Online education is transforming the way students learn.
A 2016 investigation found that online undergraduates are on average 29 years old and online graduate students are on average 33, reflecting both the popularity and effectiveness of online programs help adults achieve their academic and professional goals. Online education is well suited for older students, often balancing education with work, family, and other obligations.
Here are four reasons why online education works well for working adults.
1. Course flexibility: Most online courses are accessible 24/7, 365 days a year, so you can usually study on your work schedule from anywhere in the world. If you are an older student juggling education and other responsibilities, this flexibility is ideal. You can do your homework all at once or in nuggets between other obligations.
Often times, you can study for an online degree at a pace that matches your lifestyle. You can take one or more courses per semester or register for an online program with shorter terms that make it easier to focus on one lesson at a time.
Recognizing that many potential online students have already earned credits for their bachelor’s degree, the programs could provide transfer credits or credits for life or work experience. Some programs also allow you to test certain courses.
2. Acquire new skills and improve existing ones: Taking online courses from home or from your desk at work can help you develop new skills to increase your earning potential.
If you were hired right out of high school, you may need a college degree to become a manager. Or you may just want to improve or refresh the skills you already have, or learn job-specific skills to meet the changing needs of your profession.
Many companies are going pay partial tuition for job-related courses that broaden your knowledge base. If technology has changed how your industry works, for example, your employer might greatly appreciate online courses that help you keep up with your field.
3. Instant relevance to your work: You might be surprised how much more you enjoy your lessons than when you were younger, because in many online courses you will find other working adults with whom you can network and discuss recent experiences.
Online education is more convenient because you can relate what you learn to work that you do every day and improve your performance at work. You can also make the lessons more interesting to other students by sharing relevant work-related examples in online discussion forums, for example.
4. New career opportunities: You may want to take online courses to complement your CV so that you can fully compete new positions with your current employer or in another organization. Obtaining an advanced degree or certificate online can be a great way to reinvent yourself if you want to change careers.
Takeaway meals: Online courses can add real value to working adults as they are flexible and can help gain the knowledge to move forward while networking with others in similar positions.