Online learning is on the rise, to say the least.
In 2020, one major online course provider experienced 644% more enrollments in one week than they had the year prior. Another reported getting more students in one March week than in the entire second half of 2019.
Online learning fits well with how students want to learn. Research shows that more than 60% of students want personalized learning content and more than 56% want to decide when and how they study. Online courses touch on both needs, while also helping students to build the virtual skills of the 21st-century workplace.
Many online training providers, including MedCerts, can also connect students with placement opportunities like internships and externships. But online learning offers many benefits apart from these opportunities:
Flexible scheduling. Students can complete their coursework when it’s convenient for them. This makes it easier to work around existing commitments.
Studying from anywhere. Online learning brings educational opportunities to people who live in remote areas, move around frequently, or simply can’t get to a school that teaches what they want to learn.
There are drawbacks, as well:
Less socialization with classmates. While this may work well for independent learners, online programs that incorporate cohorts or group discussion boards lead to better success.
Less hands-on learning. It’s harder online to do things like lab work and workplace simulation.
That said, thanks to ongoing technological advancements like 3D modeling and immersive simulations, online students can replicate hands-on learning in a virtual environment.
Online learning may be a different experience than traditional learning, but there’s no doubt that it makes professional development easier. You’ll be able to build the skills mentioned below while taking online courses.
One thing that makes online learning harder—the need to communicate exclusively virtually—is becoming one of the most important professional skills in the 21st century.
Many major companies, including Google and Zillow, have announced plans to offer remote work indefinitely. That means employees will need to learn how to communicate and share knowledge effectively with less face-to-face—a skill that online learning builds as a natural part of the process.
Videoconferencing tools are just some of the programs and software that today’s virtual teams depend on. Online learning gets you familiar with many of the most popular options including file sharing, message boards, and project management tools.
Virtual learning still includes group work, at least if you study with a quality education provider. This gives you the chance to develop key leadership skills such as:
The more you assume a leadership role in your online group work, the more you can develop these abilities for the workplace.
When you study on your own schedule, you have to complete all of your lectures and assignments while also juggling existing responsibilities like work and family. Employers can easily see this as good preparation for today’s busy workplace.
You can study on your own time no matter where you’re located, and in the process, you can develop key career skills.
Ready to become the kind of proactive, independent team member that today’s workplace demands? Check out the online learning opportunities available through MedCerts.