Why Online Classes are Great for Life and Your CV

By Lorena Roberts on April 21, 2018

As more and more online classes are offered at universities around the nation, the debate over whether or not it’s a “quality education” continues. There are two different ways to approach it:

1) telling yourself, this material is going to be tough to learn via lecture videos and online reading quizzes, or 2) this class is going to be a joke, I’ll get an easy “A” out of this one.

Online education is currently quite the topic of discussion– is it really “quality” and is it worth enrolling in? Will employers appreciate that I sought out ways to educate myself and earn a degree while being able to keep my job and support my family? Or will employers roll their eyes at my online experiences?

Students are worried that online courses may not be the best option, though they’re often much more convenient (and financially the better option!) than classes that meet in-person.

For example, is it best to get a degree in teaching through an online course? How much can you really learn about teaching other people if you’re just watching videos and responding to discussion posts? There comes a point where online classes might not be the best option. This is usually the case for hands-on professions. Would we trust a doctor who got their degree online? Or would we prefer that they had completed some sort of residency/clinical/internship, right?

via Pexels.com

But in other ways, online classes can be the best use of time for those of us who are interested in learning more about a variety of topics, or who have the option to take a class online for college credit. Working towards finishing a degree is tough, especially if school isn’t the only thing in your life that you’re trying to keep afloat. It’s much easier to take care of a family and work a full-time job while getting a degree through online classes than having to take off of work or attend night classes. Universities are trying to capitalize on the fact that society is all about taking advantage of the number of hours in a day. People are constantly rushing from place to place. It’s all about having more. More money, more degrees, more opportunities. So online classes are a way to offer the perfect solution to wanting to learn while not having to compromise too much.

Instead of calling it “online courses,” or an “online program,” universities are now using the phrase “distance learning.” So many of our college campuses are expanding themselves to make their resources available to students who don’t live within a reasonable distance to drive every day. Instead, offering courses online gives universities more leeway when it comes to rolling in the tuition money while educating the community.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, almost 29% of students at postsecondary institutions enroll in online courses or are a part of a distance learning program. That statistic will most certainly keep increasing over the next decade.

Over the past several years, universities have started offering more and more courses in an online format for a few different reasons:

- convenience for students

- convenience for professors

- lower total cost for students

- logistic relief for universities

Not only do professors appreciate teaching a course contained entirely online, but students seem to enjoy it more as well. While online courses are much more convenient for both parties, they also allow students who tend to be more shy in a classroom setting to really open up in course discussions. Online classes typically solicit student participation through weekly discussion board posts. Discussion boards exist for the sake of exchanging ideas without the “intimidation” that can come from face-to-face confrontation in a classroom. Students with personalities that tend to withdraw, or students who get distracted in classroom settings, seem to opt for online courses as opposed to in-person classes.

Explaining gaps in employment…

Taking an online course can also benefit those who are between jobs. Oftentimes, employers expect reasons for gaps in employment. Seeking a degree or furthering your education are great examples of answers employers are looking for when it comes to these gaps. It shows the employer that you’re willing to stay on top of recent developments in the field; you’re ambitious; you’re curious.

infographic by Lorena Roberts via Piktochart.com

You’re in charge…

It also shows that you’ve improved your own self-discipline. Showing up to a class and acting like you’re engaged with the material will get you full attendance points. But with an online class, you have to be the one to hold yourself accountable. You don’t get a grade for “showing up” to your online class. You have to develop the self-discipline to complete your assignments and learn the material without a participation grade to bump your final score.

Additionally, transferring online course credit can be a simple solution to a problem. If a university doesn’t have quite enough seats in a course, taking the class online at another university and transferring the credits will allow you to avoid “falling behind” in your academic plan. Similarly, it’s not too inconvenient to take an online class during the summer while still holding a job, going on vacations, or traveling to visit family.

 A variety of options…

Oftentimes, the reason students choose to enroll in an online course (or two!) is because there are so many possibilities when it comes to online classes. No longer do students have to settle for what’s being offered in person (like Philosophy 101), but they can now fulfill the same credits with courses that are seemingly more interesting!

Universities have the ability to offer a better variety of courses when it comes to online classes. The Information Age definitely has its perks. So if you’re a student looking for a class in something pretty specific, there’s a chance your university will offer the course online.

Technically speaking…

Because the Information Age is upon us, the ability to use technology and easily maneuver through technologically challenging tasks is a huge plus when employers are looking to hire. Sometimes, taking an online class is the only way to push the boundaries of your technical knowledge, allowing you to learn through experience.

Not leaving home…

One of the first benefits people will chalk up to online classes is that you get to do it in your pajamas. Think about all the commercials for online learning:

There’s always a girl in her pajamas, on her bed, smiling and enjoying the fact that she’s at home and she’s going to college!

There’s a little more to be said about “convenient” online classes. It’s really about the comfort levels of college students. We tend to be comfortable in our own homes, not to mention the pajamas we get to stay in all day.

At your own pace…

Arguably, one of the greatest parts about taking a class online is that you can get as much (or as little!) done on a daily basis as you would like. Once the syllabus is released at the beginning of the semester, marking your calendar and planning out the days becomes up to you. To some degree, taking classes online allows you to set your own deadlines. It is often a possibility to finish the coursework before the semester is over. This can be relieving for students who work full-time, have families, or are enrolled in heavier coursework additionally.

Textbooks are more accessible…

Online classes will probably still “require” a textbook. However, it is likely that the textbook is accessible online, for little or no charge. So while taking a class online is usually cheaper, it’s even more financially ideal because oftentimes you can access the textbook electronically without having to buy a hard copy. You’ll still have to spend time researching information, and it is likely that you’ll be writing at least one paper, but it’s much easier to maneuver through an online course without purchasing a textbook rather than having to fake it through an entire semester of in-person classes.

via Pexels.com

Pursuing an online Bachelor’s degree…

While taking online classes are an option at almost every university in the country, there are several schools that offer online degree programs, where the entirety of your schooling takes place online. Whether or not you choose to opt into a program like this, it’s obvious that this is the most convenient way of earning a Bachelor’s degree.

However, there’s always a conversation happening about whether or not online degrees are credible. Will an employer think this is a joke? Will they respect what you’ve learned through the power of technology and the internet?

Thanks to US News and World Report, the best online Bachelor’s degree programs have been ranked. Topping the list is none other than The Ohio State University in Columbus, OH. US News and World Report indicates that earning a Bachelor’s degree entirely online is optimal for students who are non-traditional. Whether you’re older than the “typical” college student or some of your Bachelor’s degree is already completed, enrolling in an entirely online degree program can be ideal.

Improving your current CV with online resources…

If you’re looking for ways to improve your curriculum vitae, seek out online courses that are offered through various institutions. One of the most widely known online learning course selections is offered by Harvard. You can find a list of courses they offer here. Whether you’re interested in furthering your data science knowledge, or your educational instruction skills, Harvard’s online resources are quite extensive. Some of the courses are offered for free, while others require payment. However, after completing the course, you will receive a certificate worth a certain number of hours. This is the perfect thing to add to your CV under “certifications” or “professional development.”

There are a number of ways to learn more about what you’re interested in or the field in which you’re working. Simply search for online courses provided on that topic and indulge yourself in soaking up all kinds of new information. Your employer will be impressed that you’re staying on top of your game by continuing to educate yourself! The internet gives us all access to a database of endless information at the touch of just a few buttons.

Is it worth it…

If you’re wondering whether investing your time into an online course is worth it or not, Business Insider has created a list of the 15 best online courses that will be worth your time. Most of these courses require little, if any, background knowledge on the subject. They’re designed specifically for people who want to learn more about new subjects. So while this may not be the perfect opportunity to impress your boss, it’s definitely a way for you to spend your free time wisely, making yourself a better person. If you’re wanting to begin “dabbling” in a new area, this is definitely where you should start.

Take advantage of what the online world has to offer…

You should never feel bad about taking a class online. There were times in college when I was taking online classes and was afraid to admit it to anyone. I didn’t want people to think I was taking “the easy way out.”

You should never be ashamed of taking advantage of what technology and the internet has to offer. If it makes your life easier to take an online class, you should absolutely do it. If you can earn some of your college credits through listening to lectures and responding to discussion posts, you should jump on the opportunity. The world is progressing in a way that makes it possible to accomplish one hundred times more things every day than we did, as a civilization, two hundred years ago. We’ve come eons and eons from where we used to be. Living in the Technology Age means you can advance your life in any way you want. You can learn about anything you want. Take the time to discover what’s out there and what’s offered.

Follow Uloop

Apply to Write for Uloop News

Join the Uloop News Team

Discuss This Article

Get Top Stories Delivered Weekly

Back to Top

Log In

Contact Us

Upload An Image

Please select an image to upload
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format
Provide URL where image can be downloaded
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format

By clicking this button,
you agree to the terms of use

By clicking "Create Alert" I agree to the Uloop Terms of Use.

Image not available.

Add a Photo

Please select a photo to upload
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format