Online learning is a growing business. A 2013 report showed that more than 6 million people had taken at least one class online in the past year, and about one-third of all people enrolled in college take at least one of their classes online. There are some reasons why online courses are popular, and here are a few of them.
One of the biggest advantages to taking courses online is the flexibility it allows. Most online courses can be done at any time of day or night. You usually have a date by which you have to complete the coursework, but otherwise you can do the work when you want. This can be a huge benefit to people with full-time jobs, stay-at-home parents with children and others who may not have the time to take a class during regular hours. Even when classes must be done online during a certain window, being able to do them at home can be a huge advantage. That means you don’t have to drive to campus, find parking and spend extra time walking to class. It also can mean that you don’t have to find a sitter for your kids, which can be a huge benefit.
Another big benefit of taking online classes over attending classes in person is cost. Because it is cheaper for a school to offer online courses, the schools actually may offer a lower tuition for online classes. With costs skyrocketing for a college education, being able to take an online class at a cheaper rate can be a huge benefit.
Online classes can be a big benefit for people who don’t do well in formal education settings. Because online classes often allow students to work at their own pace and complete coursework on their own time, they can be a good option for people who have social conditions, test anxiety or a mental illness. For some people who struggle in a traditional classroom setting, an online course can be a good alternative.
Whether you are considering online classes because they better fit your schedule, are cheaper or because you struggle in a traditional classroom setting, you are not alone. More and more people are taking at least some of their post-secondary education online, and the field is likely to only continue to grow.