From 2015 to 2016, the number of students enrolled in an online course in the US rose to 6.3 million, which speaks volumes of the continuous growth of the distance education market. The demographics of non-traditional students is mostly made up of adults looking to earn a degree, gain expertise, or a competitive edge in their profession.

Whats Best For Me previously noted how employers value further studies in looking to promote their employees, even if it’s obtained through online means. Adults who wish to go back to school and acquire an advantage may find it easier to do so now more than ever with the help of the internet, and here are six reasons why.

Inexpensive courses

Compared to a traditional institution, online course offerings are relatively cheaper due to the reduced need for materials and other associated costs. Affordable study materials can be accessed online and students won’t have to pay for housing and transportation. In addition, on-campus classes normally include fees like electricity, maintenance, and laboratory usage, all of which can really jack up the tuition. Web-based courses lessen or eliminate those expenses altogether.

More experience

Adults have the upper hand over younger students when it comes to experience, family-, practical-, or career-wise. A Global Sharp survey shared by the World Economic Forum showed that the majority of the respondents interested in taking an online class are motivated by skill-specific certification. This means that they either want to supplement their training or expand their skill set even when they’re already employed.

Flexibility of schedule

Since the distant education target market is primarily adults with other full-time commitments, colleges/universities that offer online courses can cater to different schedules. This gives students the opportunity to go over lessons whenever possible and still be able to carry out day-to-day responsibilities.

Convenience

Students can study at the comfort of their home, the office, or wherever they have access to the necessary technology. Stay-at-home parents can watch over their children while fulfilling their school requirements; employees can simply find a conducive study space in the workplace when needed, and those who don’t live close to a university will find that online learning fits the bill.

No need for social interaction

Maryville University lists social anxiety and lack of confidence among the major difficulties faced by adult learners. They feel out of practice due to their years away from school and out of touch with the prevalent college culture caused by the age gap. Students, who are only looking to further their knowledge without being overwhelmed by social anxiety, can completely avoid such issues with internet-based courses.

Accelerated learning programs

Adults are divided whether online programs are worth the additional 4 or 5 years. However, most online universities offer accelerated learning programs which allow takers to earn the same degree for a shorter amount of time. The Wall Street Journal reports that each compressed course can even take as short as four weeks to finish. Afterward, you can move on to the next required course in the program. In as short as a year, you can earn a degree even while managing a full life.

 

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                                                                                                                   By  Jane Jones