There is no doubt that online education is the next big thing. Universities are saving money by offering courses online rather than in person. Some do it due to lack of space on campus. They need to somehow accommodate the thousands of students that need similar courses. Others do it because it is convenient for many of their commuting students.
For-profit Universities have been flourishing due to the ease of attracting students from all over the country. Given people’s situations at home and work, most just do not have the time to go back to college full time. So they take advantage of these opportunities by taking classes online. But what are some of the things missing from this digital interaction? Are you getting the most out from an online education? Here are some of the things you should be concerned about and keep in mind. These things should help you decide whether an online education is the right path to choose if you have a choice.
Although online education has become possible with the advent of new technologies and information systems, is it providing students the same opportunities as learning while being physically present in a classroom?
Networking and team-work
It is not a reality anymore that a person goes to college just to learn what is written in books. Today’s fast-changing, dynamic world, requires more from students. One of the essential tools in learning is the ability to network with others. I sincerely believe that this is a major lacking factor in online education environments. There is hardly any face-to-face interaction with the professors, let alone other students. Having the right connections can often mean the difference between landing a great job right after graduation and being unemployed.
Not only does a person get to network while being in a classroom, he or she gets to learn new things from other people by interacting with them. These skills teach a person how to deal with others and get along with them. Classrooms are the ultimate team-building tools that will be used for the rest of his or her life by a student. Skipping out on this can often mean having a hard time fitting-in once the individual is out in the job world.
Ethnic diversity in the work place
In the coming years, half of the US work place will comprise of various ethnic minorities. Employers are increasingly more interested in people that can bring different life experiences with them. It allows for more diverse ideas and innovation in the work place. By being physically present in a classroom, students start to learn about cultures and backgrounds of people from across the planet. This allows them to understand and get along with all sorts of people. A skill that is highly valued by managers that understand internationalization and global commerce.
Sports and other activities
How about just going to sports events with your friends? There is nothing like a Friday night football game with your buddies. Strengthening social bonds and creating new ones will often relax a person by breaking away from their everyday routines. College experience is more than just studying hard for a test, it is about learning how to live life happily.
Friends and lifelong partners
Often times you will make friends and even meet the person of your dreams. As humans, we seek to communicate and get along with others. Being in college is one of the best ways to meet the type of people you want to be around for the rest of your life.
College is more than just a place to read books. It gives students many opportunities to learn about others and perfect their networking and communication skills. Increasing competition amongst job applicants means that you must bring more to the table than a simple degree. You must understand the dynamic world of business and be willing to adapt accordingly on a moment’s notice.