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Is Online Learning Right for You?

Women have countless priorities in life. Often, this leaves them minimal time to dedicate to themselves. However, if you are serious about self-improvement in the form of furthering your education, there is an amazing opportunity awaiting you in the form of online learning.

Online learning is becoming increasingly widespread – and for many reasons. But, is it the right choice for you? Let’s investigate.

Who could benefit from online learning?

Online learning offers maximum flexibility to those who are juggling a host of other responsibilities and projects but who are still determined to further their education. Various studies have shown that:

  • Most people who have embraced online learning have either full-time or part-time jobs. Of these working students, 36% of them are interested in switching careers and 34% are studying in the hopes of advancing their careers.
  • The average online student is in their early thirties, although online learning is becoming a popular option among people of all ages.
  • Graduate students are more likely to sign up to study a degree online. If you already have an undergraduate degree, there is a much higher chance that you will be able to find a suitable online graduate course to suit your needs and interests. For example, TWU ( Texas Woman’s University) offers BSN to FNP online nursing programs and everything in between. The available selection is often much vaster for graduates than for undergraduates, hence the reason why about 22% of graduate students in the USA opt to study online compared to 11% of undergraduates.

Online learning is beneficial not only for people who work but also for mothers (and fathers) who simply cannot attend a traditional bricks and mortar college while they are caring for their kids.

Ultimately, online learning is a worthwhile avenue to consider if you are keen to further your education but cannot dedicate all of your time to being a full-time college student.

The benefits of online learning

The most obvious benefit of online learning is its unmatched flexibility. There is no need to travel to a college every day and attend lectures in person. The student has the opportunity to choose exactly when and where they study.

However, flexibility certainly isn’t the only benefit of studying online. Another stand-out reason why you may wish to explore this route is the fact that it is substantially more affordable than studying at a traditional college or university. On average, students pay $282 per credit hour for online classes. In short, this means that learners studying online will look at paying around $3,400 a semester, compared to $34,740 at private colleges or $9,970 for state residents at public colleges.

Online learning is also beneficial in that it helps to teach learners a variety of other important skills that would be deemed valuable within the workplace. For example, it teaches self-discipline and the ability to avoid distractions and procrastination, which ultimately makes a person more productive and reliable. It also teaches superior communication skills, as the learner will need to be in constant contact with the online learning provider and their online lecturers. Finally, it helps to boost problem-solving skills. Throughout the time that they partake in distance learning, students are bound to experience a wide range of challenges and obstacles that they will need to overcome in order to obtain their degree. Often, they will need to do this on their own with minimal support, which is likely to make them hardier and more resourceful.

What makes a successful online learner?

While there are countless benefits to online learning, it definitely isn’t suited to everybody. You will need to possess very specific character traits in order to make a success of distance learning. So, what makes a successful online learner?

They should:

  • Be self-disciplined – it will be up to you to ensure that you keep up with your course work, assignments, and revision. Unlike in a traditional learning environment where you are more likely to be ‘spoon fed’ and ‘forced’ to keep up to date, online learning is all about self-discipline and dedication. You will have the flexibility to decide how much time you will be putting into your studies and when.
  • Have excellent time management skills – as mentioned above, if you are studying online, you will likely have many other responsibilities on your plate. As a result, you will need to know how to properly manage your time in order to ensure that you are able to give your best in all aspects of your life. Time management means lots of planning, strategizing, and forward-thinking.
  • Be self-motivated – staying motivated is the key to making a success of distance learning opportunities. So, it will be up to you to maintain a positive mindset, set realistic goals, and focus on the reasons why you are furthering your education in the first place.
  • Be able to ask for help when needed – online learning institutions offer their students plenty of support, but they need to know when to seek it out.
  • Be persistent – unless you remain persistent in your endeavor, your chances of success will greatly decrease.
  • Have a good understanding of technology – seeing as though you will be conducting most (if not all) of your studies on a computer or related device, it is essential that you have at least a basic understanding of this technology. You should familiarize yourself with various programs, such as Microsoft Word and Excel, and know how to use Google to your advantage when it comes to conducting research, sending emails, and locating important documents, etc. This shouldn’t be a problem for most prospective distance learners, although there are more and more people from older generations looking into this mode of education, and these older students may need to evaluate their technical proficiency before making a final decision about whether or not online learning is right for them.

At the end of the day, only you can decide if online learning is a good fit for you. If it is, here’s to making the most of this incredible opportunity going forward!