You’ve probably read countless stories about the pros and cons of eLearning. eLearning is a fairly new concept, even if the technology has been around for quite some time. But how does eLearning benefit students—specifically, students who have full-time jobs?
eLearning Is the Future
First and foremost, allow us to dispel the “myth” that eLearning is only a temporary thing.
Even though factors like the accessibility of technology and a lack of focus are real hindrances in the eLearning process, they’re not enough of a reason to get rid of eLearning and force students back into the classroom. And with over 30% of US college students taking at least one eLearning class, it’s fair to say that it’s not going anywhere anytime soon.
Employees Shine in eLearning Settings
Employees who want to pursue a higher degree don’t have to prioritize their professional lives over their academic lives and vice versa.
Online classrooms typically offer flexible learning programs, which allows students to learn at their own pace. And because eLearning is cheaper than traditional learning, employees won’t have to worry as much about earning their master’s degree in only four semesters.
So, what does an employee gain from earning a master’s degree? Apart from making you smarter in a niche subject, the employee can use the knowledge to advance their careers, which means taking on more responsibilities and potentially earning more than their bachelor’s degree-holding peers.
Another important benefit of eLearning for employees is that they can continue to work. They don’t have to sacrifice their livelihood for a degree; something that traditional in-classroom learning cannot offer.
An MBA from schools like Nexford —can be the exact thing someone needs to transition from one career to the next. Even though you don’t necessarily need a business degree to move from engineering to marketing (Lee Iacocca is the perfect example of this), it makes your resumé much more impressive to prospective employers.
What Does the Company Gain?
Assuming a company sent an employee to earn a higher degree, they can get incredible returns for their investment.
Speaking of investment, we briefly mentioned how online classes are cheaper than traditional learning. To be more specific, the student doesn’t have to worry about incurring on-site campus fees, which can amount to a substantial portion of their overall education cost.
After the employee graduates, they will immediately return to their company (assuming it was stipulated in the educational expense agreement). The student will have first-hand knowledge about the most recent trends in their field, which the company should be more than willing to take advantage of.
Also, eLearning allows employees to remain in the office, albeit at reduced hours due to their academic obligations. At the very least, the company will still benefit from the employee while they finish whatever job duties they can during their reduced hours.
Where Should the Employee Enroll?
The overwhelming majority of those who enroll for online classes generally enroll in universities in the same cities as their home or workplace. However, this might not be a bad thing, especially if you live in Boston, New York City, or LA.
But eLearning offers the ability to earn a degree from virtually anywhere on the planet, assuming the program doesn’t require in-class seminars and lectures. So, someone living and working in, say, Taiwan could enroll in a world-renowned university that has an online master’s degree program without physically being present at the school.
That said, where you should go depends on what your field is. For obvious reasons, a student should aim to enroll in the best university that offers online classes for their field, as it will benefit both the employee and their company.
Is eLearning More Effective than Traditional Learning?
This is the million-dollar question that must be asked. Is eLearning more effective? Is it worth the resources?
It ultimately boils down to how serious the student is. eLearning is not a magical solution to solve the problems of struggling students. Students who struggle in face-to-face meetings will most likely still struggle in online environments, especially when they are surrounded by an abundance of disruptions.
That said, we can’t ignore that students can thrive in eLearning environments. The quicker response times between students, peers, and professors mean they can continue collaborating and learning, even after learning hours.
So, it’s up to the employers to decide who to grant time off to attend eLearning programs and to set realistic expectations upon their graduation.
People have argued endlessly about the pros and cons of eLearning, and both sides of the debate have made excellent points. However, when focusing on a specific demographic—people who work and want to earn a higher degree—there’s a greater chance that they will succeed not just academically but also professionally.
In the end, the employee and employer have to work together to determine what they can gain from eLearning, which is quite a lot.