As schools, colleges, and universities around the world are shutting down in-person classes due to the uncontrolled spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, students and instructional staff are transitioning to online learning. It is, now more than ever, clear that society needs flexible and resilient education systems, as it turns out that the future can be quite unpredictable. Yet, online learning has achieved its popularity even before the current health crisis. The global e-learning market itself is over two decades old, and it is projected that by 2025, it will reach $325 billion. Moreover, pursuing online college classes is becoming increasingly attractive since it gives students a more convenient, affordable, and effective way to earn their degrees. So, as the number of people around the world taking to the internet for their learning needs grows daily, the United States remains the pioneer in terms of online studies’ popularity. That said, let us take a look at why online college studies are a game-changer in the US and all around the world for that matter.
Online college studies are extremely diverse
If you are a person who likes to have options to choose from, online learning is definitely for you. Online college studies give you the possibility to choose from programs anywhere in your city, region, and state. For example, Florida has been at the forefront of online education with more than 150 online programs. The reason behind such a boom in online learning is thanks to its 1996 innovative program called Florida Community College Distance Learning Consortium. This initiative boosted collaboration between public and private colleges to develop and facilitate web-based learning in the state. In 1999 this action further evolved, and the Florida Virtual Campus was established. This organization provides online learning support, access, and resources. However, with such a great choice, it is also imperative that you invest time in researching the rankings of a school’s reputation and quality. So when you are looking to join online colleges in Florida, you need to make sure to use credible ranking databases. These databases should always consolidate results of all of the most reputable college ranking publishers and real student reviews from around the web.
Additionally, when choosing online college programs, you must consider the specific field that you are interested in pursuing a career. Define what your true passions and interests are, and which job path you want to take. However, be aware that some courses are unavailable 100% online because they are very hands-on, so inform yourself about that aspect too. Furthermore, as an online learner, you can go for a traditional study format, with 2-3 semesters per year and a final exam. Or, you can do something different, such as a degree where you study year-round and never have to cram for long exams.
Online classes are very interactive and effective
Online courses are also popular due to the kind of interactivity they induce in their platform. If done right, they urge learners to participate in the process actively. However, rather than blurting out thoughts for the sake of being heard, like in traditional classes, students enrolled in online college classes are allowed to express themselves in their own time. That enables them to flesh out their thoughts and evolve. Additionally, the content of these types of classes is usually meaningful and precise, with much better readability. So, online courses can teach students at least as effectively as in-classroom courses, if not more so in some cases.
Online college studies offer flexibility
With online education, study fits into your life, not the other way around. Classes are designed in a way to allow you to complete coursework on your calendar. Learning materials are available whenever it is most convenient for you, and you can fit assignments around your existing responsibilities and engagements. So, online learning allows you to study at whatever time of the day or night suits you. You can do it first thing in the morning, during your lunch break or on the evening commute. Whatever works for you. Naturally, this will require you to polish your time-management skills. The better you manage your time, the easier it is to achieve your goals.
The flexibility that online college studies are offering is often appealing, especially to working professionals who do not have the time or ability to travel to campus. Many of these students usually want to advance their career prospects or change fields ultimately. Online college classes enable them to pursue their professional endeavors without having to leave their full-time jobs, even if they frequently travel. Online education is also an exciting option for students who may have other responsibilities, such as caring for or having children. Online learning can enable them to balance these until they have to sacrifice their education. Lastly, online learning is an appealing option for younger students, likewise. It gives them the possibility to educate themselves and, at the same time, fulfill their passions, hobbies, or jobs in a much-relaxed pace. Following, no wonder more and more American students are choosing local online degree programs.
Online learning is more affordable
The cost of studying is often a limiting factor for enrolling in college for many students. Paying for the studies, putting petrol in your car or paying for transport, accommodation, textbooks you need to buy for on-campus subjects can be quite expensive. Online learning is more economical in this regard since it reduces the need for the student to travel to attend classes or the obligation to purchase textbooks. Also, you do not need to worry about getting sick on the hour-long train commute to and from courses in winter. In essence, you can sit at home in your pajamas with a warm cup of coffee in the comfort of your own home. Consequently, online education enables students to acquire qualifications without accumulating the same amount of debt they would otherwise have.
Online college studies have a high potential in contributing to worldwide mobility, to lifelong learning, and to giving a person an equal chance to higher education. Since it is highly accessible, students are less bound by time and location. It is also quite flexible, so students are not constrained by a fixed schedule and can continue to keep their circumstances and work obligations. Lastly, online college studies are more affordable than traditional, thus opening up learning opportunities to those people who otherwise cannot cover the cost of a degree course. The bottom line is that with the increased popularity of online colleges, getting the needed accreditation to advance your career and acquire new skills has never been easier.