Online training for a new career works wonderfully for motivated and mature students. Although there are plenty of online learning programs and signing up is easy, finding the one that’s right for you takes some time and effort.
When Online Training for a New Career Works Best
Perhaps you’re already working, and you want to start a new career. You’re balancing adult responsibilities that may include raising children or caring for an older family member. Quitting your job or walking away from your domestic responsibilities to take classes at your local college is simply impossible. With online learning, you may be able to tailor your education to your schedule. Although studying, working, and caring for your home at the same time won’t be simple, it will be easier than trying to fit in-person classes into your already-packed day.
Web-based education is booming, and you might be surprised to learn that students in online classrooms typically earn better grades than students who take the same course in-person, according to the U.S. Department of Education. One of the biggest benefits of online learning is that students can review lecture repeatedly, unlike the once-and-done approach of classroom learning. The study also found that individuals who spend more time studying earn better grades.
Another factor that heavily influences the success of any online learning program is whether or not the student has access to a brick-and-mortar facility. These “blended” learning environments produce the best of all possible scenarios. It gives students the opportunity to review online course materials over multiple occasions, while also providing in-person support from a brick-and-mortar learning facility.
When Online Learning Isn’t Such a Great Idea
Although online learning is an effective delivery system under certain circumstances, it isn’t the right choice for everyone. Students who are truly motivated and interested to learn are better able to perform in online learning settings. Young or immature students may find it difficult to learn in an online course environment, where no one is watching to see if work is getting done.
Another factor is accreditation. It’s never wise to spend money on classes offered by an unaccredited institution. Accreditation ensures that programs meet or exceed the standards set by high quality, brick-and-mortar institutions. If you’re relying on financial aid, you might find that you do not qualify, because unaccredited colleges and universities don’t have access to federally funded loans and grants. They also may not be able to transfer earned credits to any other institution.
Not all online training programs are without accreditation — it’s important to perform thorough research. More employers than ever before are also valuing online degrees, which is promising for students who are interested in this type of education.
Choosing an Online Training Program
Your first step is verifying that the institution you’re considering is accredited. If you have a particular employer in mind, you might also find out what programs the employer prefers. In addition to national accreditation, you’ll also want individual accreditation for your program. Some programs, such as nursing, are governed by state-run Boards that assure quality.
Your next step is to learn more about the institution itself. Will you have access to a brick-and-mortar facility where you can ask questions, learn information, and connect with other students? If so, you’re greatly increasing your chances of performing well.
Choosing an online program is about more than finding the course you need at an affordable price. It’s in your best interest to choose a program that meets your chosen profession’s needs. You might have to accept some sacrifices in terms of budget or timing. But with the right online education, you can go exactly where you want to.
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