The popularity of online learning has increased sharply in the last few years. With the ever present threat of Coronavirus, the world is seeing a spike in flexible learning to combat the spread of the disease.
With parts of China and Italy now on full lock-down, the killer virus has given a boost to a huge experiment in both flexible working and flexible learning as more and more traditional brick universities and offices are finding themselves out of action.
Studying and broadening horizons online
Whilst studying online has traditionally been more popular in the STEM fields, online universities such as Bradley University Online are allowing students to broaden their horizons in the humanities subjects. Sources in such topics as counselling, nursing, and education being popular choices for learners across the globe.
Just how popular is online learning, and will a degree or qualification from an online university really stack up against their bricks and mortar counterparts? In truth, it’s been a rocky road so far, but one that is evening out quicker than expected.
With countries such as India aiming to increase their college-educated population from 25 to 50 per cent in the next 15 years, it seems logical that the traditional universities will have a hard time accommodating all of these new students. This leaves a gap in the market for decent high-quality online learning providers to pick up the slack.
It’s not just developing countries that will feel the benefits either. It’s estimated that over 80 per cent of London’s workforce are using some kind of online learning to get ahead. Researchers have found that this has added an average of £2 an hour to median wages.
What to look for
If you are considering studying online, you may be wondering what to look for in a provider. We’ve compiled a few helpful tips to look out for:
- An established network – make sure your chosen institute is reputable in their field and has a wide network of successful alumni to show for it.
- Experience – your chosen online provider should be able to provide you with access to the same experiences as your brick university peers. Be that with clinicians or internships, you shouldn’t be missing out just because you have chosen to study online.
- Highly qualified educators – one of the benefits of an online university is the variety of educators. From industry professionals to field experts, online learning can be a great way to access incredible minds.
- A flexible approach – if you’re the type of learner that isn’t 9-5, the flexibility of accessing your education 24/7 should be a priority. Your chosen provider should be behind you all the way.
- Strong support – it can be a lonely time studying online, which is why a great provider should put student support on the top of their priorities list.
- Expert curriculum – being online means having your finger on the pulse, and this should be true for your online university. Look out for specialised curriculums that put your future career choices at the heart of the decision making.
- Collaboration – the world seems smaller now we’re all connected, and a great online university should foster and encourage communication and collaboration between students, peers, and educators.
*this was written as a prospective piece for a client and was not used in any official capacity