What’s Driving the Growth of Online Degree Courses?

Over the past two years, our lives have changed a lot with more and more being done virtually and online. Companies that never thought working from home would work for them are now fully remote, and universities around the world are offering more online courses to their students after discovering during the COVID-19 pandemic that some people do prefer this option. During the height of the pandemic, there was little choice but to offer an online learning option if students were to continue on the course while staying at home, which has led to another boom in online learning. Once seen as ‘less than’ and met with scepticism from both students and teachers, online learning has grown over the years both pre- and post-COVID to become a viable, popular method of getting a degree and many other qualifications.

If you are thinking about starting a new university degree in 2022, then you may have already found more online study options available than you were expecting. But what exactly makes studying online so popular, and what do students like about it? Let’s find out.

Work and Study

Online learning is more likely to be the first choice for people who are already established in their careers, settled at home, and paying bills when returning to study compared to students who are young and want to get the full university experience with classroom learning and living in student halls. This is because once you’ve been to university and got a degree, have built your career up and decided that it’s a good time to get a degree like the doctor of business administration online from Aston University, the last thing that you will want to do is upheave your career and the life that you have put a lot of effort into building for yourself so far. Online degree courses are often more flexible, allowing you to study from home or another location of your choice at a time that suits your personal schedule best. Because of this, it’s much easier to continue working full-time while getting an online degree compared to working full-time when you need to be in class for a 9 AM lecture.

Cost Savings

Another massive contributing factor to the growth of online degree learning around the world today is that it can help students save a lot of money. With tuition fees getting more and more expensive for both classroom and online degree courses, it makes sense that many students want to choose the option where they are going to have the least expenses. Along with this, for students who are returning to education while working full-time, it means that there is a lower opportunity cost as it’s completely feasible to continue earning your normal level of income while studying rather than having to face reducing your hours or even giving up your current career completely while you study. Smaller costs of studying on-campus, like commuting to classes, might seem insignificant at first but they can add up a lot over the years, meaning that studying online might help you save more money than you realise.

Networking Opportunities

In the past, before Zoom, Microsoft Teams, WhatsApp and social media were as popular as they are today, one of the main concerns that people had in regards to online degree courses was that there was simply not as many opportunities to network and get to know your fellow students compared to when studying on campus. However, this has all changed today with the rapid growth of remote working and studying tools that we have at our fingertips. Online students can expect to have as many chances as their classroom-based counterparts when it comes to getting to know each other and networking within their programme. Even if you never get the chance to meet your peers in person, you will have lots of options for building friendships and professional relationships with forums, group chats, video conferencing and more.

Employer Support

With online degrees offering a better opportunity for students who want to continue working while they are studying for their degree, it is no surprise that going for an online degree might help you gain more support from your employer. These days, employers know that it’s usually a better option to invest in their current staff and hire from within when it comes to promotions, so if your career goal involves working your way up the career ladder at your current place of work, your employer might be more likely to get on board if you are planning to get your degree online. This is because for employers, it’s a win-win situation – they get an employee who is more knowledgeable and skilled, without having to lose you while you’re getting your degree in the meantime. If you are hoping that your employer might be willing to help you pay for some or all of your tuition fees when studying for a degree, then opting for an online course might be what sways their decision.

More Options to Choose From

Last but not least, getting a degree online might provide some people with more choice compared to what they would have had otherwise. While there are lots of universities in the UK offering hundreds of different courses, it’s unrealistic to expect that somebody is going to be able to choose from all of them, especially if they have work or family commitments in a certain area. Instead of being limited to the courses that are available for you to study at local colleges and universities, online courses give you more freedom to choose to study courses available at universities that might be hundreds of miles away, or even in a completely different country, since the location is no longer a concern – the degree will come to you!

If you’ve noticed more talk about online learning or online learning ads popping up on your social media, then you might be wondering, what’s behind the growth of online courses? It’s clear to see that for many students, the option to study online can sometimes be the difference between whether or not they are able to get a degree.

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