Online education has undergone many changes in recent years. Overall, for the better. Learning through the Internet is significantly different from a traditional college education where a professor gives you loads of information to remember and makes you scribble notes you would make no use of after the day is over. In this post we'll cover reasons entrepreneurs should take online education seriously.
With globalization, the education industry has drastically changed as well. A modern e-learning course can be compared to real-life training, or even smite it hip and thigh.
Let’s say you had no chance to attend college. Or you did, but then you realized that the knowledge you received had no practical use for your future career. Or it got through your head that it wasn’t what you wanted from life and you decided to change your area of expertise.
Some 10 years ago, most likely you would have had two options. The first one is to go back to college and hope that this time the same actions would bring a different result. Or hit the books on your own. Doubtless, you would have wasted a lot of time separating the wheat from the chaff but maybe it could be worth the effort.
With the tech development and expansion of the Internet around the globe, we’ve received a third option – online learning. Professors from the most reputable universities of the world offering tailor-made online courses, while entrepreneurs keep up, convert into coaches, and turn their in-the-field experience into digestible courses.
So why should entrepreneurs take online education seriously? For 5 reasons.
Today, you can receive a certificate-confirmed higher-level education at a fraction of the cost. Often, courses are created by the best and brightest in their field so you may receive a first-hand experience from the person who already solved the problems you face and achieved the success you aspire for. Furthermore, online courses are regularly updated to go with the times and let you stay aware of the most relevant trends.
Because of the high competition, every educator strives to make their product unique and maximally useful for the learner. Before the course can be crafted, its inventors take time to learn more about their audience, needs, and goals. Such an approach helps online educators to customize their content to bring maximum results in the minimum of time possible, i.e. be helpful for their targeted learner. As a rule, good online courses have a clear plan of studies and an easy assessment structure, so they help students to stay on track of their progress.
Internet and innovative technologies allow lots of exciting ways to study: visual materials, audio records, discussion forums, worksheets, and tables, study resource databases like Course Hero, you name it. Ideally, you want to study smarter, not harder, read more about these ways here. Students can watch video-lectures, engage in discussions with their fellow learners, polish their skills in day-to-day life, and receive practical value from the very first minutes.
Needless to say that online education is much more comfortable than traditional on-site college studies. In contrast to sitting in a barely heated and dimly lit classroom, you can get cozy and snug in your favorite chair, or on your couch with a blanket and a cup of coffee. And, you can do this at any time of the day. Online education allows you to pick the best time for learning – when you are fresh and energized – and study at your own pace.
This might be the best advantage of any online course over traditional studies. Unlike college education when the only materials you have are a bunch of heavy textbooks and dozens of notebooks with incomprehensible scrawl, online courses offer you permanent access to the content. You may choose to make notes when listening to the course – or neglect this option. In any case, you can come back to the course anytime, which may be especially useful when you need to refresh your memory after a while. This can be crucial for why entrepreneurs should take online education seriously.
Don’t rush to pick up the very first course that comes your way. Junk experience is offered in abundance on the world wide web. Approaching this thoughtlessly, you may buy a PowerPoint presentation instead of an elaborate course and waste your time and money.
To distinguish a pearl from fakes, pay attention to the following criteria:
Teacher’s credentials. Make some research to find out if the teacher has the qualification and experience they claim to have. In other words, if you are looking for a business course, you would want your teacher to have their own business and real-life experience of how to deal with the problems you are facing.
Feedback from previous students. Pay attention to what previous students say. Be skeptical about the entirely good or bad commentaries – they may be either from promoters or from competitors. Search for the feedback that gives information about the teacher’s performance, the efficiency of the course structure, as well as personal benefits the learner acquired after having taken it.
Opportunity to contact the teacher. It is highly advisable to choose courses that allow you to stay in touch with the teacher. It may be a video call once a week or an opportunity to contact through mail. This option may be more or less crucial depending on the course, but having someone who can give you a leg up when you are stuck is good for your progress.
Discussion with other students. One of the best opportunities an online course may offer is engaging with other students. Share learning experience with peers is fun and helpful. You can do brainstorming together or benefit from helping each other. Furthermore, it allows you to build a vast network of experts in the same field as yours, from all over the globe.
Times when you could be skeptical about online studying are now long gone. If you have never tried an e-learning course, now is the perfect timing to enroll in one. Particularly, entrepreneurs should take online education seriously and understand that the traditional classroom might not be the best source to prepare them for business success today.