Going back to school can certainly be difficult. There are so many obstacles that can get in the way, not least of all finding the time to do so. That’s why online learning can be a viable option for people who would not be able to fit a traditional education into their busy lives. In fact, more than half of online students say that they take online courses so that they’re able to balance work, family life, and school. Most of them also say that they love their online courses because it provides the freedom of where and when to study as well.
Why go back to school in the first place? Almost half of online learners said that they went back to school because they wanted to advance their career. Online learning can help you complete your education without making it so that you have to leave your job, thanks to the accessibility of online learning to a variety of time frames and schedules. And an education is an important thing to have. In fact, it’s predicted that by 2020, 60% of career jobs will employees to have obtained a secondary education. The people who pursue online learning to advance their careers are what we call professional learners, and they make up 63% of working adults. This means that career people are constantly learning, constantly striving to better themselves to become the best at their job that they can be. Online learning can certainly have a hand in that. In fact, it could even be crucial to it.
But even if you’re not pursuing the next level of a career, there are so many benefits to online learning. The people who learn just for the sake of learning are what we call personal learners, and 74% of adults fit into this category. Personal learners participate in an activity to advance their knowledge because it personally interests them. This can include things like reading, exercising, and, of course, online learning.
There are may reasons to pursue online learning and personal learning. Many stated that they wanted to learn to help other people more effectively. Many older people wanted to be able to keep up with their children and grandchildren. And some just had extra time to pursue a hobby or wanted to turn a hobby into a career. Almost all personal learners said that their learning experience made them feel more well rounded as a person and over half said that personal learning helped them make new friends and opened up new perspectives on life.
Online learning is rising in popularity. Over 30% of students incorporate at least one online class into their course load. These such students now number over 6 million. No matter what the motivation, be it professional or personal, online learning can be beneficial to all.