Traditional routes into education will always remain, but the internet provides us with a simple, convenient and alternative way of learning. Finding quality courses in a diverse range of topics is easy, and you can choose to study when you have the time. Never again will you be concerned about missing a lecture or having work commitments that clash with your studies.

For people who want to move up the career ladder or change direction altogether, flexible online learning provides the perfect opportunity. You can stay at work and be there for your family, while also earning that dream qualification. Here is a closer look at how online learning has become a key part of education:

Gain a quality education for less

Remote learning tends to be a more affordable option than attending a bricks-and-mortar institution, and better still, students can often pay in installments. With fewer overheads, online providers can deliver a similar course for less, plus you will not have to budget for travel costs. An online qualification still represents a sizable investment, but the benefits make it worthwhile for many.

Remote courses offer flexibility

The majority of online courses give students control over what they are learning as well as when they study. At the Worcester Polytechnic Institute, students who enroll on the online master’s of computer science course can tailor the program to suit their career goals. The work is 100% online, and thanks to the institution’s bridge courses, applicants do not require a specific degree. That means potential students are not restricted by their current academic qualifications and are free to make a swifter career change.

Students can link up with like-minded people

Although students generally only get together in front of their computers, online study can offer a genuine sense of community. Whether your passion is volcanology, animal behavior or history, you will be learning alongside people who have similar interests. Peer learning is a supportive environment, as you can interact with others to share your views and gain insights from listening to them. During large formal discussions but also in smaller groups, students learn to collaborate. They have a chance to form an argument, listen to the feedback of their fellow students, and finally, reflect on the experience — All skills which can be transferred directly to the workplace.

Learning happens at the student’s pace

We all learn differently and work at a different pace while doing so. Although traditional universities tend to deliver a one-size-fits-all schedule, online students can view lectures, visit forums and participate in discussions in a way they feel comfortable. Moreover, there tends to be a greater range of learning tools, from eBooks to self-tests and screencasts. These dynamic resources can be used to teach both the basics and more complex ideas. As they can be revisited anytime, from any location, they ensure everyone in a class can achieve the same level of knowledge.