Past few years have seen more students enrolling in online courses, thanks to increasing acceptance of online degrees by employers. Also, more and more employers are training their employees through e-learning. According to a recent report by IBIS Capital, nearly 50 percent of Fortune 500 companies now use e-learning to train their employees. If you are not sure whether you should earn your degrees online or take the conventional route, here are some important things to know and the pros and cons of online education for your career.
Employers’ perception of online degrees
Even a few years ago, most employers had a negative perception of online degrees. They would be sceptical about hiring candidates who completed their education online. However, things have changed rapidly over the past five years. Recruiters now rarely question the quality of online education. In fact, having an online degree may earn you some brownie points during an interview. For instance, if you have been doing a day job while earning your online degree, it shows your ability to juggle multiple commitments.
However, some employers may still be hesitant about hiring someone with an online degree. So be prepared to face some common questions, such as, whether your online program is an accredited one, whether you are comfortable working in a team, how you used to interact with other students during your online program, and what made you choose online education over the conventional on-campus classes. Before you enrol in an online course, make sure you know why you are taking this route and what you want to achieve with this.
Pros of Online Education
- You can study whatever you want – Not all universities offer degrees in all subjects. This means you may have to move to a new city to study your favourite subject, in the case of traditional education. In comparison, online education allows you to study any subject of your choice from the comfort of your home. If you are living in Derby, you can still earn an online degree from the University of Cambridge, for instance.
- You can save time and money on commuting – The average UK student commutes more than 18 miles a day for attending University lectures, says a recent report by Santander. You can save your time, money, and energy on commuting simply by choosing to pursue your education online. When you study online, all lectures and study materials will be sent to you electronically. So you don’t have to spend your time and money on transportation.
- You can learn at your own pace – This is particularly beneficial for those juggling their work and study. Most online courses allow for self-paced studying. This means you can set your own study schedule. If necessary, you can even reschedule your online classes.
- It’s affordable – Online programs are more affordable than traditional programs. The course fees vary depending on a number of factors, including, your specialism and the university, but usually you’ll save a good amount by choosing to study online. Plus, you can earn while you study, and thus arrange funds for your education yourself.
Cons of Online Education
- You may not be an ideal candidate – Online education gives you a lot of flexibility. You can study anytime, anywhere, at your own pace. But too much flexibility can actually backfire, if you are not a disciplined, self-motivated person. You should be organised and avoid procrastination to be able to do well in online learning.
- It may miss the social interaction – If you love the ambience of a classroom setting and the social interaction with teachers and other students, you perhaps should not opt for online education. You may develop a feeling of isolation while studying from home. Whereas most online programs have chat rooms and discussion boards, you may still miss the real-world social interaction of an on-campus course.
An ideal candidate for online education is tech-savvy, self-starter, and disciplined. If you think you have it in you, online courses could be really rewarding for your career.