Learning At Your Leisure

Learning At Your Leisure

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In today’s world, many business owners and managers find themselves wishing they could improve their skills to grow their business, or earn more money. But demands on their time made by work, family and other commitments make it seem almost impossible.

The good news is that both the Internet and distance learning education institutions have made many learning opportunities available, making it easier to gain a higher education, learn new skills, and become more marketable. The great thing about online and distance learning is that you can get an education according to your own schedule and you can do it from the comfort of your own home or office.

The benefits

As technology progresses, online learning has gained popularity. Online classes are offered by a wide range of universities and learning institutions. The same applies to distance learning, much of which is Internet-based. Among the greatest benefits of this type of study is flexibility. Many courses are specifically designed to allow students to complete work at their own pace and in their own time. Aside from assignment due dates or the occasional online chat or lecture, there are few other time-based requirements, making online learning one of the better options for people who own their own business, work or have children.

Online or distance learning is also a great solution for people who have financial constraints, as both are generally more cost-effective than classroom-based courses. In addition, whether you choose to study online or at a distance learning institution, it will be possible to take a course that may not be offered in your area. This also allows businesses to have their employees enroll in seminars and classes without sending them to a remote location, saving time and money.

What you need to know before you enroll

But be warned, there are a few questions you should consider when deciding if an online course is for you:

  • Do you have the discipline to set aside the time each day or week that will be required to complete the course?
  • Do you have the right technology to enable you to do the work, such as a computer and reliable Internet access?
  • Are you able to study on your own, without the benefits of interacting with other students?
  • Can you get by without face-to-face interaction with your lecturers?
  • Can you avoid interruptions if you are working from home?

Online and distance learning programmes can enable increased access to learning and encourage life-long learning, provided your approach is right.

Monique Verduyn
Monique Verduyn is a freelance writer. She has more than 12 years’ experience in writing for the corporate, SME, IT and entertainment sectors, and has interviewed many of South Africa’s most prominent business leaders and thinkers. Find her on Google+.