The higher education industry has found itself amid a whirlwind of change lately. Digital disruption and further technological advancement have correlated with the rise of the modern workforce, driving a shift in course content as well. The world that we live in is so different from the one that past generations experienced, and industries like education are evolving to reflect those changes. The workforce today is nothing like it was even ten years ago. With the rise of technology, jobs are consistently in a state of change, as the old methods and models no longer apply in this modern society. Therefore, how we educate the students of today – and tomorrow, and beyond – also must change. The answer to effectively preparing students for this new type of workforce lies in the introduction of online education. While traditional higher education is not necessarily outdated, there is a definitive realisation that it no longer suits most students – not even by half.
Traditional education by its very nature was exclusive (deliberately or not). Through traditional education, students had to decide to either go to university on a campus for every class, structuring their lives around their classes, or put off study until they were in a better position to commit to that kind of process. The modern student must also work to make a living, and this is often where the complication comes into play. With traditional university degrees being primarily or solely on-campus, and demanding a set broad attendance schedule, many people simply cannot make it work. Similarly, some individuals who wanted so desperately to take on higher education study simply could not because of their geographical location. The reality is that some individuals who want to study do not live anywhere near a campus, and do not have adequate means or transport to make it to one to complete their studies. Relocation is expensive, and so traditional university courses are simply not an option.
Online education, however, eliminates both core issues. Students can choose their courses and schedule when they study, effectively allowing them to structure in their studies around other commitments like work, family, friends, and personal time. Students these days can study from anywhere – if they have a steady and reliable internet connection, the rest is easy as pie. There are even handy (and reliable) online companies that help with some of the more intricate parts of higher education assessment, such as postgraduate assessment fine-tuning and even PhD dissertation help. The world is anyone’s oyster, and online education has effectively given students the world over the opportunity and the means to break into their higher education academic careers, forging a stronger and more exciting future for themselves.
While online education is exciting, it is also important to remember that it does demand a lot of responsibility on the student’s behalf. The reality of studying largely – or solely – online is that it demands quite a lot of self-discipline. When students make the decision to learn online, they also make the active choice to commit to their studies wholeheartedly. Studying online puts every ounce of the accountability into the hands of the student, and they oversee every aspect of their education experience. There is no traditionally set out classroom to guide them, and they must be conscious of committing enough time to their studies while also balancing college or university commitments with other aspects of their lives. This increased responsibility should not be viewed as a downfall of online education, however. Online education gives students all the tools that students in traditional higher education institutions amass during their time as a student, in addition to teaching them the value of personal accountability and responsibility to their commitments. The education industry has long needed an evolution, and this is it.
The increase in technological dependence has resulted in subsequent transformations to all industries – big or small – but it is the change in education that is among the most prominent. The higher education sector is one that has experienced its fair share of evolution. Traditional education experiences have been shifted to correlate and expand, allowing for modern online education to find its way into the fold. The result of this is that millions of individuals previously unable to take on higher education studies are finally able to join the ranks of millions of modern students working towards their careers and futures. With the introduction of online education came the rise in its popularity, and it is a rise that, as of yet, has shown no signs of slowing down. Online education has revolutionised the industry, and the best part is that we are only now seeing the introductory stages of what is likely to be a very fruitful future for education – and its students turned graduates and industry professionals.