Online learning continues to rise in popularity, despite those who still believe the misconceptions about this method of learning. Read on for some of the most common but incorrect assumptions about gaining a qualification online, and the reasons why so many students are choosing this option over studying at a brick-and-mortar university.
Online learning is easier
Most commonly, people assume online learning is the easier option. For many years, many employers might have been inclined to believe this too. However, this is not true. There are some reasons students may find it easier to study remotely, but that doesn’t mean it’s easier overall.
For example, the online data science masters with Baylor University is accredited and is as valuable in the workplace as the same level of qualification gained from any other university. Being able to study online means more people can study for a new career, without having to move or lose their income. The curriculum will still cover all the necessary knowledge and build on much-needed skills. However, students need to motivate themselves and commit to setting regular time aside, so this can be more appealing to employers, because of the mindset it instills in online graduates.
There is no help or support
The misconception that online learning means no help or support is available during your learning is linked to past experiences of learning where this was the case and has been passed around over the years, with people believing all learning is this way today. However, if you enroll with an established online university, you can expect to receive the same or a better level of support than you would if you attended your learning in person. Many online learning providers are well-versed in the challenges faced by remote students, and they have adapted their support network to compensate for this.
Students can often meet virtually, through organized online tutorials, forums, and informal study groups. There will also be a team of qualified staff who have a tried and tested system for providing quick responses and appropriate help to students during their studies.
You don’t do a work placement
It’s understandable that people who believe there is no work placement linked to online education will be dubious about how effective the course can be. However, many online universities help students find work placements within a reasonable drive from their homes. As the course providers understand the value of remote learning and the reasons students choose this, they try to make the work placements as easy as possible to travel to, with as few disruptions as possible to your other commitments.
Employers won’t pick online graduates over regular graduates
This misconception may be rooted in fact, but luckily, most employers now understand the value of employing online graduates. Employers are now more open to doing their own research to learn whether the course and university cover what they need their employees to know. So, if you learn through an established university with an excellent reputation, a good employer will recognize that.
With more students choosing remote learning or having fewer options during 2020, the number of online graduates rose. Now, it would drastically limit the number of candidates if all employers were to refuse employment to graduates simply because they gained their qualifications online. They would also miss out on adding skilled people to their team who are motivated and have excellent time-management skills. With more options for working from home, people such as these are essential in the workplace. Businesses want to ensure their staff have the right mindset to complete projects, even when they are not being constantly supervised.
You need to be a computer expert
Although you need to know how to use a computer to carry out the tasks required for your course, you won’t need to be a computer expert. However, many careers involve using computers, software, and even programming languages depending on the course and career you’re interested in. Most of the US population has some experience in using technology and the ability to learn or expand on their existing knowledge. Technology is a big part of daily life, so you probably have more than enough knowledge to pursue an online degree. However, if you don’t, there are plenty of places you can take a quick course or find a drop-in center to get help figuring out the specific technology you will need to understand for studying online.
People wrongly assume that the fees for remote learning are higher than traditional universities. Again, this is wrong to assume about many reputable online universities. Some will be cheaper per credit hour, and you will also have other savings. As there’s no need to relocate or travel, this can contribute to substantial savings too. With some remote qualifications, you can work around your existing job without losing any of your income. Other courses may require you to reduce your hours, especially around work placements, but learning in your own time means you have more time to earn. If you were studying in person, you would likely have less time to work. Provided you’re prepared to put in the hours outside of work, online studying can work extremely well. This can mean cutting down on socializing or being more aware of the small things you do that waste time throughout the day and reducing these. It’s an investment in your future and will be worth it when you graduate.
Many of the misconceptions around online learning are no longer true if they ever were. The courses have changed and improved throughout the years, and now contain everything students need for a new career in the industry of their choice. More students are choosing to pursue remote learning due to the cost, convenience, and support available.