and start learning. But you’ll have to move away from home, if you don’t live near the institution. Look for a new place to live in an entirely new environment. Get through the course work in a competitive and stressful setting. And pay three times as much for the whole uncomfortable experience.

With online learning, you can take any program or course without the added hassles. Let’s say you’re passionate about statistics and need ideas on courses you can pursue. All it takes is a quick Google search on ‘Statistics degree/course/program online.’ And you’ll have a list of suitable courses in statistics you can start doing online.

Learning online also puts less pressure on students to pursue ‘hard’ subjects. Particularly when they have zero interest in them. Since you have to manage your own time and only take the course for a short period of time, most people pick programs that interest them. Choosing to learn even if the topics involved have limited applications in their chosen profession.

Thanks to the internet, success looks different than it did a few decades ago. You can have a family, live anywhere in the world, enrol in a program of your choice, and still have a successful career. For people who don’t live like this, such a lifestyle can sound far-fetched. But high-achieving individuals in the virtual workspace have shown that a 21st-century education makes it all possible.

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