Thanks to the Internet, our world seems simultaneously a lot smaller and much more accessible. At the click of a button (or tap on a screen), we can have access to a tremendous wealth of knowledge and information on almost any topic imaginable. Online learning courses are a powerful means to gain access to knowledge that help you complete a required college course, grow in your job position, prepare for a transition in your career path, or simply learn a new hobby. Here are some of the amazing benefits of online learning.
First, it is beneficial for college students because it can be an easy way to take a course that they otherwise wouldn’t be able to because of schedule conflicts. It has been found that 32% of higher education students usually take at least one of their courses online. Also, 68% of students who take online classes report that they do it because it allows them to better balance priorities such as work, family, and social responsibilities. It also allows them to study at their convenience, in whatever place and time frame is most conducive to learning for them. Since a recent study has indicated that by 2020, over 60% of job positions will require post-secondary education, any method in which students can complete their education quickly and efficiently is highly beneficial.
Online learning can also be beneficial in the work force. Some employers require continuing education in the field to meet annual training hours, or offer optional courses for professional development. Individuals who use online learning for employment purposes are called professional learners. They have taken a course or received extra training in the past year to improve their skills on the job and increase their chances for career advancement. Professional learners comprise 63% of people in the work force (and about 36% of adults).
Additionally, a large number of adults (about 74%) can be called personal learners. This means they have taken part in at least one of a variety of possible activities in the past year to increase their knowledge about a topic that is personally interesting to them. Examples of these activities are reading, taking classes, or going to meetings or events tied to learning more about their personal interests. As more and more online learning opportunities present themselves, the number of personal learners utilizing this tool has increased. Recent surveys have come up with the following data that clearly demonstrates the value of online learning for personal learners. Here are some of the reasons that participants gave for pursuing it; some offered more than one reason.
- 80% say they pursued knowledge in a topic they were personally interested in because they wanted to learn something that would help them to make their life more interesting and help them to feel fulfilled.
- 64% report they had a desire to learn something that would allow them to help other people with more effectiveness.
- 60% say they had some extra time in their schedules to pursue their personal interests.
- 36% report they wanted to turn a hobby that they already enjoy into something that generates income.
- 33% say they wanted to a refresher in their education so they could keep up with the schoolwork needs of their children, grandchildren, or other children in their lives.
The survey also asked participants in online learning as personal learners to share what they feel are the benefits they received from it. Here are the common responses:
- 87% report the activities they participated in helped them to feel more like a more capable and well rounded person.
- 69% say their recent learning experiences opened up new perspectives about their lives.
- 64% report that their learning opportunities helped them make new friends who were also in the activities.
- 58% say the experience made them feel much more connected to their local community.
- 43% say that it prompted them to become more involved in volunteer opportunities that arise.
As we’ve shown, online learning can be greatly beneficial for college students, professional and career advancement, or personal learning. It’s very helpful for people of all age and with any goal in mind. So, what are you waiting for? Find a class and sign up today! Regardless of the purpose you are taking the class, you will not regret doing it.