We’re lucky to be living in one of the more unique times in history. Technology continues to improve and is positively contributing to our lives more and more with each passing year. With the continual development of technology, military spouses are now able to take online classes to brush up on their skills, gain certifications, and even complete bachelor’s and master’s degrees—no matter where they are located. If you’ve been considering taking classes to improve your marketable skills for career opportunities or to refine your knowledge for personal use, it’s never been easier to get started! Online classes on a wide variety of topics are available with the click of a button. If you’re still on the fence, take a look at our list of the top five benefits of online learning.
1. Lower Costs for Higher Education
Historically, the largest barrier to higher education has always been cost. As tuition rates skyrocket, it’s no surprise that many people are unable to afford the costs of college. With the development of online courses, high costs are no longer as big of an issue. Although not all online courses are cheaper than their in-person counterparts, a good portion of them are. Online courses are often less costly because the school isn’t having to pay things like utilities, security, and rent. These costs are typically passed onto the student, but if there is no physical school space, there is no need for students to pay for those extras. Even if the cost of the course isn’t any more affordable than an in-person course, the associated costs will be significantly less. For example, if you’re taking an online class, there is no need to commute to campus. You also are less likely to have to purchase books since most of your course material will be available online at no cost. An additional development in the online education world has been the development of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). These are free online courses that help students fulfill their general education requirements. These courses are making higher education more attainable for the general population. With the availability of MOOCs and the lower costs of online courses, higher education is more attainable than you may think.
2. Flexibility to Take Classes on Your Schedule
For military spouses in particular, the flexibility that online courses provide is invaluable. When you’re taking an online class, there is no need to make specific class times or be available on-site for tutoring or test-taking. Online courses were developed to give students the chance to plan their education around their current schedules, not the other way around. Online classes are particularly useful for those with children, or those contending with frequent cross-country moves; you’re able to take your classes after the children go to sleep or while they’re at school. The course material is available 24/7, so whenever you have the time to study, the class will be there. This availability allows students to balance their education with their family commitments.
3. Variety of Degree and Certification Programs
Not only do colleges and universities have their own online degree programs, but there is a wide variety of other classes and programs available online. Whether you’re interested in learning how to code, how to speak French, or how to embroider pillowcases, there will be a class available for your needs. For those looking specifically at higher education, there is an almost limitless amount of degree possibilities. Not only can you choose any major that interests you, but you can also earn whatever academic degree you’re interested in—everything from an associate degree to a doctorate. It’s important to note that depending on which degree you choose, you may be required to complete in-person practical classes. For example, for nursing, you will have to go in-person and practice the skills you learned online. The good news is that this doesn’t usually happen until later in the degree, but you’ll want to make sure you plan accordingly.
4. Gain Technical & Management Skills
With an online degree, in addition to gaining skills and information from your actual course work, you will learn an entirely new set of skills by taking your course online. When a student takes an online class, they develop new computer skills and learn to navigate new programs and learning management systems. These technical skills are transferable and will allow you to act more nimbly on the computer at work and in your personal life. Online courses often require you to create and share documents, create audio and visual materials, and complete online training sessions. You can take all these skills with you when you graduate to fill up your resume and make you an even more desirable job candidate. Depending on the online school that you choose, you might even get a laptop to keep so that you can continue to practice your newfound technical skills.
5. Opportunity to Advance Your Career
Often, the largest draw to online classes is the possibility of career advancement. Not only do you have more job opportunities when you have a degree, certificate, or special training, but your current job will see your ambition and desire to stay on top of the latest information. With an online course, you don’t need to quit your current job and “go back to school”. You can complete your coursework in the evenings, on your lunch break, or anytime that works best for your schedule. Depending on the industry you’re in, there might be a cap on the progression you can make in your career without an education. For example, in the legal field, you can start as a legal secretary without a degree, but you won’t be able to advance to a paralegal or lawyer unless you have the proper credentials. Not only is moving up in your career personally fulfilling, but it often comes with a larger paycheck which can be equally as beneficial. With so many advantages of online classes, signing up for one is a no-brainer! For a wide range of online courses and online career training options check out our class selection.