The search for employment in a difficult economy leads many people to pursue alternative careers or seek out ways to improve and broaden the scope of their job skills, with a view to making themselves more employable.

In the past, getting new job skills meant attending a college or university in pursuit of a diploma or degree, or perhaps taking courses for a certificate in a vocational occupation.  Technology, in the form of online learning, has removed the need for physical attendance.  Now, with more and more brick-and-mortar colleges and universities joining the independent schools online and offering a wide variety of courses and learning options, online learning has become more accessible than ever.

The Audience

One of the most obvious advantage of studying online is its flexibility.  A student may literally ‘attend’ classes and complete coursework at anytime, from anywhere.  With lectures and coursework available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, fitting study time into even the busiest of days is possible.  This type of flexibility offers great benefits to anyone who has another life filled with regular commitments, such as daily work or family care.

This flexibility also extends to the speed with which the course may be completed.  Completion times for certificate and diploma programs are usually quick, with most students achieving their goal within 18 months to 2 years.  Many degree programs may also be fast-tracked, speeding up the rate of completion to enable degree status in a fairly quick timeframe.  For example, it may be possible to complete traditional four-year degrees in as little as two years.

Online learning environments tend to be more group-centered than regular classroom environments.
The online world allows for students and teachers to interact in a more inclusive and complete way, encouraging individual participation and team learning.

With increasing numbers educational providers getting involved, there is now a huge range of university, college and general interest courses available to all-comers.  Students are able to achieve pretty much any goal through an online learning program, from accruing credits in liberal arts disciplines to successfully completing an online accounting degree.  In addition, online learning portals offer a variety of trade programs, vocational tracks and even graduate degrees in association with some of the world’s most prestigious universities.  Also on offer are continuing education programs suitable for professionals or adult students seeking to expand their knowledge base and job skills.

Who Benefits?

Anyone eager to further their education and improve their job potential will benefit from the wide choice of programs and classes available through online learning portals.  Students in remote locations and rural areas will find they have easy access to advanced learning through the web, and students with disabilities may find options more suitable to them through online learning.

Mothers with young children or large families will enjoy the convenience and flexibility of taking classes on their time, and advanced students and home-schoolers will relish the chance to get a head-start on higher learning, right through to completing their degrees online if desired.