Digital V/S Traditional Learning – Why Online Education Is Here To Stay

With the traditional-digital transition point well behind us, the digital medium has emerged as the most dependable information channel for users all over the world. The internet has taken over the world. According to a 2015 UN report, over 3.2 billion people are connected to the internet. Assuming that anyone who can afford broadband internet has a minimum purchasing power, that’s more than half of the world’s consumers with healthy disposable incomes on a common, global platform.

It’s a veritable goldmine for businesses. Never before in commercial history has there been such a large audience with diverse interests and deep pockets.

They’ve also been quick to adapt. Today, over a million businesses conduct business online, and nearly all brick-and-mortar establishments have a growing online presence.

The education industry is no exception. Because of the cost-effectiveness and reach of online learning, educational institutions have turned to the internet to offer courses and training. However, there has been a constant debate about which of the two is more valuable to an employer and the student.

Online courses were once thought to be inferior to traditional degrees. Employers rarely accepted online degrees as equivalent to degrees earned at a reputable on-campus university. However, in today’s tech-driven world and with the time constraints that professionals face, online learning is taking the lead.

The demand for online degree programs has skyrocketed as employers have come to expect more refined and up-to-date skills from their employees.

Let’s see how online education compares to traditional modes of delivery.

1. Adaptability

Online learning is by definition adaptable. E-learning allows working professionals and people with families to balance professional and personal obligations with study. Many online courses are adaptable and allow students to learn at their own pace.

Traditional education is much more rigid. Furthermore, unlike online courses, which can be accessed from any location and on any device, traditional courses are not designed for the mobile generation.

2. Multimodal Transport

Because e-learning courses are delivered via the internet, students can select their preferred learning style. Online programs allow students to learn in the most effective way for them. Self-paced courses in a variety of disciplines are available to learners who prefer self-study. Many online programs also provide live online training with remote instruction, simulating the feel of a face-to-face classroom and real-time learning for those who prefer a more traditional approach.

3. Interactive Environment

The lack of interaction with other learners appears to be the most common criticism leveled at online learning. However, recent technological advancements have changed everything. Ed-tech companies such as Simplilearn have integrated community interaction and social media into the online learning experience.

It is obvious that digital learning is here to stay. And this leads us to the next question…

What Do Employers Believe?

Employers’ reactions to online degrees vary depending on the field. Although the stigma associated with online learning hasn’t completely vanished, perceptions have shifted dramatically in the last decade or so. People who are most opposed to online degrees are now thought to be those who are least familiar with them.

In 2010, the US Department of Education concluded, based on the findings of 45 studies, that online learning is as effective as traditional learning.

However, in some fields, face-to-face degree programs may be required or have a significant advantage over online programs. According to a Public Agenda survey report from 2013, 56% of respondent employers prefer job applicants who completed their degree in a classroom setting. However, according to the same survey, 45% of employers believe that completing an online degree requires more discipline, while 80% believe that online degrees provide opportunities for older students to obtain their college credentials.

Summary

Learning online can be a very rewarding experience. It not only allows students to continue their education without having to give up their careers, but it also allows them to interact with students from all over the world.

With so many variables to consider, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. Considering your living situation, learning style, and career goals will help you make a decision that is right for you. However, there is no doubt that online learning has surpassed traditional learning in many ways. So, if you’re wondering if that online program from an online training provider will add value to your resume, the answer is a resounding yes!

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