Why Keep Learning?

Adult education is without a doubt a major market nowadays. With the work market being more competitive and workers being expected to continue their career development (whatever their profession), ‘lifelong learning’ has become a must rather than a nice-to-have. Failure to upskill can be the difference between getting the work of your dreams and losing out to a marginally more talented nominee – or being passed over for a promotion once again.

Education is the most secure road to improved marriages, a better financial condition, and a better overall quality of life, even for those who are not in the workforce. ‘Formal education will make you a living; self education will make you a fortune!’ said Jim Rohn, America’s leading business philosopher.

But what is it about webucation (internet education) that makes it so popular? How do we decide if online schooling is right for us or whether we’d be better off enrolling in local face-to-face classes?

Advantages of Learning Online

The most noticeable benefit of online education is its unrivaled time versatility. It enables you to research fully under your own schedule, in addition to your other responsibilities. You may study while working full-time, working shifts, or caring for children or family members. You should study whenever it is convenient for you, whether it is early in the morning or late at night. You won’t have to worry about missing tutors’ working hours, and classes will be open to you 24 hours a day, seven days a week, meaning you won’t have to worry about fitting into your lecturer’s schedule.

It also allows you to be more geographically flexible. Suddenly, transportation logistics are no longer a concern. You can take classes in other towns, or even other continents. You won’t have to pay for gas, parking, or public transportation, and you won’t have to weigh in commuting time (not to mention avoiding running between classes if you’re taking more than one at a time!)

For certain students, though, the fact that online learning helps you to personalize your studies is almost as significant as the logistics. If you already know some of the content covered in the course syllabus, you don’t have to wait for your classmates to finish it before moving on to what you really want to study. If you’re having trouble grasping an idea, you should take as much time as you want on it without feeling like you’re slowing down your classmates. You will find classes that are offered in the format that *you* want to learn in, whether it’s audio, video, or text.

Online training will also be far less expensive than face-to-face lectures. And when you include the lack of transportation expenses, parking rates, childcare fees, and the desire to eat out, fees are often smaller. Most online courses encourage you to learn at your own rate, which means you’ll be able to finish your course in a fraction of the time it would take if you were taking weekly lessons.

Is Online Education For Everyone?

The reality is that not everyone will profit from online education. To begin, you must have a fundamental understanding of how to use a machine and link to the internet, which not everyone has. The fact that you’re reading this article here, though, means that you already know what I’m talking about. You’ll require daily Internet connectivity, and being able to connect to the ‘Net at home rather than at a friend’s or a public library would make it easier for you to learn on your own timetable.

You must be organized and reasonably self-motivated, just as you must be for face-to-face lessons (perhaps even more so). You must consider that you chose to finish the course you have enrolled in and the impact that completing it would have on your life. You must be able to figure out when you can devote time to learning and be committed to following through with your goals.

However, if you know what you want to get out of online education and are able to stick to the research plans you made for yourself, ‘webucation’ will open up a world of possibilities! It will help you avoid the administrative headaches of taking essential courses while also making learning more fun, easy, and personalized. All of this comes at a fraction of the expense of face-to-face lectures, so it’s no surprise that Forbes magazine dubbed online education “one of the decade’s greatest new phenomena.”

Copyright 2005 Tanja Gardner

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