It’s no secret that online learning is flexible — but the benefits of furthering your education online go far beyond convenience. Savvy schools harness the power of the digital sphere to create programs that are innovative, collaborative and break down barriers. Learn more about the three cornerstones of online higher education and how they can help you advance your career, expand your network and realize your potential.
Get ahead sooner
Pursuing online learning in order to take the next step in your career is not a decision to be taken lightly. It is a big commitment, and students should expect the same rigors and standards as an in-classroom higher education. Theory is directly highlighted through practical knowledge and strategies that you can use immediately in the context of your business and professional role. The goal of online higher education is to provide you with the knowledge and the skills that are directly relevant in today’s workplace.
The digital nature of online higher education breaks down many of the accessibility barriers inherent at traditional on campus learning institutions. Particularly in regards to Africa, the amount of university-aged students is predicted to double from 200 million to 400 million by 2045. With this mass surge of students, online higher education fills a gap in both opportunity and affordability for not only African students but for students worldwide. The anytime, anywhere nature of online learning means you don’t have to put your career on pause; you can complete your studies alongside a part-time or full-time job and put your newly acquired skills to use immediately in your current role, so you can potentially advance in your career sooner.
Hone essential skills
In addition to putting your new knowledge to the test in real time, furthering your education online also means fine-tuning your organizational and time-management skills — valuable competencies for any field of work. The flexibility of digital degrees generally allows you to pick and choose certain subjects and select topics that you believe would help fill gaps in your understanding. In doing so, this can be of direct use to you and your business. From establishing priorities to achieving goals, taking ownership of your progress conveys to current or future employers your commitment to both personal and professional success.
Engage and interact around the clock
From discussion boards to instant messaging, videoconferencing and social media, savvy online higher education institutions provide plenty of tools and opportunities to foster the same meaningful interactions students might obtain in a traditional classroom setting. Valuable engagement features included in our MBA program include: peer to peer learning, collaborative platforms, digital coaches, and skill development programs. Virtual forums enable you to engage in group work, share ideas and receive feedback anytime, anyplace, allowing you to study on your own schedule without missing out on the benefits of peer collaboration.
Reap the benefits
Collaboration has considerable benefits for learning and helps you take an active role in your education. That’s because you must take accountability for your ideas and contributions while being sensitive to the ideas and goals of your peers. A study by Alan R. Roper for Educase found that participating in threaded discussions helped the majority of students benefit most from interaction with their classmates. Through teamwork, you can gain support, work through challenges, hone your problem solving and critical thinking skills, and boost motivation and leadership skills — all critical to both personal and professional success.
Gain new global perspectives
Pursuing a degree online can help you expand your horizons far beyond traditional classroom walls. That’s because online learning gives you the advantage of meeting and interacting with professionals from all over the world. You have a valuable opportunity to learn from classmates with firsthand experience in the field and gain valuable industry insights not just on a local but on an international scale. You will have the opportunity to develop a greater understanding and appreciation of other cultures through the informal environment of the classroom – and this increased understanding of other cultures will allow you to improve your professional relations with international colleagues and suppliers.
The opportunity for interaction not only exists on an international level but on a local level as well. During these local interactions you will have the chance to debate business or industry questions that are directly affecting you professionally and/or personally.
Build a global network and learn to sustain it digitally.
The opportunity to work with and learn from classmates from around the globe also means you can establish meaningful connections you might not have been able to make otherwise. With the use of online social platforms – such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Skype – keeping up to date with friends and colleagues online is a skill that can be continuously learned and sharpened. By establishing meaningful connections through the internet, you will learn the importance of being able to keep these meaningful links alive. This is especially valuable if you are looking to advance into a globally focused role, pilot an international organisation or are considering professional opportunities abroad.