With the university application deadlines just a couple of months way, teenagers and ambitious adults across the country will be weighing up their options when it comes to learning new skills. Gaining new qualifications and skills is an excellent way of improving your employment prospects and furthering your career. For many teenagers and young adults, university is the most popular option. Having not long been out of the education system, they’re familiar with structured learning and university offers the opportunity to continue this but with the added benefits of being away from home and making new friends.
However, there comes in a point in many of our adult lives when we feel that expanding our knowledge or increasing our skill sets would be beneficial. Going to university later in life can be majorly disruptive and difficult to manage – particularly for those with low household incomes or families to look after.
In recent years, more and more reputable companies and educational institutions are offering people the chance to learn new skills and improve their CVs from the comfort of their own homes. So, if you’re looking to gain new qualifications but feel that attending a college or university would make life more difficult, this method of learning may be just right for you…
The Benefits of Online Learning
Learning online means you can study during the times that suit you. There’s no structured timetable to follow and no formal lectures to attend – meaning you can fit learning around your exisiting lifestyle. For parents with school age children, the flexibility of online learning means there is little disruption to family life and an academic timetable will not clash with those all-important dentist appointments, after school clubs or sick days. Many adults who go down the online learning route, also find that they can do so without leaving their current employment or working hours. You put the hours in when it suits YOU.
It’s no secret that university fees are incredibly high. Over the past decade, the average annual tuition fee has more than tripled. As an adult with dependents and existing financial commitments, can you afford to pay out an extra £9k a year or be weighed down by thousands of pounds worth of debt?
Fees for online learning are dramatically lower than those of universities. As you are working for home, your fees do not take into consideration generous salaries for lecturers, costly research and the use of onsite facilities. In most cases, depending on who you study with, there is also the option to spread your payments so you won’t need to pay the full amount upfront.
More Course Options
One of the best benefits of online learning is the astounding number of subjects available to study. No college or university in the UK offers a course on EVERY possible subject and chances are, the one you want to study isn’t availbale at the one you want to attend. With online learning, your subject choice can pretty much be as broad or as niche as you like. With some of the best online education providers offering in the region of 400 different online courses, you’re bound to find one to inspire and motivate you! You can choose to study those essential Maths and English GCSEs that are missing from your CV or, opt for something a little more obscure that reflects your personal interests and career ambitions.
You may think that if you study a course online you won’t gain credible qualifications like you would if you went to college or university. This is certainly not the case. Online course providers such as New Skills Academy, offer courses which have been recognised by accreditation sources such as the CDP Certification Service. This means, at the end of your course, you don’t just get a certificate from the course provider – you also gain a certified qualification that will look great on your CV!
When one has been out of the education system for a considerable length of time, starting a new course can be incredibly daunting. Dealing with the disruption to your usual schedule, extra time away from home and the pressures of meeting and socialising with new people in an alien environment, can all cause stress, that quite frankly, most of us could do without.
Choosing an online course means you can study in the comfort of your own home – where you are likely to feel more comfortable and where there will probably be less distractions. Bad back? Study in the comfort of your favourite armchair. Need regular tea breaks? Nobody is going to stop you from popping in the kitchen to put the kettle on. We all study differently but doing so in comfort and in a relaxed state of mind most certainly can only have a positive impact on those final grades.
Another major factor to consider when heading back into education, is the length of the course you wish to study. Most university and college courses have set timescales – with A-Levels being set at 2 years and most degree courses at 3 – 4 years. With online learning, you can choose to work at your own pace and spread the course over more months or more years. As adults, our spare time tends to be quite limited so being able to work to a longer timescale means you don’t need to sacrifice too much of it!