The growing number of non-traditional students is increasing, making up a whopping 85% of the entire post-secondary student population and 75% of these students are 25 or older. Because of the growing popularity of online education, working adults can now pursue degrees and certifications relatively easily without disrupting their current career and family life. But what makes online learning so beneficial? Here are our top 5 reasons why most adults seek an online education:
1. Offers Flexibility
Flexible scheduling is probably the number one benefit of online learning, especially for the working adult. The older, “non-traditional” student may not have the means or desire for a campus-based education. Online courses offer the flexibility to schedule learning around other priorities and not the other way around. In addition, online courses often offer 24/7 access to course material which makes for a more personalized and self-paced learning experience at which working adults can thrive and complete more easily.
2. Allows for A Continued Profession
Many adults fear that continuing their education will disrupt their profession and their means of earning income for themselves or their family. But the opposite is actually true: online learning allows the flexibility needed for working adults to continue working while pursuing their higher education. And once online education is completed, it often boosts your earning potential by updating or learning new skills.
3. Has a Lower Total Cost
The most common reason why working adults decide not to pursue a campus-based education is the overwhelming cost. In addition to tuition, the cost of textbooks, living expenses and transportation are also associated with a campus-based education. Most online courses are much more cost effective and also help cut out some of those extra expenses, making it much more attainable for the working adult.
4. Earning a Degree is Actually Obtainable
Working or not, there are many challenges faced when working toward a degree. But the challenges to overcome are even greater when you are working full time or raising a family. Online learning can help make the goal of earning a degree much more realistic. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the rate at which adults are obtaining postsecondary degrees is steadily increasing year over year, and is up over 9% since 2000. The rate of online enrollment is also increasing, which an assumption can be made that online enrollment may be contributing to the number of adults obtaining a degree.
5. Aids in Career Advancement
The most important reason why adults decide to continue with their education is because online learning creates more opportunities in their current professional situation. Many online courses have now become tailored to the professional seeking career development opportunities, giving them enhanced skills and better qualifications for new roles within or outside of their current company.
More and more companies today, including Starbucks and Amazon, see the advantages of offering education as an employee benefit. Corporate educational benefits not only provide a strategy for employee development, but is also a strategy for businesses to increase retention rates and employee satisfaction.
Are you looking to enhance your employee’s skills by offering a pathway for career development? College Gateway for America is an innovative corporate program where employees can secure the education needed to advance in their career and where businesses can benefit with increased retention rates and better employee engagement. Click here for more information about this program.