When the pandemic hit, schools shut down their premises and incorporated technological tools to transfer the learning experience online. However, distance learning has been around even before the pandemic. Still, the current circumstances have only increased its popularity exponentially, and it is expected to be the norm in the future.
How distance learning differs from traditional learning?
Yes, there’s a clear difference between distance learning and traditional learning. Neither the teacher nor students are physically present in a class. But that’s not all that there is.
In essence, distance learning gives learners a bit of freedom to achieve personal, academic, and professional milestones. However, it requires exceptional planning skills and discipline to avoid distractions and finish the course successfully. Online students can select courses that align well with their resources and schedules – and teachers can use technology to enhance the learning experience.
On the other hand, traditional learning is more structured. Teachers much put in extra effort to maintain an environment that is conducive to learning. Also, students need to prioritize skills such as punctuality to ensure that they’re present in class on time.
Both forms of learning have their pros and cons. However, in many cases, distance learning isn’t just a choice but the only option. For instance, if you’re working a full-time or part-time job, you’re better off enrolling in an online degree instead of one offline. With that said, here are five reasons why distance learning is better for professionals.
You can progress your career sooner
Numerous online educational platforms offer accelerated leadership degrees that allow professionals to progress in their careers faster than others. The majority of these courses enable you to complete an online degree in 12-14 months while simultaneously working. Additionally, unlike offline education, many online schools don’t discontinue during the summers. Therefore, individuals can graduate faster and climb up the professional ladder.
You don’t have to travel for your studies
For professionals working a full-time job, commuting to campus can become pretty tedious to manage. Depending on the nature of your job, you might not be able to make it to your classes. For instance, if you work in shifts, your timings might clash. Also, some employers may not appreciate taking time off from work during the day to attend classes.
On the contrary, distance learning eliminates the need to commute to campus almost entirely. While enrolled in an online course, you can catch up on pre-recorded lectures and pending assignments from the comfort of your home – or your office chair. You can use the time you would’ve spent while commuting to campus more productively.
However, remember that many distance learning programs use blended learning. This means that you may have to be present on campus on certain days. For example, to attend specific lectures or assessments. Regardless, you’ll save a lot of time.
You’ll be able to pace yourself
Unlike offline learning, online courses are generally less regimented and can be completed at an independent pace. Therefore, professionals can create their routines to learn and upskill accordingly. You can focus on work-related tasks and return to your books later on. In this regard, distance learning offers professionals more flexibility than the traditional classroom setup. However, you’ll still have to be watchful of crucial deadlines for assignments and tests.
Additionally, there’s no restriction on when you can log into your courses – they’re accessible 24/7. Not to mention, distance learning is more tech-savvy. This can allow you to use your mobile devices, for instance, smartphones and tablets, to access the course materials no matter where you are. You can attend a webinar during your lunch break at work or watch a video lecture on your mobile phone while riding the subway.
You’ll get a degree without spending too much
An on-campus education in the United States can cost students upwards of $45,000. Add commute, food, and miscellaneous expenses, and you’re already looking at a massive pile of student debt. However, most distance learning programs are pretty affordable. You also don’t have to pay for additional expenses such as fuel and accommodation. For professionals, opting for one is a no-brainer.
You’ll be contributing to the environment
There’s no better environmentally friendly way of gaining new knowledge than distance learning. Since you won’t have to travel to receive an education, your carbon footprint will dramatically decrease. Plus, there’s no need to print lecture notes, which wastes a lot of paper. With distance learning, you’ll be giving it back to Mother Nature by consuming less paper and doing most of your coursework online.
For individuals working full-time or part-time jobs, acquiring higher education is necessary to progress professionally. This article went over a few reasons why working people should opt for distance learning instead of enrolling in a traditional college/university. These include lower costs, flexibility, faster career growth, etc. So, if you’re stuck in your career, open your laptop, search for a course, and enroll!