There’s often debate around whether distance learning programmes are “better” or “worse” than on-campus programmes. But the reality is, there’s no right or wrong answer. How you choose to study depends on your personal circumstances – if you’re a full-time student living at home, if you’re in full-time employment, if you have personal commitments, or if you’re based remotely or spend a lot of time on the move.
One thing is for certain though – distance learning programmes and online study are becoming more and more prevalent around the world as technology advances and students look for more flexible and accessible ways to study.
Here are 7 benefits of distance learning programmes:
One of the greatest benefits of distance learning programmes is undoubtedly their flexibility – you can study on your own terms, when and where it suits you, rather than having to stick to rigid class schedules or travel long distances to get to your classes.
This means you don’t need to reschedule your life around your studies – you can carry on with your everyday life and fit your studies around your own schedule.
Since your learnings are through online study, this also means you don’t need to live within close distance of your training provider – you can live outside of town, or even in another country altogether, and still have access to the course you want to study through distance learning.
Aside from the freedom to study from wherever in the world you want to, distance learning programmes provide you with the freedom to carry on with your work, family and social commitments without needing to worry about having to break them to attend classes.
Keep earning an income while you study
Before there was the option for online study, students would either have to take up a part-time job, or forgo working altogether to be able to attend regular on-campus classes. This meant many struggled to meet their living costs while studying.
Now though, as an online student, you have the opportunity to take up full-time employment and receive a regular income alongside your studies – enabling you to sustain and enjoy a comfortable lifestyle while you study.
Because on-campus programmes generally need to take into consideration a host of costs for on-campus facilities, staff, services and materials, they tend to cost more than distance learning programmes, which don’t require any on-campus costs to run effectively.
Access a global student cohort
With on-campus programmes, your student cohort are the other people you can see around you in your classroom. With distance learning programmes though, your classmates could be in the next town, or even on the other side of the world. That means you have the unique opportunity to access a much broader range of ideas and perspectives – giving you a much richer learning experience.
Build your professional network
Arguably, just as important as your studies themselves is building professional networks that can help you along your career journey. Through distance learning, you have access to a global network of professionals working in a variety of roles for a variety of organisations that can help connect you to the ideal job you’ve been looking for.
Boost your personal and professional development
A great bonus of online study is that it boosts your self-discipline and time-management skills – both crucial skills in both your personal and professional development. Being able to study independently, without tutors peering over your shoulder or setting your study schedule for you, requires masterful self-discipline and time-management skills – which potential employers will look very favourably upon.