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7 Transferable Skills You Build Through Online Learning

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The world is embracing online learning in all of its forms, from e-learning in schools and short online courses to fully remote university degree programmes.

Online education gives you the opportunity to explore your passions, learn technical skills to advance your career, or gain a recognised qualification, on your schedule, from anywhere in the world. More than that, online learning can help you develop many transferable skills.

7 Critical Skills You Develop Through Online Learning

Time Management

Online learning is all about time management. Many online learners need to balance their studies with work and/or family commitments. This makes it critically important to manage their time effectively between the different parts of their life and meet all of their deadlines.

Even if you’re a full-time remote student, you still need to divide your time between different aspects of your course, keep track of due dates, and make sure you get everything done on time.

Once you hone this vital skill through your online programme, you’ll be able to apply your excellent time management to your professional and personal life!

Organisational Skills

Along with time management, being a successful online student involves a high degree of organisation. You’ll not only need to keep track of classes, special meetings, exams, and assignment deadlines, but also keep all of your study materials organised in your home study station.

The best online programmes also provide you with plenty of resources to help you navigate this process. For example, EDHEC Online provides coaching sessions and weekly meetings to help students stay on track.

Taking advantage of these resources, as well as developing your own individual strategies to stay organised, will give you skills you’ll be able to transfer to future roles.

Proficiency Using Digital Tools

Online learning, by its nature, involves using various digital tools and learning management systems (LMS). By using these tools virtually every day, you’ll become proficient in using a range of software, from conferencing tools like Zoom to messaging platforms such as Slack.

Not only will you probably need to use many of these tools in your professional life, but this is a transferable skill that will help you more quickly pick up other digital tools.

Advanced Communication Skills

Communicating online can be challenging, and involves a set of specific communication skills to ensure you get your message across and fully understand others without being physically present.

Throughout your online programme, you’ll learn how to communicate effectively with your teachers and peers using a variety of remote tools. This is an incredibly useful advanced communication skill that is more critical than ever in today’s digital world.

Collaboration and Teamwork

Online learning often involves collaborating with others, allowing you to develop your teamwork skills, especially in a remote environment.

EDHEC’s online programmes, for example, involve team projects and other collaboration. This not only allows you to develop your teamwork skills in general, but also the specific skills required to work with others remotely. 

With more roles going remote than ever before, this is an instrumental skill to have in the modern workplace.


Studying online provides the ideal opportunity to develop crucial networking skills. 

It’s a common misconception that remote education, unlike on-campus study, doesn’t provide networking opportunities. Rather, you need to approach networking with your classmates and teachers a little differently when studying online.

You’ll find you may need to reach out to others through social media or build relationships via digital communication such as emails or online messaging apps. You’ll also need to learn to keep in touch remotely. In many cases, this is exactly the kind of networking you’ll need to do in your future career.

Commitment and Motivation

As a remote student, you need to study committed to your studies, ensuring you attend online classes, study, and complete assignments. Staying on track even when you’re on the other side of the world takes an incredible amount of self-motivation. They’ll be times when you need to push yourself to study even when you’re tired, uninspired, or feeling distracted.

Learning the habits necessary to do this and practising them month after month is an excellent way to learn these highly-valuable skills. The ability to stay motivated and committed is incredibly useful in a range of professional contexts:

How to Choose the Best Online Learning Experience for You

In order to make the most out of your online learning and maximise the skills you built through this experience, it’s important to choose the right online programme for you. 

There are many types of online education, from massive open online courses (MOOCs) to remote undergraduate and graduate degree programmes. 

EDHEC is a world-renowned business school, ranked #7 in Europe by the Financial Times (ranking 2022), that offers a range of fully online degrees and certificates. This gives you the best opportunity to not only hone a range of instrumental skills, but also make connections and gain a valuable qualification.

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