If you’re new to distance-based education or are wondering about the advantages of learning online, and would like to know more about this style of study, then you’ve come to the right place.
In a nutshell, online learning is a style of education where students access course contents, complete modules and assignments, all remotely. Typically, all that’s needed is a laptop and internet connection, and you’re ready to go!
In this blog we explore the top 9 advantages of online learning, outlining exactly how it can benefit you in the here and now and also how it can support you to meet your goals for the future.
Are you ready? Then let’s dive in.
Advantage one: flexibility and control
One of the major benefits of e-learning is that it offers more flexibility for students. Where with traditional college courses you may be expected to attend seminars or training on campus, at a specific time, for a set duration, with online learning you can choose when, where and for how long you study in each session.
Take for example our very own short courses in New Zealand. Our certificates are all self-paced and completed from the comfort of your own home, meaning that there’s no requirement to complete your studies at a specific speed or at a prescribed time or place, or brave a busy commute to get to campus.
Instead, you can choose to do twenty minutes here, an hour there. Return and repeat lessons until you feel like you’ve mastered that skill or knowledge. Study from your sofa or in your home office or at the local library.
Basically…you can study in a way whatever best supports your current lifestyle!
We understand that the majority of our students are juggling multiple responsibilities, like childcare or maintaining a home, which is why we made a conscious decision to put the control of your learning back into your hands.
Advantage two: learn while you earn
The next advantage is the ability to learn while you earn. As mentioned, we understand that a higher percentage of students who come to online learning either have full-time or part-time jobs.
With our courses, there’s no need to hand in your resignation in order to complete one of our certificates. As we highlighted in the previous point, our courses are designed for you to easily structure around your current workload or life responsibilities.
So if you’re currently in a job but would like to develop your skills or expertise in a different discipline (and perhaps eventually transition fields), then that’s completely possible – without sacrificing your salary in the meantime.
This way, you can fulfil your desire to educate yourself in a new topic, whilst feeling secure in the knowledge that you can still receive a steady income. The best of both worlds!
Advantage three: enhance your CV
By completing an online course, this has the practical benefit of adding to the skills and experience section of your CV or portfolio too. Not only that, it is also highly attractive to potential employers, as they will be able to see that you took the initiative to pursue education of your own volition, and that you had the drive and determination to open up this opportunity for yourself.
If you’ve ever attended a job interview, chances are you’ve been asked a question something along the lines of “So tell me about a time that you experienced a challenge or problem, and what steps you took to overcome it.”
The fact that you completed an online course provides the perfect response to a question just like this. You can show potential employers that you identified a need or desire to educate yourself on a subject or train yourself in a certain skill, and you were proactive in taking the steps to bridge this gap.
Advantage four: time management skills
As we’ve already discussed, learning online offers the flexibility of self-paced learning. And whilst that is an amazing bonus, it also means that you and you alone have the responsibility of managing your own time and completing your studies.
Yet if you are inspired and excited to dive into your chosen course, time management won’t be an issue. Even if you have to fit your studies into the evenings or weekends, taking this step will prompt you to actively look at your weekly schedule and organise your activities or responsibilities to either become more structured or more efficient.
Rather than feeling overwhelmed by everything you have to get done, you will instead be able to adopt a more positive and constructive “How can I?” mentality. You will be more solution-oriented in making this education happen for yourself.
Then, when it comes to entering your chosen industry or securing a higher paid position in your field, you will have already trained yourself in the ability to manage your time to ensure that all your responsibilities are fulfilled, on time and to the best quality possible. Win-win!
Advantage five: accountability
Echoing our previous point on time management, e-learning also means a higher degree of accountability. As you will be independently studying in your own chosen environment, this means that there won’t be a tutor standing over your shoulder, tapping their watch and warning you that your coursework is due.
The beauty of studying online is that you are the driving force behind your own learning. It’s up to you to complete the lessons and assignments, to ensure you’re engaging with the education as you should be (i.e. with your full focus) and that you make sure to reach out if you don’t understand any elements or need clarification on certain topics.
In fact, this is another fantastic skill to demonstrate to prospective or existing employers; by being accountable for your own learning, you will be able to show the world that you are both self-sufficient and self-motivated. Those are attributes that can really help to progress your career.
This article reveals what skills employers are looking for in New Zealand, and no. 5 on that list was “willingness to learn.” This is definitely something an online course can demonstrate! Source: careers.govt.nz
Advantage six: suited to different learning styles
Perhaps you prefer learning with written materials, or maybe you appreciate being educated through video and visuals. Whatever medium suits you, online learning supports an entire spectrum of learning styles.
Again, take our own courses for example. We wouldn’t expect students completing our Photography or Beauty courses to master their chosen skills through text-based learning alone. They need to be able to actively get involved and practice these skills in a real life scenario. Conversely, our Small Business, Admin & Reception courses lend themselves more to a text-based style of study.
Yet what remains consistent across all our courses is their high degree of interactivity. Through a mixture of text-based resources, videos and recorded tutorials, we support our students to learn in a way that best suits their needs as an individual.
Advantage seven: choose your preferred subject
Another massive advantage of learning online is the ability to choose a subject that genuinely appeals to your personal interests or professional goals.
Where traditionally colleges offer a selection of courses, these subjects are typically pretty static. And even then, the module you are truly interested in may only be a minor part of a more extended course of study. Whereas with e-learning, you can choose to dive into a specific topic or focused subject within your preferred industry, establishing a deeper and more comprehensive understanding of that particular topic as opposed to only a superficial or shallow awareness.
For example, our Lifestyle courses cover everything from Bed & Breakfast Business, to Ecotourism to Life Coaching Health & Wellbeing. Each of these subjects is very different and lend themselves to different career paths, and will appeal to some more than others.
Unlike with traditional college courses, where you may be expected to ‘suck it up’ and work through modules you have no real interest in, the short course of study you choose with us will be wholly aligned with your passion. You’ll be so invested in the subject, we bet that it probably won’t even feel like studying!
Advantage eight: reduced pressure and more support
If you found traditional education a pressurised environment, or struggled to find the support you needed from your tutors, then online learning will be a complete breath of fresh air to you. Especially if you previously had not-so-positive educational experiences growing up, this form of learning may in fact reignite your love of it.
If you’ve ever felt unhappy in an educational setting, you’re not alone. In a survey from the Tertiary Education Union, it is reported that more than four out of five New Zealand academics say they are under “moderate to very high stress”. Source: Research Professional News
Online learning offers a low-pressure and relaxed environment, and as our courses all include total tutor support, you can be confident that if you do hit any snags in your learning journey – you will be able to reach out to receive the guidance you need to get back on track.
Traditional school environments can be highly competitive places, leading to increased levels of stress, depression and anxiety. Whereas we believe the best standard of study is completed when you are relaxed, rested and inspired.
This is why our online short courses in New Zealand have been designed to be safe, inclusive and welcoming spaces – so you don’t have to worry about competing, but instead channel your energy into making progress in achieving your goals.
Advantage nine: affordability
Last but not least, online learning can be much more affordable than your typical college courses. As we offer affordable payment plans – from as little as $25 per week – you can stagger your payments in bitesize chunks, taking that financial pressure off your shoulders.
Likewise, embarking on a short course of study online – as opposed to jumping head first into a 3-year long+ degree – can actually help you to validate whether a particular course is suited to you or not.
Rather than committing yourself financially to an extremely expensive and lengthy degree that is vastly different to what you believed it to be, you instead have the option to ‘test the waters’ with your chosen certificate. There’s nothing stopping you from pursuing a higher level of education, after you’ve completed your short online course.
We believe that education should be accessible for everyone, regardless of your background, which is why we are proud to offer the best short term courses in New Zealand.
If you do have any specific concerns about funding your learning online then make sure to reach out to us here and we’ll be more than happy to help.
So is online learning for you? We’re pretty confident it is. Prepare for tomorrow, today. Learn now and open up a world of opportunities.