6 reasons students are choosing online learning

Today’s younger generation is growing up in an ever-changing, fast-paced world of technology. It is easier than ever to disseminate knowledge—and students are used to having access to information and services immediately. This immediate access is one of the drivers behind online learning’s popularity.

More students are turning to online learning, and it begs the question: Will universities eventually become redundant?

Forbes has estimated that by 2025, online learning will be worth $325 billion. It’s clear that online learning is likely to retain its popularity for the long term, and there are many reasons behind this likelihood.

1. Variety
Although brick-and-mortar universities have come to offer a more diverse range of subjects over the last few decades, choices are sometimes limited compared to what is available online. Some subject areas may only briefly be covered in modules, if not at all.

There are also niche subjects that mainstream teaching is unlikely to encompass. The CPD Standards Office has created the Unique E-learning League. The campaign highlights the most unique and unusual courses that are in the highest demand. This includes Learn the Secrets of ZOMBIE Apocalypse Preparedness that generated a staggering £932,353.38 in revenue.

It shows that students are now seeking more niche subjects in what they want to learn and what they want to pursue in their careers. Whereas traditional options were limited, the internet has given us more leeway in being able to pick and choose what we wish to learn.

2. Accreditation
At the beginning of this decade, online learning courses were rarely considered an authentic qualification. The CPD Standards Office offers CPD accreditation for online learning courses, giving the courses more weight.

3. Cost
One of the more common reasons for students now choosing university is due to costs. Generation Z has witnessed millennials take on extreme debt from ever-rising tuition fees. Online learning can vary in price, depending on budget and course length. But it often offers cheaper alternatives for students.

4. Convenience
Our lives are busier than ever nowadays. Many students juggle numerous roles at once, managing school with full- or part-time careers, parenthood, or other personal responsibilities. In fact, the idea of “traditional students” as those who enroll in college right out of high school and earn a degree in four years has been eclipsed by reality: more students tend to be older with jobs and families.

Attending a higher-ed institution is time-consuming and often requires lifestyle changes, whether that’s physical relocation, reallocation of time to attend classes, complete assignments, and study requirements, etc.

For students with other personal or professional priorities, meeting class schedules and other deadlines often presents a challenge. Online learning gives students more flexibility—and most courses are mobile-friendly, offering the added bonus of on-the-go learning.

5. User-friendly
Students with any form of special requirements may find they are faced with a lot of hassles when trying to arrange this with a university. Online learning can cater to all abilities, and also offers accessibility options such as subtitles and audio description for videos.

6. Updated content
While traditional face-to-face learning may take a while to update textbooks, online learning materials can be instantly updated.

When new information is available or new theories proved, e-learning is updated almost instantly and teaches the most up-to-date methods and information.

Future implications

Online learning has a wealth of benefits, and it can be a fantastic opportunity for those looking to earn a degree, change careers, or gain more knowledge and qualifications in their chosen field.

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