Online learning has become a mainstay in Australia’s educational landscape, with the nation hosting more than 1,000 online education providers, contributing over $3 billion in annual revenue.
Globally, the industry is set to deliver over $37 billion (US dollars) by the end of the year.
Though an innovative approach to academia and professional training, potential students still encounter barriers to entering such programs; with an unfamiliarity of the technologies, learning processes, and educational advantages involved.
Thinking about pursuing online study – though unsure about its outcomes? We’ve highlighted seven of its main benefits below to eliminate all stigma and misconceptions.
Highly flexible options
Sure, being an online student would mean missing out on a campus experience – though online courses provide you with the flexibility to work when and where you wish.
Gone are the hassles of hour-long drives and commutes to your classroom; with online learning, all you need is a laptop and internet, and you can easily tend to your studies from the comfort of your couch, bed, or kitchen table.
Should you have work, family, or other personal commitments on your plate – online courses provide you with full control over your training schedule. At the same time, students can choose to work during times of the day that work best for them (some have higher productivity and memory retention during the day – others experience these spurts at night). This helps them tailor their learning to better suit their capabilities, leading them to produce greater results.
Traditional studies, on the other hand, typically restrict students to specific times in the day for study – which may not cater to their peak productivity hours.
Diverse approaches and content
A wide variety of content formats and training methods are available through online education; also known as “multimodal learning”.
Online students acquire their knowledge from onscreen texts, online publications, video material, and even interactive software – with platforms for that allow deep-dive discussions among trainers and peers, rather than the traditional, teacher-centred methods of learning.
You’ve also got boundless disciplines and subject areas at your fingertips, as online students have the opportunity to learn whatever they please (provided there’s an online course available). One needn’t be set on any as a future career, either – as plenty of short courses or online resources are available for those who are simply curious or seeking new interests.
Though a wide selection of programs can be found in traditional learning environments, these physical spaces may be geographically or financially inaccessible to some, along with incredibly high competition for enrollment.
Use of efficient technologies
In just the past five years, Australia’s online education industry has faced rapid expansions in technological equipment and software. With the constant developments and the increasing reliability of internet connections and mobile technology, online institutions have managed to deliver more to students, and at a far more productive rate.
As an online student, you’ll be well equipped with user-friendly, online learning hubs consisting of all the academic resources, communication channels, and assessments you need. These can include discussion forums, research journals, webinars, and online projects. Everything is just a click away, with convenient, instantaneous ways of contacting those you need for support or assistance.
As of today, the online education industry has been known to leverage cloud computing, mobile learning, virtual laboratories, and school management systems to ensure a seamless and highly interactive student experience.
Access to both local and global industry experts
Online education allows students to learn from their nation’s (and in some cases, the world’s) best – regardless of their location.
Plenty of online education providers partner with leading bodies in their industry, helping them develop programs that are up-to-date with the latest developments, standards, practices, and technologies. This ensures that students are provided with quality training, allowing them to complete their courses with relevant, industry-standard skills.
The Australian Institute of ICT (AIICT), for example, has industry partnerships with both local and global leading providers in IT certifications. These include Microsoft Azure, CompTIA, and DDLS. Students can build their expertise through globally-recognised credentials, helping further their careers or chances for employment.
On top of the ability to study when and where they please, online students also have the privilege of managing their tasks and assignments at a pace and approach that works best for them.
In traditional learning environments, students are pressed to keep up with their teachers, who may run through subjects while failing to leave room for extra questions and student assistance. Traditional students may also face the pressure of completing tasks within the strict, limited timeframe of a specific class.
With online learning, however, individuals are granted the flexibility of absorbing concepts and tackling assessments at a speed they’re comfortable with. This allows room for greater comprehension, ensuring full understanding of an idea before moving to the next – and thus, results in better grades.
Online education also effectively shifts academic responsibility onto the student. When offered the liberty to teach themselves and learn in ways that suit them best, they become more responsible for their studies, likely leading to a greater drive to study and work harder.
Opportunity to upskill
Upskilling has become a prominent goal among most Australian workers; in 2019, a SEEK study revealed that nearly two-thirds of the nation’s employees were dedicated to upgrading their skills in the 12 months that followed.
With technology set to automate 40% of jobs, the practice is necessary. Online education not only offers a non-conventional, flexible pathway for those seeking an alternative to traditional universities; they also provide the currently-employed with options to upgrade their current skillsets.
The customisable, flexible delivery of online learning allows workers to complete courses on the side while still tending to their job commitments. These programs are also designed to keep up with the latest trends, developments, and changes in their chosen industry, helping them stay competitive in the ever-demanding job market.
Additionally, upskilling through online studies enable workers to pivot their career in new directions, helping them explore new industries or fields of interest.
Finally, those who undertake online learning can encounter plenty of financial benefits – including the ability to save on commuting, petrol, and parking costs. With most, if not all, of your resources online, you’ll also give your wallet a break from expensive textbooks and campus amenities.
Businesses can also avoid hefty costs in travel, lodging, and office space; expenses derived from sending employees to remote training programs or setting up a centralised, on-site area dedicated to employee-training activities.
Some providers additionally offer flexible payment options to suit your financial needs. AIICT, for example, ensures that students only pay for what they study; with course costs broken down into reasonable installments over a 15-month timespan.
So, think online learning’s the pathway for you?
With its technologically-advanced nature, accessibility and flexible delivery – there’s no doubt that online education is favoured by many. Those who have the right discipline and a preference for non-conventional learning methods will find success through such training, furthering their career path, industry expertise, and employment opportunities.
At AIICT, aspiring IT professionals can equip themselves with foundational skills in cyber security, website development, and general IT knowledge; through vendor-certified courses delivered by industry experts. Students complete their chosen program with recognised qualifications, keeping their skillsets relevant, competitive, and attractive on the job market.
All courses are offered exclusively online, with dedicated student support to assist you through your program.
Advance your skills in ICT, and enquire with us on a course today.