Posted by Robert Half on 10 August 2015
Interested in developing your career? Emese Balogh, from London School of Business Finance’s award winning platform InterActive, shares her advice on how online education can give you a head start.
Although taking the leap may seem daunting at first, working professionals are now able to further develop their careers by taking advantage of the seemingly unstoppable rise of online education. So, if you’re ready to take the next step, here’s how taking an online course can give you a helping hand.
1. It’s convenient
With online learning you can study whenever and wherever you want. Gone are the days of having to rearrange your personal commitments around a demanding course schedule. If you happen to be working late at the office one evening, or are caught up in a traffic jam, you can always reassure yourself that you'll be able to reschedule your online classes to fit around life's little inconveniences. Online education is one of those recent innovations that seems to have been created solely to support career development – and thank goodness for it!
2. You can actually afford it
Let’s face it, traditional education is expensive. Who wants to go through the trouble of remortgaging their home to finance a degree? Online education provides a great way to get qualified at a fraction of the cost of traditional, campus study. The ability for professionals to advance their career is now a realistic option -you’ll save time and money by downloading your study resources online, as well as handing in assignments with the click of a mouse. Who knew online education could be a truly headache (and backache) free zone?
3. It's always available
Distance learning means you no longer have to wait until the peak application season to advance your studies. Online education providers offer several intakes during the year, and with so many elearning organisations to choose from, you can select one which offers the courses you're looking for at the time of year that suits you. And, if your current learning provider leaves you feeling there's something to be desired, you can easily switch to an alternative degree programme, certificate course, or professional qualification from a variety of subject areas.
4. You can earn while you study
This might be the best perk of studying online. Being able to develop your career at work while you pursue your studies keeps you secure financially, and won't leave gaping holes on your CV, therefore giving you an instant competitive advantage. In fact, many employers and recruiters today are often impressed by candidates who can demonstrate an ability to earn a fully-accredited degree while advancing their skill sets on the job.
5. You can network instantly
An important part of developing your career is the ability to network with the right people. You’ll be directly connected with people from all over the world every time you log on. And with discussion forums, email, video webinars, group chat rooms, live Q&A sessions, and more, you'll enjoy nonstop communication with your fellow students, tutors, and inspiring professionals, day and night. The relationships you develop could turn out to be invaluable when it comes to changing jobs or advancing in your current role.
Plus, unlike many large campus universities, you'll be able to receive quick and direct feedback on your assignments without the need to schedule office hours with your professor weeks in advance.
6. It’s much faster
With so many fast-track options available, you can earn your degree, qualification, or certificate in a fraction of the usual time. Plus, if you've got existing qualifications, you may find that you're eligible for exemption from certain programme modules. Additionally, if you're willing to take on a more ambitious workload, you may be able to opt for an accelerated programme. For example, some providers give you the option to complete an MBA degree in just 12 months, giving you the opportunity to build your career in next to no time.
7. Your boss doesn’t need to know
Studying online means no rushing from work to get to class, and since you'll be working behind a screen at all times, you can keep your professional ambitions to yourself, which ultimately protects your job security, especially if you’re looking to develop your career. Elearning can open up new career opportunities without interrupting your professional life – which means you can remove yourself from the burdensome stress and worry that comes with transitioning from one job to another, by studying online safely and securely.
So, if you're looking to advance yourself professionally, or to completely change your career, studying online just might be your best option.