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5 advantages of taking online courses

By Ana Isabel Alonsagay

Whether you’re seeking tertiary study, stepping foot in the workforce, or are simply looking to build your skills, it’s never a bad time to pursue online learning. 

Online courses have only seen rising popularity in recent years, particularly during the work-from-home circumstances under COVID-19. Such programs have won the favour of aspiring professionals for their generous flexibility, varying choice, and productive learning tools. 

Below, we break down the top five advantages of taking up an online course, the future of the industry, and how you can get started with Upskilled today. 

What are the advantages of taking online courses? 

1. Variety of choice.

Online study options have expanded their specialties over the years and have continued to grow in their range. Students can now pursue areas as niche as fitness, fine arts, and fashion – to some of the country’s most in-demand industries, such as IT, business, and marketing. With thousands of online training providers now available – and growing – in Australia (Upskilled included!), those entering their chosen fields are bound to find a course well-suited to their qualification needs and interests.

Additionally, online courses offer a varied range of qualifications tailored to one’s skill level. Students can start with the essentials of their field through short, months-long crash courses; and eventually work their way up to diploma or even bachelor’s programs as necessary. It’s an effective study path that allows one to change their specialty or ascend their skills needs as they see fit. 

2. Flexibility.

Another major draw of online courses is the flexibility they offer in terms of your schedule and learning preferences. Through their primarily digital delivery, these programs grant you the freedom of studying from the comfort of your own home, and allow you to tailor your study sessions around existing commitments. 

It’s therefore no surprise that they’re a popular option among working professionals seeking a skills boost; as these courses help them study on a schedule that suits them best. They’re able to tailor their training sessions around their current work calendar, helping them balance their other professional and personal priorities at the same time.  

Additionally, the autonomy these courses provide allows you to learn at a pace and style that fits your educational needs best. Whether you’re able to blast through the course material or prefer taking your time, online students can consume the content on their own terms – helping them engage with and absorb the modules more effectively. 

3. Builds discipline, time management, and self-motivation.

The independence of online learning allows students to build on their self-drive, discipline, and daily time management. Though you’re free of teachers breathing down your neck, the responsibility now lies on you to remind yourself of urgent deadlines, webinar schedules, and other important course dates. 

The flexibility of online learning also holds you accountable for your own schedule. While you’re able to set your own calendar – studying when, where, and how you choose – you must also set aside enough time to successfully balance your course assignments and other personal commitments.

All this helps you build on transferable self-management skills, such as the ability to efficiently manage your time, to plan a balanced schedule, and to motivate yourself to meet your goals. Such soft skills are invaluable to any workplace, regardless of industry. 

4. Greater engagement rates. 

The freedom and flexibility of online programs have led to greater engagement and satisfaction rates, according to recent reports. Amidst the COVID-19 disruptions, students who’ve shifted to the online sphere have had a primarily positive response to the online study environment; stating that the use of online technology, flexible access to materials, and the greater independence provided have led to an easier study experience and thus, better learning outcomes. 

The benefits of online learning have long been documented, however. Recent statistics published on Studocu suggest that e-Learning can increase a student's retention rate to an impressive 82%. At the same time, corporate e-Learning takes about 40-60% less time to complete compared to traditional, face-to-face classroom-based training. As a result, about 42% of companies who take advantage of online learning report to earning more income.

With online technologies only set to improve, digital courses are bound to see even greater outcomes in the years ahead. 

5. Financial benefits. 

Finally, online courses are typically a more cost-effective way of building your skills, compared to traditional modes of learning. 

By removing the need to attend a physical campus, online students can effectively save on commuting or travel costs. Plenty of online training providers, such as Upskilled, also offer various payment options suited to your financial needs. These include flexible payment plans and government subsidies (for those eligible), as well as the option to pay upfront and receive 15% off on your course fees. 

With online learning, most barriers to skills or education are minimised, which can include one’s financial circumstances. 

Can online learning replace classroom learning? 

Though “online learning vs. classroom learning” has been a popular debate of recent times, online study is likely unable to fully replace face-to-face learning anytime soon. As stated by Forbes, digital learning has yet to truly imitate the experience of closely collaborating with one’s course peers, or getting face-to-face validation and encouragement from a teacher. 

However, online courses remain as a highly effective and popular alternative pathway to building one’s skills; suited to those looking for quick, practical industry training or currently occupied with other work commitments. They may not have the intimacy and social perks of a traditional classroom – but they offer students greater autonomy and control over their learning, catering best to busy professionals or those who prefer an independent (and cost-effective) mode of study. 

Is online learning the future of education? 

young woman typing on laptop

Online learning is here to stay, with plenty of Australian university students preferring these courses over traditional classroom studies. In a survey by Consultancy Deloitte, 77% of students stated these programs were “equal to or better than face-to-face learning”. The company has thus highlighted the need for universities to consider more blended ways of teaching – combining online with face-to-face study for a more effective and engaging educational experience. 

Educators and students alike are also now discovering the many benefits of online learning due to its massive adoption amidst COVID-19. Efforts to preserve digital study options are likely to take place in order to sustain these positive outcomes. 

At the same time, development of mobile and internet technologies are likely to advance the online training industry, paving the way for further course options and stronger growth in student enrolments. 

Kickstart your online learning journey today! 

Got skills you want to improve, or an industry you wish to explore? Upskilled currently offers a wide selection of online courses across Australia’s top industries, from short courses in business to fully-fledged bachelor’s degrees in information technology (IT). 

With all programs offered online, you can reap the benefits of nationally-recognised qualifications while enjoying flexible control over your studies. 

Build the skill set you need for your dream career, and enquire with us today.   
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