With fewer jobs and more college graduates applying for them, the need to keep up with information and technological advances in your chosen field is critical, if you want to stay competitive in the job market. The challenge is to balance the time demands of work with the demands of furthering your education. Fortunately, with the advent of online learning colleges, which offer accredited courses in virtual classrooms, opportunities for career stability and advancement are readily available. With that in mind here’s a list of 7 smart reasons to pursue online career training.
- Schedule flexibility: One major advantage that online career programs have over traditional brick and mortar colleges is the ability for students to take courses that fit with their work schedules. Regardless of whether you work days or nights you can schedule your online courses accordingly. Depending on the time demands of your current job, you can set your own pace and choose appropriate classes. The real challenge is to discipline yourself to “show up” at your computer at the appointed time, as if you were actually sitting down in a classroom.
- Course selection: Although traditional colleges offer a wide variety of courses, many are not included in their adult education programs, which are usually scheduled on weeknights or weekends. Aside from convenience, many online career training programs offer courses not available on the college campus. Consequently, online training classes can help you obtain the specific skills and knowledge that will make you more of an asset to your company, thus increasing your chances of job security and possibly even promotion. For those who have a desire to explore various areas of interests before deciding on a specific career path, online programs offer numerous possibilities in such fields as healthcare, education, business, web design, programming, and other pursuits in the fast-growing field of information technology
- Costs and time commitments: Unlike traditional college programs which may require courses not directly related to your chosen field, online career programs focus only on those classes that will help you reach your goals. Consequently, you’ll get there in less time and at less expense. Also, costs for online career training classes are generally less than tuitions for equivalent courses at most offline colleges.
- Job Placement: A major drawback of the traditional college system is that most students who obtain degrees are pretty much on their own when it comes to actually finding a job. Being that online career training colleges are more about helping people receive practical instruction and career specific degrees and certification, they are often better equipped to help qualified students transition into the workplace through job placement.
- Career change Opportunity: While students who seek additional training often do so to improve their current work status, there are many who are looking to make a complete career change. With programs streamlined to help students obtaining specific degrees and job skills in a relatively short period of time, online career colleges are uniquely equipped to assist students looking to establish themselves in new careers. They can even offer guidance counseling to those who want to leave their current jobs for new careers but aren’t yet sure as to which direction they should go.
- Qualified instruction: An erroneous assumption about online career training is that the faculty employed by these “keyboard colleges” are less qualified than those who teach at traditional institutions. The truth of the matter is that increased competition among career training colleges to attract new students is a great incentive to employ experienced instructors equipped with a practical knowledge of the fully accredited courses they teach---a knowledge that can help students be better equipped to face real world scenarios once they get into the workplace. Students of online career colleges have regular access to their instructors via e-mail, faxes or online forums. Instructors review each students assignments and provide appropriate input to enhance the learning experience.
- Enhanced quality of life: Although traditional colleges offer great opportunities for people in pursuit of a better quality of life, online career colleges offer hope and opportunities to those who, for various reasons, are unable to attend a four year college. Being that the U.S. Bureau of Labor and statistics has stated that on average, college graduates make up to 60% more than those who graduate from high school, the benefits of online career training colleges in providing opportunities to those who seek greater fulfillment through education are substantial.
Michelle Granger is a freelance writer for Adobe FormsCentral. FormsCentral is an online form builder where users are able to create forms online.