Teri Marin

Online Learning Is Getting More Popular Among Students

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Online courses, provided by some of the best schools in the country, are very popular among professionals. The fact that they can go back to school while maintaining a fulltime career is one of the things that make online courses suitable for professionals. Even entrepreneurs are returning to school and pursuing degrees in specific fields.

However, online degrees aren’t just popular among professionals. Highschool graduates now prefer continuing their journeys online instead of attending brick-and-mortar courses. In fact, recent studies showed that the number of students actively choosing to continue their education online is growing by an average of 8% per year.

So, what makes online learning so popular among students? What about those who are pursuing their master’s or doctorate degrees? There are some common threads in how online courses are seen by students.

They Are More Affordable

Cost is still a big factor for many, which is why online courses are becoming increasingly popular this past couple of years. Online courses are much more affordable than the equivalent offline courses. The average student can save around 30% on tuition alone.

For students pursuing higher degrees like DNP nursing leadership, the potential saving is even bigger. When other cost elements are taken into account – including money students can save on commuting and living costs – it is easy to see why online degrees are the preferred options.

The fact that online degrees are more affordable isn’t a bad thing. Online courses are easier and less expensive to run because universities don’t need to spend as much on overheads. With the costs brought down, universities can now offer their best programs for less.

They Are More Flexible

There is also flexibility being an important factor that influences the popularity of online degrees. Online courses are designed to be flexible from the ground up. There are no strict schedules to follow. There are no complex timeline or programs to comply with either.

You can complete the course at your own pace. When pursuing a bachelor’s degree in nursing or that DNP nursing leadership degree mentioned earlier, you can take your time and stretch the course over a longer period of time.

This is a huge advantage even for students. Without the strict schedule and syllabus of a traditional college degree, students can continue their pursuit for a degree while starting a career, working on their business ideas, or even traveling the world.

Study from Anywhere

That last part about traveling the world while studying is another thing to acknowledge about online degrees. Yes, students can now study from anywhere (and at any time) when they are pursuing an online degree. Sticking with the DNP nursing leadership program from Baylor University as an example, the entire course is conducted online.

You do not need to visit the university’s campus or attend physical classes to complete the degree. As long as you have a computer – with standard browser – and a working internet connection, you can easily access the online learning platform and stay ahead of the course.

All collaterals are available as digital assets. You can download textbooks to a Kindle and study from anywhere in the world. You can also submit course assignments using nothing but a smartphone. You even have the option to complete an entire exam using your phone, as long as you don’t mind the smaller screen.

Your Own Learning Environment

For some students, that ability to study from anywhere is more than just about studying while traveling or working a fulltime job. Students who have difficulties maintaining focus how have the option to create their own study environment.

Online learning becomes the more effective way to learn and master new skills while pursuing a higher degree. Experts believe that the higher performance of online students is part of the reasons why there is a growing demand for online university graduates in today’s market.

Even when you are taking an online course, you still have the ability to connect with fellow students. Online students who live in the same area usually gather to work on assignments or prepare for exams. You also maintain the option to connect with lecturers and expand your professional network.

More Career Options

We mentioned how companies now prefer online university graduates. Upon closer inspections, there are a few obvious reasons why the credibility and value of online graduates are rising rapidly, the first one being the more current, more contextual curriculum of online programs.

Online programs can be more aligned with industry and market needs. Curriculums can be updated regularly to meet market demands, allowing for students to master the skills and expertise they need to succeed in their future careers.

At the same time, students can also start their careers early without having to wait until they have acquired the university degree. As an online student, you always have the option to study at your own time while maintaining a fulltime career for yourself.

Long-Term Value

Last but certainly not least, there is the fact that online programs follow the same high standards as their offline equivalents. Online students must meet the same high standards to graduate and earn a degree. Even the accreditation standards are set at the same high level.

These are the steps today’s top universities take to boost the credibility and presence of their online programs. Schools like Baylor work really hard to maintain their standards, even when opening up their online programs to more students.

Some universities also offer their courses to international students, making the high standards used in the accreditation process accessible to more students. As the world turns into one global market, credentials like a recognized master’s or doctorate degree from a reputable university become a competitive advantage worth pursuing.

Online courses will only be more popular in the near future. Students at different levels are maximizing the top benefits we discussed in this article, pursuing a higher degree while maintaining a full time job and enjoying maximum flexibility at the same time. Add the fact that many of the younger students now aim for better work-life-study balance, and online courses become the perfect solution indeed.


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