April 20, 2020

Why online learning is highly valued by both employers and employees


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Online learning is being adopted by employers at a faster rate and for good reason. Online learning gives employers the opportunity to upskill and engage their workforce, leading to sustainable business growth. CEOs with advanced upskilling programs attributed improved employee engagement, innovation and ability to attract and retain talent to their education programs. 

This trend is expected to grow amid a worldwide virtual learning movement and as businesses continue to see the impact of higher education on their workforce.

But what does online learning actually entail? 

Employers or employees who have never taken an online learning course might be wondering: How is online learning different from in-person learning? Is the quality of education comparable to traditional, on-campus programs? And how successful are students in online courses?

What is online learning? 

Often referred to as distance learning or online education, online learning allows students the flexibility to learn at their convenience and allows employers to support employee growth. While online learning has fewer in-person interactions, it encompasses many of the same benefits of on-campus options (and more), including high-quality education programs and a focus on student success.

77 percent of students say the quality of online education is better than or equal to on-campus options.  

While there are many benefits for students, online learning is also advantageous for employers who are looking to engage their employees, build a resilient workforce and grow their business. 

The benefits of online learning

1. Online learning helps employees stay relevant in a fast-paced world

Employers and employees are having to face one of the fastest workplace revolutions. Keeping individual and professional skills updated can be difficult in a fast-paced world, especially when balancing personal commitments, a part-time or full-time job and more. This is especially important as one third of employees say they aren’t getting what they need to contribute effectively in their rapidly evolving businesses

With online learning, employees are able to pursue education from the comfort of their home, during their lunch breaks and on their own schedule. Online learning gives employees the opportunities to learn new skills that are imperative and relevant for the workplace. 

2. Online learning provides accessibility 

Online learning’s flexibility also gives employees the opportunity to learn and grow, no matter their education level or professional goals. From pursuing a high school diploma or bachelor’s degree, to learning a new skill set, there are online learning programs for every employee. Also, online learning allows employees to engage in courses globally, without physical barriers. 

3. Online learning helps employees develop soft skills 

Online classes utilize active learning practices, including video conferencing, instructional videos and interactive webinars. Students are able to engage with professors and other students and collaborate on group projects virtually.

Through active learning and virtual collaboration, employees can develop soft skills for the professional world. As employers increasingly embrace remote working, it’s important for employees to have the communication skills and tech-savviness to navigate a virtual working world.  

4. Online learning leads to employee success

47% of employees say their extra training and education helped them advance within their current company. Furthermore, lifelong learning helps employees feel more capable and well rounded, increasing their overall confidence in the workplace. 

Online learning also expands the reach of employees with 65% of students taking classes in the past 12 months reporting that their online program expanded their professional network. Through online learning, students are able to make global connections with professors, student cohorts and alumni members in the same industry.

Top-tier academic partners drive strong outcomes for companies & learners 

Choosing trusted, top-tier academic partners with a demonstrated history of online learning success for working adults helps ensure strong outcomes for employees and impactful results for your business. As the premier global provider of Strategic Enterprise EducationTM, InStride provides a network of universities globally, with proven track records for working adults. Learn more about InStride’s trusted academic partners here

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