Online education has been growing over the years as the technology becomes more sophisticated and the demand grows. Many students find that online learning is highly beneficial to them: they can go to school at their own pace, they can work out of their home, it is often cheaper than conventional education, and you can now get full diplomas and large chunks of degrees all from the comfort of your own home going to any school you like.
And yet there is still quite a bit of resistance towards online education, provoking a lot of intensive work and research to prove its viability. While this is all great for academics, it does waste a lot of time and resources that could be better put towards improving the system; after all, students enjoy having the option and that’s what’s important. And lost in the analysis of benefits vs drawbacks of online learning is the afterword of the whole thing: how online learning can help new graduates succeed in the workforce. And it certainly can! These are four ways that the online graduate has a leg up on his or her conventionally trained graduate.
More Self Motivated
Online education graduates are usually highly motivated, and that’s what most employers want. And of course online students are motivated! In the world of online learning, students have no choice but to be motivated because no one else is going to push them to do the homework, do the quizzes and finish the course. All in all, online students are required to be motivated and hold themselves accountable-something which employers absolutely love in their employees.
Many in the ‘old guard’ despair at the world of the internet. It is often seen as something that pulls people apart and makes communication more difficult. However, there is no such thing as a communication vacuum; all it has done is changed. Online education forces students to be more communicative; you can’t meet face to face with students or instructors which means that all ideas, thoughts and work has to be written and written clearly. Every word has to count because those words are going to be all that students know each other as. This translates to excellent communication skills and exceptional writing skills which are all marketable in the career life.
Self motivation and communication won’t mean much if you’re totally disorganized! You have to be able to organize your homework around the rest of your life which means figuring out a good way to manage your time, work out a schedule and make sure your schoolwork has priority. If you don’t, it’s too easy to get left behind where no one will notice.
Figure out how much time you have to study each day and how you can make the most of that time. Figure out when you’ll be most productive and how many classes you’ll be able to take while still keeping your mind intact. The earlier you figure out your timing, the smoother the whole trip will be, though make sure you regularly re-evaluate your time as priorities shift.
Finally, online learning demands that you remain adaptable. Things happen with online learning-your computer crashes, your internet goes down, a student has to leave in the middle of a project, anything can happen. This means that you have to be adaptable and ready to keep soldiering on in your classes in spite of anything thrown your way. It can mean finding ways to get online outside the home, having lots of back-up space (and using regularly) and making sure that in any group projects, everyone is ready to pick up the slack of everyone else in case someone disappears.
There are plenty of other perks to consider as well:
- Online learning forces you to become more technologically savvy. All businesses and companies have technological needs, at least to some extent
- Being able to network with people from all over the country or even all over the world
- Lower costs, which means less stress on you to find a job right away to pay back your student loans
But for many online graduates, the central and yet underappreciated aspect of online learning is the skills they are forced to learn while pursuing their education. Employers want their workers to be self motivated, organized, communicative and adaptable, and these are all things that you have to be while doing your online schooling. All in all, during classes and after, online learning has any number of advantages for students.
Author info: Lena Paul is a Medical School graduate who is an enthusiastic blogger and holds an editorial position in Prepgenie, a test prep provider that offers exam preparation courses for GAMSAT, PCAT, LNAT, UKCAT and UMAT.