The ongoing pandemic has caused even the most successful professionals to evaluate their career choices and long-term life goals. As we continue to socially distance, adorn masks, and further develop our connections to the online world, many have seen their entire lives change significantly. Many young professionals have responded to this unusual period by exploring the advantages and disadvantages of furthering their qualifications through online learning.
Online learning advantages and disadvantages: who is best suited to e-learning?
It seems the whole world has moved online, and what was once considered an alternative learning approach has moved to the forefront as a leader in the educational sphere. But is furthering your education online an appropriate choice for your specific needs and goals?
It’s easy to believe that anyone can pursue further education online. And while that’s technically true, it’s important to properly examine the benefits and drawbacks before delving into an e-learning programme. An online curriculum provides a unique educational offering which differs in many ways, but not all, from in-person programmes.
Additionally, recent technological developments have created the ability to develop dynamic and interactive online coursework unlike any before. There are a few important questions you must ask yourself before delving straight into online coursework.
Do online classes suit my learning style?
Traditional classes offer a wide range of personal connection — the physical act of being in the same room facilitates networking and relationship-building. They also provide the opportunity to become familiar with the surrounding area and connected industries and opportunities.
Online classes, on the other hand, can feel more individual, providing more flexibility for the students.
If you’re someone who appreciates connections within the classroom, it’s important to select an online programme which offers a multitude of opportunities to meet and interact with fellow students. Having an open line of communication with professors, as well as open contact channels with important guest speakers, are other key factors to look out for when researching online education options
Will I enjoy taking classes from home?
For students who have taken in-person courses in the past, online learning can certainly require a transition. Online courses almost always offer flexible coursework (with the exception of some in-person institutions which have temporarily converted their courses online).
Depending on the school and programme, courses offer ether asynchronous content, meaning work which is completed completely on your own time; synchronous online lessons; or a combination of the two.
For someone who struggles with time-management and discipline, or who thrives in heavily structured academic environments, an in-person programme might be the best choice. They offer a rigid schedule and guidelines, allowing students to plan around their education.
Working professionals or those with families, on the other hand, often prefer a flexible workspace, or having the ability to define their own class time and space. E-learning is an optimal choice for those looking for a flexible option to integrate with other needs, abilities, businesses, caretaking responsibilities, or entrepreneurial endeavours.
Am I prepared for online education?
The online universe is developing faster than anyone can keep up with — and new developments, software, and programmes continue to revolutionize the way we learn, communicate, and do business.
Although academic institutions are constantly adapting to remain contemporary, face-to-face classroom environments tend to rely on traditional methods of learning.
Online educational courses and degree programmes, however, are designed to be versatile. A top-quality programme will not only thoroughly cover the topics of the course but will provide opportunities to practice with the most current tools used in the industry.
For those who are comfortable utilising technology — or who would like to become comfortable — online learning is a great way to benefit from the most recent advancements in online technology.
Not all programmes are created equal: choosing the right course for online learning
While the decision between online and in-person coursework can seem like a dichotomous choice, it’s imperative to remember that online programmes can vary widely by institution. The format of instruction, faculty pool, class size, and the resources at your disposal are all important factors to consider before choosing the route of online education.
Our programmes at EDHEC are designed to create the ultimate balance between flexible and interactive online education. As a leader in e-learning, we have dedicated full-time professors who teach all online courses and maintain regular communication with online students. Additionally, each student has an Academic Mentor to accompany them should they have questions or logistic challenges. Each cohort is small yet made up of students from around the world, allowing classmates to work together and grow global connections.
Going back to school is an excellent way to boost your professional profile, whether you’re looking for the right opportunity to propel your career or you’re taking advantage of free time to make your resume more competitive. If you do decide that an online education is the right path for you, check out the online learning programmes EDHEC has to offer.