Over the last decade, more and more people have asked themselves whether online education is the right choice for them. This accelerated after Covid-19 as many traditional brick and mortar schools closed because of the pandemic.
For our younger readers, the idea of online education is a natural as breathing. For older readers, online education isn’t a new concept, but questions about the benefits of online education and/or the advantages of online vs. traditional learning come up.
First, online education isn’t a one size fits all model. Some professions and skill-sets require a hands-on component that in the first quarter of the 21st century is not replicable online. For example: learning to be an animal trainer or auto mechanic or for that matter, a physician isn’t something you can accomplish through just online learning. That doesn’t mean students in those or just about every vocation/profession can’t benefit from online instruction. It simply means that you can’t learn 100% of what you need online.
While some vocations require a level of hands-on education, others do not require as much or any at all for you to achieve a mastery of the material. Does a person need to travel to and sit in a physical classroom to learn medical coding or medical billing procedures or can a student learn such skills online? The answer, of course, depends on the learner but both methods can be effective.
So, with all that in mind, what are some benefits of online learning?
Here are Six Benefits to Online Learning
Online programs are usually a good deal more flexible than traditional classes. This is critical for working adults who need a level of flexibility in their schedules to accommodate their current jobs. This is also relevant for parents most of whom have to schedule everything around their children’s needs. Finally, learning to schedule and adhere to your time schedules is a vital workplace skill and one that will come in handy throughout your working career as a medical coder or medical biller.
The good news is that there are tremendous resources available for people looking for ways to most effectively schedule their time and succeed in online programs. Here is an excellent one https://www.northeastern.edu/graduate/blog/tips-for-taking-online-classes/
Online programs don’t require you to drive to or live near the school offering them. This means you can match programs to your needs without having to worry about whether the program offered by a specific school is within traveling distance. It also means you can continue your education in the same program even if you move.
Learn to be a Self-starter and finisher
Considered one of the 10 most important skills employers look for in people they hire, being a motivated self-starter and finisher are key skills to learn and hone. While online learning doesn’t guarantee you will master these skill sets, it can certainly assist you in doing so. After all, it takes discipline and focus to set and adhere to your learning schedule which is exactly what some online courses require. It’s also worth taking a moment to discuss the differences between self-starters and finishers. A self-starter is a person with enough internal motivation and drive to take specific actions required to start projects, actions, etc. Some people are naturally great at this while others might struggle but all can learn to be self-starters if the desire to do so is there. While this is a great skill, it’s not complete.
All of us have known people who are always starting new projects but who rarely ever finish them. That’s where being a finisher comes in. Online learning can assist students in developing both these skills. Anyone looking to work as an independent medical coder and biller, in other words, to have your own medical coding or billing business must learn these skills.
As of this writing, Covid-19 is a concern. While this won’t be with us forever it is certainly relevant now. Online programs are safer than traditional classroom courses because the students won’t come into physical contact with each other or their instructors.
Online programs eliminate travel costs and time. This includes the cost of parking passes for school campuses, gas, car maintenance, or transportation costs to get to school. These costs can add up. Then there is travel time. This will vary depending on where you live relative to the school you wish to travel to but some students can spend 40-60 minutes a day traveling back and forth to school.
Expanded perspectives and networking
Learning programs of all types often involve students interacting with each other to form study and networking groups. Online learning simply increase the size and diversity of the pool. After all, it stands to reason that a program that draws students from numerous states and/or nations will allow everyone to tap into a great number of opportunities and perspectives.
In my next blog, I will list another 6 benefits of online learning. If you have some benefits you would like to share please note them in the comments section below.