Learning is a wonderful thing. It has the potential to broaden our horizons, expand our minds, overcome ignorance and make us better people.
It can transform us and enrich our lives. It can propel us into new and more rewarding jobs and careers and imbue us with skills and aptitudes that make us more well rounded human beings.
We all learn in different ways and all have different methods when it comes to bettering ourselves.
While learning is usually of the most benefit to us when it facilitates a new career or set of skills, let’s not forget that it’s a worthy pursuit in and of itself. There’s real joy to be found in discovering new books, new stories, new theories and new worlds of thinking.
Any form of learning, whether it’s in a prestigious red brick institution or the product of internet research, is a noble endeavor.
Yet, there still exists a veil of snobbery around the subject of learning, especially when it’s done to facilitate career progression or change.
The digital age has proven a great leveler when it comes to learning, bringing knowledge to the rich and poor alike. Yet some myths still persist about online learning.
Why Take an Online Course Anyway?
Online learning requires self-motivation from the start till the end. Please don’t go into online learning thinking it’s easier. Online classes are more intense than physical classes. You create time for your classwork and assignments, and every day, you push yourself to see it to the end.
A certificate, diploma, or degree gives you the confidence to apply for the job you desire. It could also earn you a promotion. And with online learning, you study as you practice your lessons at work.
If you are concerned that employers don’t accept online learning, don’t be. Distance learning has for long been the path for professionals to expand their industry knowledge.
Employers might have been skeptical about online certificates 50 years ago, but not today. Even some employers take these online courses. But more than anything, employers value competence. So, grow your skills as you learn.
How to Succeed in Online Classes in Two Steps
Find Your Course
First, identify courses that will take your career to the next step. Narrow down to the three most interesting and valuable programs. Then request the program’s details from the institution.
Look for the following in your program research. Check that:
- Is the program accredited? For an online degree, check the institution’s website on the “About Us” page. There, they mention their accreditation. Alternatively, search the institution in the Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs.
- What lessons will you expect from the degree? Explore the topics to be covered; do they align with your career goals?
- How long will the degree take? A virtual bachelor’s degree could take 4 years. But when you take an accelerated degree program, you could get your degree in 2 years or less.
- Can you commit? Whether your online course takes months or years, will you see it to the end? Will you attend your classes even when you are so unmotivated? Do what you have to do.
- Budget. Some organizations sponsor their employees to further their studies online. Plus, you may qualify for financial aid. Ask the institution about any financial aid programs you may be eligible for. Also, apply for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
If you have the means to pay for your course right now, then do this.
Don’t Plan. Enroll And Start Learning Right Away.
Forget creating a study place and a schedule. In a fast-changing world, things will never be perfect enough to launch your project. Enroll in your online course right now. As soon as you enroll, start the introduction lesson, see how you like it. Keep going until you need a break. Take your break, then come back to your class.
Or not! Don’t pressure yourself. Decide when you will attend your class next, and stick that time in your mind. Come back tomorrow and learn something new.
Whatever you learn, practice it at work whenever you get the opportunity.
How to Balance Studying, Working, and Other Responsibilities?
Take some time every day to log into your class. Will you wake up an hour earlier or sleep an hour later to study? Remember there will be classwork and assignments.
Alternatively, will you study on the weekends? Get creative with your time management. You don’t have to be in a study space to learn. You can learn on the bus ride to work or during your lunch break. Take learning at your pace, and keep the end goal in mind all the time. A few weeks into the online program, you will have a system that works. Then follow that system. When you have to compromise your study time, don’t pressure yourself. It is what it is.
If you are ready to take your career to the next step. Now’s the time. Get a course, enroll and start learning. Don’t overthink it or plan; just do it! Work is work. Whether easy or difficult, you do it anyway. You will get everlasting benefits from this one course.
Now, let’s we’ll debunk some of those myths and give some love to this revolutionary yet hugely under appreciated digital tool…
Online learning isn’t vocational.
Sure, remote learning gives you knowledge and skills, but you can’t use it to purse a whole new career… Can you? Of course you can!
While there are online courses in just about anything you’d find in a college prospectus, there’s also a plethora of vocational courses online to help people around the world to branch out into new careers.
From an online BA in policing to digital courses in nursing, there’s a wide range of vocational courses out there.
If you yearn for a change of career yet don’t have the time or resources for campus learning, an online course could be invaluable to your career development.
Online learning is easier and therefore less valid.
There’s absolutely no evidence to suggest that online learning is any easier than learning in a campus lecture hall. Sure, online learners are afforded more flexibility but that’s usually because they manage their studies alongside full time jobs and parental responsibilities.
If anything online learning is harder because it involves more discipline and time management skills.
Online learning isn’t interactive.
That’s a bold claim!
Look in any lecture hall today and you’ll see a room full of undergraduates either typing into their laptops of making notes in tablets…
Basically doing the exact same things as remote students. Moreover, students who study online have unrestricted access to their tutors within office hours via live chat, email or telephone.
With so many modes of communication afforded by the digital realm remote students may not get face to face interaction with their tutors and fellow students, but they still get a whole lot of interaction.
There’s nothing that can be gleaned from campus learning that you can’t get from online learning. If you have a thirst for knowledge, check out some online courses today… It might just change your life!