“Generally speaking, investing in yourself is the best thing you can do. Anything that improves your own talents; nobody can tax it or take it away from you. They can run up huge deficits and the dollar can become worth far less. You can have all kinds of things happen. But if … you’ve maximized your talent, you’ve got a tremendous asset that can return ten-fold. ‘Invest in yourself’ might mean taking a continuing education class or simply spending your time improving your skills. Become a lifelong learner and your life will be wealthier, perhaps in more ways than one.” Warren Buffet
Online learning, or e-learning, is becoming more readily available and popular. But why is this? Is it due to schedules? Time? Money?
Yes, yes, and yes. But it is more than that.
For the working individual, lifelong learning and continuing education is a must for anyone’s career plan. To remain competitive in the job market, an individual needs to learn and be up-to-date on new developments in their field; continuing your education is more than just earning another degree.
But many are not able to take time away from work to do so. Enter online learning.
E-Learning provides individuals with a way to invest in themselves and the ability to learn and train anywhere, anytime. Lifelong learning has taken on a new meaning.
When looking into continuing education programs and potentially accessing online courses, determine if online learning will work for you. Online learning does not work well for everyone. As you research opportunities and evaluate the pros and cons for online learning, keep these benefits of online learning and self-directed learning in mind.
1. Lower Overall Costs: While individual course or tuition costs may vary and may not be less, the bottom-line comes out in the black. For example, online learning cuts down on commuter fees.
2. Comfortable Learning Environment: Who wouldn’t love to work to increase their work value while siting in their sweats or pajamas? While many taking online courses for continuing education do so at their desk and not at home, the fact that there are no physical classrooms to visit reduces the stress of the learning. The only traffic you have to fight is getting to your desk.
3. Technical Skills: Online learning requires interaction with technology. And courses taught by a service provider, such as a software company, increase your understanding, interaction, and working knowledge of a system or service your company uses on a daily basis.
4. Career Advancement and Professional Development: Whether your are looking to earn another degree, improve your sellable skills, or gain continuing education credit, online learning provides the variety of courses needed while allowing you to do it on your schedule. This can also help provide direction and create a vision of where you would like to see your professional career go.
And benefits of lifelong learning do not just apply to employees. Companies promoting and providing continuing education opportunities invest not only in the future of their employees, but also their company. Among those include having a highly skilled and knowledgeable workforce, which creates happy employees and can impact profits.
So to get started, think first of where you want to go. Where do you see your career in 1 year? Five years? Pinpoint the information you need to learn and the questions you need to ask, taking the steps to forward to meet these goals.