Distance learning can no longer be considered the preserve of working adults with many younger students now actively choosing this route. At one time distance learners were considerably older than the general population of students with online courses appealing most strongly to mid-career professionals. Recent years have however seen a rise in registrations from younger students which suggests that distance learning is becoming the preferred learning method for students of all ages.
Here are the three main reasons why prospective students are drawn towards this path of learning.
The dawn of the internet
Technological advances have succeeded in reshaping the educational experience for distance learners. New technology such as virtual lectures and interactive forums have enabled distance learning to establish itself as a dynamic learning model. Students can make video calls to their tutors or ask written questions, which suggests that distance learning can offer as much as face-to-face teaching. Students from all over the globe can enrol onto online learning courses as there are no geographical or time constraints. The growth of social media allows us to remain more connected than ever and has therefore eradicated the distance in the distance learning. With the availability of countless online communities and resources, it is now possible for all distance learners to interact and support one another.
Learn while you earn
Online learning is an appealing choice for cost-conscious students who want further education and good return on their investment. Increased tuition fees and living expenses mean that full-time university is not a viable option for all, whereas distance learning courses can cost as little as a fifth of the price of conventional university courses. Distance learning courses offer flexible payment options where you can pay as you study in monthly instalments which means that students can keep on top of the costs. This type of learning can give students the chance to learn and work at the same time which provides them with the opportunity to remain financially stable and gain work experience to boost their future career prospects.
Convenience and flexibility
The flexibility of distance learning makes it distinctive as students can fit their studying around their life. Many young students are attracted to this style of learning as they are given the freedom to study at their own convenience and pace. They can choose where and when they study – this is a flexibility which is hard to match. This is particularly valuable to those who cannot commit three years to a conventional university degree as they can shape the distance learning programme to suit their lifestyle.
Online learning is revolutionising higher education for the working adult. Thanks to online learning degrees, working adults can now further their education with minimal impact on their current lifestyle.
Here are four advantages to online learning for adults.
An online learning degree provides a flexible study option for those with time commitments as students are given the freedom to study at their own convenience. Course materials are always accessible online which means that students can learn anytime and from anywhere. This allows students to fit studying around their personal schedule which is particularly ideal for those who need to balance work and family commitments.
Online learning allows the student to study at their own pace which puts them in control of their own learning path. A student can review content as many times as they need to which makes it easy to digest information. Students are free to submit work and take exams when they are ready so learning is a completely stress-free process. This makes online learning a suitable option for all types of learners.
Lower total costs
Online learning provides a more affordable pathway to education. Course fees are much more cost-efficient than traditional university study. There are usually no required course materials as the students are given access to these resources for free online. Associated costs are also minimal with no commuting costs to university classes or parking fees.
Online learning degrees have created opportunities for students to enhance their skill set and gain qualifications in a field of study which is great for those looking to advance or refocus their career. The courses have now become central to continuing professional development and give students an instant competitive advantage. Working adults find that the online courses make them better qualified for new roles which puts them in a strong position to increase their earning power.
Business courses have proven to be one of the most flexible areas for study by making students more employable whilst providing them with a wider understanding of the industry. For this reason, there has been an increase in popularity and more students are now enrolling on these courses.
Advantages of a business and management degree
By providing students with a more in-depth and yet broader understanding of business through covering all areas from finance to marketing, a BA in Business allows students to gain exposure to the different features that contribute to the success of a company. This exposure also allows them to go on to choose and pursue their preferred job role and area.
This course also allows them to participate in work placements and other projects which can help to broaden their level of experience whilst also offering them the real-life skills that they will later go on to utilise in the industry. Courses often lack the practical side of knowledge, for example a majority of degrees teach theoretical skills and do not emphasise skills such as time management or strategic thinking. Therefore, a business and management degree contributes to making students more employable by providing them with both the knowledge and transferable skills to go on to succeed in any role. Whilst there is more competition than ever in the job market, a business course can help students to evolve into well-rounded candidates.
What you should expect when studying for a BA in business and management degree
A business and management degree is either run over a period of three or four years depending on whether the university offers the opportunity for you to study abroad or carry out a work placement during that extra year. Whilst the course is still comprised of elements such as lectures and seminars, a business and management course will also involve participating in teamwork which can help to teach you some valuable skills that can benefit you in the workplace. Whether in the form of a presentation or written work, this course will teach you to collaborate with others and carry out your own research. This is crucial in the workplace because it will teach you to be more tolerant and develop both your problem-solving and critical-thinking skills. These are skills that are required in every field and therefore will be an asset to any organisation.
You will also have the opportunity to study a range of different modules from computing to accounting which will help to give you an overall idea of the area that most suits you. Many other degree subjects can be quite niche whereas a management and business course will provide you with an overview of different areas. This can be particularly beneficial in the future, due to having a better understanding of other departments such as finance. It can also be helpful if you decide to change careers in the future because you will already have developed the basic understanding. You then have the option of pursuing further education or work-based training.
Career opportunities after doing a BA in Business
Whilst a BA in Business and Management Degree will prepare you for a career within the business sector, it also helps to introduce you to more opportunities. For example, by allowing you to carry out a work placement, you will have developed real-life experience that can provide you with an advantage over other candidates.
A business and management course is designed to make you more employable. One of the benefits is that it will have taught you skills such as being able to think logically and will allow you to list a plethora of examples when questioned during an interview. Therefore, after having developed the fundamental understanding of business, it opens the pathway to a more successful career within the field. It will not only help you to navigate the business world but will allow you to pursue further education and qualifications.
This course will become the foundation for your future success and therefore is preferred over other courses. It can demonstrate to an employer that you are able to work immediately after graduating and have the right understanding and mind-set to quickly adapt to the business environment. A business and management degree bridges the gap between education and a career and will continue to rise in popularity because of this.
With children growing accustomed to using technology from a younger age, everything is quickly becoming digitalised and being tailored to this new generation. When students are already familiar with watching YouTube videos or scrolling through news articles on their phones, having to sit and listen to a teacher in a classroom is something that they may struggle with. Their way of consuming information has changed and therefore the concept of being able to sit and learn from their device is perceived as a more precedent and appealing method of educating themselves.
An online education can also provide students with more opportunities, for example by allowing them to study at an international institution without having to travel or move abroad. This method of learning is also more cost-effective because it cuts out the need for the student to travel to attend classes or in some cases the need to purchase text books. With the continual increase in tuition fees, more students are re-evaluating whether or not there is a need to attend university. Therefore, online education allows them to be able to gain a qualification without accumulating the same amount of debt that they would have otherwise. Students may also have other commitments such as being a carer or even having children and therefore online learning can allow them to balance these whilst not having to sacrifice their studying.
Younger students are also becoming more conscious about the environment and therefore studying online is perceived as a more economical way of learning. For example, by not having to travel to a classroom or gather countless handouts from lectures, students are contributing to helping the environment. This factor can carry a lot of weight for some students and can be their sole motivation for pursuing online classes. This can also benefit institutions themselves by demonstrating that they are showing consideration for the environment and it ultimately reduces overall costs for them. For example, they have fewer expenses by not having to fly in international teachers. When classes take place online, institutions are able to lower all of their administrative costs.
This method of education can also be more appealing to working professionals that are seeking a promotion or in need of career development. It allows them to simultaneously study and work without either being affected. Learning online helps to cater to everyone and also allows students to be flexible which is something that is lacking in traditional education.
Institutions utilise software such as Blackboard which not only allows them to manage courses but provides students with access to modular information and resources. There are now countless platforms which can help to emulate the interactions that a teacher and student would have in a classroom such as Skype. Whilst some can argue that online learning lacks the social aspect or physical interaction that takes place in a classroom, the use of social media has revolutionised this and now allows students to interact in real-time.
Online learning not only means that students can access information from wherever they are but also ensures that resources are always available. For example, instead of having to visit a library, students are able to access books online. Whether they are at an airport or on a long train journey, everything is accessible. Therefore, with younger students having busier lives and always being on the move, an online education may better suit their lifestyle.
It is important for institutions to tailor content and teaching to the needs of the student and therefore as everything continues to become digitalised, it is only natural for students to seek a more virtualised education. Attention spans are shorter and students have become accustomed to learning in different ways, such as through reading shorter texts. Therefore, online learning will continue to become a more popular route for youngsters over traditional education because it has evolved with technology and is a more inclusive experience. It caters to their needs and allows them to be more flexible, inevitably being presented as a more appealing option.
With job roles becoming more demanding and more pressure on employees to develop their skill-set, there has been an increase in the amount of people that are going on to do a postgraduate diploma in management. An MBA allows working professionals to not only broaden their knowledge and understanding of an industry but also gain more skills that they can implement within their sector. Whilst a postgraduate level 7 diploma in management is still a commitment, it can work as an added advantage and therefore allow professionals to seek more senior roles.
Which skills does a level 7 diploma teach?
An MBA course is designed to help people progress in their careers, therefore tailoring content to ensure that students are able to acquire the most out of their education and meet their individual objectives. Through helping students develop their own personal skills and placing focus on leadership and management, a level 7 diploma will equip an individual with the expertise and proficiency that is required in more senior roles.
When having worked in similar organisations in the same role for a long period of time, it can be difficult for individuals to grow professionally due to the lack of challenges. Once an employee becomes familiar with a role and industry, it can become easy to grow complacent and therefore disregard or overlook changes within the industry. Therefore an MBA will not only help to broaden outlook but will allow them to become better strategic and critical thinkers, with more willingness to welcome and face challenges. An MBA will provide them with more confidence and therefore ensure that they seek and contribute to things that are outside of their comfort zone, whilst possessing more up-to-date knowledge of the sector.
Whilst an undergraduate degree provides students with the theoretical and introductory knowledge to enter the industry, an MBA will work on developing expertise and broadening skillset in order to advance careers. Therefore, working professionals find that it is a worthwhile investment to seek further education and ensure a better future for themselves.
What opportunities can a postgraduate diploma in management give you?
With the purpose of helping students further their careers, a postgraduate level 7 diploma in management can teach you a multitude of skills and allow you to have access to more networking opportunities. An MBA will provide you with a better understanding of changes and shifts within the current industry as well as introducing you to global professionals that work within your sector. There will also be opportunities to interact with other professionals which can help to broaden your network and gain a more global perspective of your industry.
An MBA acts as another qualification, demonstrating to an employer that you have taken the time to commit to developing your own skills. This is highly advantageous and is something that can be an asset to any organisation, therefore increasing your chances of securing jobs in the future. By contributing to a stronger CV, you will also have a competitive edge over other candidates when applying for roles. This is something that is difficult to acquire when having worked in the same role for a long period of time. There is often no room to progress, making it difficult when having to compete with other professionals for another role.
A postgraduate qualification can also lead to a higher salary due to being more educated and therefore possessing more expertise. An MBA is tailored to ensuring that you have better and higher career prospects, whether that is simply through making you more qualified or allowing you to move into a different industry entirely. It will provide you with a broader look at the business world as a whole and will therefore open your mind to innovative ideas and new ways of working. A postgraduate diploma can also contribute to you becoming a more receptive individual and therefore more open and adaptable to change. This is highly invaluable and can be beneficial to any employer. Being able to adapt to any environment is something that an undergraduate degree does not teach and yet is highly necessary in many fast-changing industries.
Therefore, by providing you with transferable skills and making you more employable, an MBA is tailored to ensuring that you are able to secure the best possible future for yourself. Whilst still a large commitment, an MBA is worthwhile and can be the catalyst for helping you excel in the business world.