Over the last ten years, distance learning courses have become an increasingly popular means of earning a university degree. Additionally, despite some common misconceptions, degrees earned through distance learning are just as prestigious as those earned through conventional study, and, in actual fact, many employers have started to look at distance learners incredibly favorably, due to the discipline and self-motivation that is demonstrated by this method of study.
Completing a distance learning course will enhance your employability prospects considerably, but the benefits of distance learning do not end there.
Study in Your Free Time
One major benefit that distance learning provides is flexibility. Studying a conventional degree at a university or college requires attendance at specific times and on certain days. With distance learning, this is not the case and any study can be done in your free time, with help available digitally.
This means that distance learning courses can be undertaken alongside full time or part time work, or by full time parents. The course can be studied at your own pace, as and when it fits in with your lifestyle, resulting in less intense pressure to meet deadlines or attend classes.
Studying in your free time also means there is less risk attached. There is no need to leave stable employment behind, which is a major benefit in the midst of the current global economic crisis, and you can afford to study a subject which may not guarantee a job in that sector afterwards, making studying purely as a hobby or for personal development a possibility.
Increased Range of Choice
A major benefit of distance learning, which is often overlooked, is the increased range of choice on offer as a result.
Studying your degree from the comfort of your own home enables you to look into courses offered by institutions far away from your local area, without the need for you to uproot your life and physically attend that institution.
Eliminate Travel Problems
Travel is a common problem for students studying conventional degrees. Public transport is notoriously unreliable and, although some students are able to secure used car loans, research carried out by U.S. News has found that just 5% of students at Yale have a car on campus. Student loans and part time wages are required to fund books, equipment and tuition fees, meaning that, unless you have good finance, even affording to buy a car can be a difficult, if not impossible, proposition.
Studying a distance learning course eliminates travel problems by the very nature of the course. Physically attending a campus is not required and, in addition, being able to afford to run a car alongside your studies is more realistic, as full time work can be carried out alongside your degree.
The lack of a need for physical attendance also makes distance learning an ideal method of study for people who work away from home and have to travel a lot, as studying can take place anywhere you have access to a computer and the internet, including hotel rooms, restaurants and internet cafes.
Less Social Pressure
Many adults would like to go to university or college to study, but find the whole idea to be too daunting. Mature students often find the prospect of socialising with students who are, for the most part, significantly younger than them to be intimidating and challenging.
Additionally, people who struggle to interact socially, perhaps as a result of mental health issues or social anxiety disorders, find the thought of regimented classes and group activities to be a step too far.
Distance learning is ideal for mature students and those with social issues as there is very little interaction required. Tutors can be contacted online and students need not worry about having to socialise with other students studying the same course.
Sense of Achievement
Finally, the sense of achievement that comes alongside completing a distance learning course is immense. As well as the feeling of pride that is felt by anyone who successfully completes a university degree, distance learners can take extra pride in the fact that they completed their studies independently, away from classroom teaching and enforced deadlines.
Ultimately, after completing a distance learning course, you can look at your new academic qualification and confidently say that your degree is the result of your own hard work and no one else’s.