Recessions and economic crises are typically considered rough times for most. However, for the online and offline education sector, such widespread financial problems can be seen to boost enrollments and are consequently seen as quite progressive times for institutions and schools alike. This is quite simply because, with increasing redundancies (or at least the increasing risk of redundancies) more and more of us are eager to improve our CVs and get a few extra skills under our belts. However, decisions that are made at such a time are important and can affect your future career immeasurably – and so should not be rushed into.
E-learning and online courses are really a course in miracles taking off this time round due to their respective ease of accessibility. Often students may not have the right qualifications, nor the right background, to get on a traditional undergraduate course – but online schemes are less hindered by class size as well as being cheaper at a time when cash and credit is short.
Online and distance learning courses are also becoming increasingly favoured for their flexible nature. As the coursework and class work is conducted primarily in an asynchronous manner, and in the comfort of your own home, it is far easier to continue paid employment whilst you study. Parents are also becoming involved in such schemes as it is easier to study around family commitments.
There are numerous other advantages exclusive to online learning. Not only do students acquire skills and knowledge in the subject they choose to study, they will also acquire essential IT skills which are becoming more and more sought after in prospective employees. Today, a sufficient knowledge of IT techniques does not end at word and data processing, but also includes social media and networking via forums and other forms of online communication – all methods that are naturally used on today’s distance learning courses.
In an article at cnn.com, the US is no doubt witnessing the same trends in terms of a recession stimulated influx of students to distance and online learning schools. Penelope Trunk, author of Brazen Careerist, argues that although going back to school is a great idea, and a ‘ticket to play in corporate America’, if you already have a bachelor degree, volunteering at a company might be a more worthwhile way to improve your CV during a recession – as a means to hone your practical working skills.