Online courses was once a complicated alternative to tradition classroom learning. There have been controversies on the value of taking online courses. Sloan Survey shows that the number of students adding online courses as part of their regular college curriculum has increased by up to 150%. Online education also has a 21% growth rate which exceeds the 2% growth in overall education.
On the field of study with the most number of student enrollment in online courses, computer and information science & technology has the most number of enrollment (27%), followed by business (24%) and General studies (24%), with courses in humanities and Natural Sciences, Mathematics + Agriculture having the lowest rate of enrollment at 14% each.
This is understandable because the fields with the highest number of enrolment (computer/information technology) aligns favorably with the method of online learning compared to other courses, which are better learned on practical.
Why should you consider taking Online courses?
Online learning will be more suitable for some students than others, considering their fields of study and personality. However, most of the required 21st century work place skills can be learned online. Skills like Software development, web application, digital marketing, basic business and finance can be acquired through self-guided or structured online learning.
You no longer have to wait until you have the chance to enroll in a traditional learning environment. You can learn the skills you need in today’s workplace through online courses and stay ahead in your field.
One the biggest advantage of taking online courses is that it offers easy gateway to making a career change. For instance a real estate agent who wants to change career to digital marketing can take an online course. And benefit from the opportunity to network with other students and professionals.
Starting a business
The first step with starting a business is practically studying the industry you want to get into. The step before the first step is figuring whether the business is a good fit for you. Most businesses have a basic online course for beginners that will help you quickly understand the basics of the business and the industry.
Figuring out the right vendor
One major problem with the online learning industry is differentiating valuable programmes from the crowd. While there are high value online courses out there, many are not worth the time. Accredited online universities are generally expensive. Most students in this part of the world cannot afford the fees. However, you’ll find non-accredited online programmes on platforms like Udemy, Udacity, Edx etc with free and affordable courses that will be worth your time.
When next you are thinking of how to learn a new IT skill or to venture into a new career or business, consider taking an online course.