Siddharth Maheshwari, Co-founder, Newton School

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, online classes had fast become a dominant force in education, with demand on the upswing. With physical schools and universities shutting down, the pandemic further turned remote learning from a mere rescue for continued learning to an essential and effective tool for upskilling. This has narrowed down the gap between earlier online courses and then physical modes of education; the value of full-time online master’s courses is increasing now. It’s no wonder that full-time online master’s degrees are resonating with today’s candidates because they provide a more flexible and inexpensive option to a full-time master’s degree, typically with a speciality focus.

With more and more employers showing interest in hiring people with online degrees from reputable universities, taking an online course is becoming as good as obtaining a degree from a physical university. Transferable abilities such as time management and project management, which students gain as they combine work, study, and personal responsibilities during online executive studies, are highly valued by businesses. Furthermore, as per the data of IIT-Patna, online placements are statistically said to have helped a larger volume of students in getting placed. Let’s have a look at some of the benefits of obtaining master’s degree online:

1. Cost effective:

For a variety of reasons, online education can be less expensive. Students taking online classes are unaffected by various transportation costs such as fuel, parking, automobile maintenance, and public transportation. Online courses also don’t carry the huge costs charged by institutions to maintain their infrastructure. Moreover, online degrees come with the added benefits of working while studying! This helps one to have the muscle to pay for their own education.

2. Flexibility:

Because they are not bound by a set schedule, students have the freedom to manage their employment and studies. In a traditional classroom, class meeting times are established, and students have little control over them, forcing them to organise their lives around them. Most people who choose online learning have other responsibilities, and they prefer this style of learning because it provides them control over how they allocate their time to various initiatives.

3. Networking opportunities:

Students get a chance to network with peers from distant countries or even continents through online schooling. This frequently leads to further opportunities for collaboration with other individuals in a project’s implementation. At the same time, their exposure to other cultures make them culturally aware and able to readily integrate into diverse situations.

4. Increased instructor-student time:

Students in regular classrooms may not receive the individualised attention they require to understand ideas. Although class sizes at some traditional education systems are minimal, other colleges have classes with hundreds of students. This is not a concern with online education considering online classes feature guided discussions and one-on-one time with professors and lecturers. This raises the likelihood of students achieving well and improves their problem-solving and communication skills, as well as their ability to defend their ideas in front of superiors.

5. Access to expertise:

Online colleges can also provide students with specialised degree courses that aren’t easily available at a nearby or conveniently accessible institution of higher learning. Online classes allow for the exchange of knowledge, empowering more individuals to gain access to education that is only provided by specialised universities.

While there is still much work to be done, new technologies have opened up new avenues for learning. Universities have tried to make this process as smooth as possible. The university’s online resources, library catalogue, readings, and research portals are available to all students. Lectures are recorded and can be accessed whenever it is convenient for the students. This also means that an online degree with a full-time course load can be pursued while maintaining a day job. Moreover, students have more control over their learning environment in an online class, which allows them to have a better grasp of their degree course. New learning models are constantly emerging on the market, giving students a wide range of options for tailoring their education to fit them, rather than the other way around.

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