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What are the Benefits of an Online Education?

By Jami Yontz
Updated May 17, 2024
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With the increasing pressure on professionals to obtain a higher education degree, many people are turning to online education to obtain a degree or continue their educational pursuits. The benefits of an online education include the flexibility of the programs, the cost, the diversity of peers, and connections and variety of educational programs. An online education is also beneficial for those with a lifestyle that does not allow them to attend a traditional public or private higher learning university as well as people looking for more personal communication between students and students and teachers. There are also high school distance learning programs.

Online education programs allow students to complete their work individually, to listen to lectures, and chat with an instructor or other students from the comfort of their home. Discussion groups are usually available for students to read the commentary of their peers and discuss class topics. Professors are available by email and sometimes video chat for individual instruction or assistance. Students are able to maintain a full-time career while completing online courses at their own pace. Online education is helpful for some who want to spend more quality hours, or hours where they are fully awake and dedicated, on coursework and learning.

Costs for online universities are usually somewhat comparable to two- or four-year colleges, but students will save money in commuting costs. There is no need for a person to pay for university housing, meal plans, or the other hidden costs of attending a public institution. Many online education courses do not require the student to buy books, another huge expense, as the university has an online library and materials for the courses. Students are often able to maintain a full-time job while they are completing college.

Diversity and variety is another important aspect of obtaining an online education for many people. Students from different countries, of various ethnic backgrounds, and different income levels attend online universities. The interaction and discussion with students of various backgrounds allows a person completing an online education to read different points of view on a subject and interact with people they may not normally be able to. Those looking to study a particular subject can find many unique class offerings at online institutions.

There are also online high school diploma programs offered for home schooled young adults or those who are not succeeding in a traditional high school program. It is also available for those looking to complete high school and move to college level courses in a shorter amount of time. For some universities or businesses, a general equivalency diploma (GED) does not meet the requirements, and many online high schools offer an accredited high school diploma.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

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