Online education programs allow learners the ability to pursue knowledge and degrees that might have been unattainable otherwise. Not everyone can take time off from work to study or attend classes, but with the flexibility and availability of topics and institutions, you can add a degree to your resume that may help you get a job in your dream industry or a promotion with the company you are currently with.

An online degree will also give you credibility when considering a business startup in a field of your choice. It will give you a boost of confidence in your own abilities and knowledge and instills trust with potential clients or vendors.

In addition to these benefits, here are five further advantages to seeking an online education:

Variety of Courses and Costs

Regardless of the subject matter you choose, likely there is a course or program for you. Many include basic and advanced mathematics, technology, or English studies. There are also options open in business administration, liberal arts, and sciences. If you can dream it, there is likely a course or program for it. With some personal research and/or outside guidance, you are sure to find what you want to study.

The costs for courses also offers variety. Since online institutions are not standardized in regard to pricing structures, you may take a full program of classes or take one class at a time. If you are in a position to pay a lump sum for your full degree or you want to pay as you go, those options are at your disposal.

Learning Styles

One of the most obvious advantages of online learning is that you can create your own learning environment boosting your ability to concentrate. You get to choose where and when you participate in lectures, fulfill assignments, and engage in student interaction as well as virtual study groups.

Perhaps you prefer the cozy chair in your living room near a fireplace with a cup of tea as opposed to a bustling student library – even if conversations are in a muted tone, the visual stimulation of people moving around may be too distracting for your full concentration on the materials in front of you. Working online allows you to choose.

Other benefits include easy review of course materials and near immediate access to results on quizzes or exams. You can also go back and review the materials to learn what your academic strengths and weaknesses are thus improving your final results.

Being online, you have the convenience and flexibility to set up group chats with fellow students to discuss materials and subjects, and gain group-sourced knowledge and resources. There are opportunities to interact directly with the professor that can have great impact on your learning experience as well.

Professional Benefits

If you are considering an online education for professional advancement, the world is your oyster and the benefits are attainable. An advanced degree may be used to get you in the door with a new-to-you industry, it may assist you in setting up a company of your own, or facilitate the promotion or pay increase your desire in your current line of work.

Employers are looking for workers who take initiative and work at improving themselves in a variety of ways. Higher education is at the top of that list. They realize that the more you know, the better you serve the company as a whole. An online degree is an excellent representation of both of these qualities. The key to online programs is that you can continue with your current profession while studying on your own time.

This style of education has the added benefit of being environmentally friendly since you will not have to commute to classes outside of your regular daily commute to work.

Pro Tip: Many employers will match or assist with the costs associated with online education advancement. Check with your Human Resources department to see if these benefits are available and if you meet the guidelines associated.

Personal Improvement

In addition to professional benefits, there are some personal takeaways from the online degree process as well. Learning over the internet can improve your technical skills. You’ll learn how to effectively navigate webinars, chat software, and assorted software programs. You may even learn how these technologies interact on a variety of devices, such as a desktop computer, tablet or mobile phone.

Additionally, you’ll develop great self-discipline. It will be up to you to fulfill the terms of the course syllabus for each class, check in with lectures, fulfill assignments, and interact with professors and other students. It will also be up to you to inquire about financial arrangements, scholarships, or post-graduation assistance with job placement or advancement. All of these situations will necessitate your discipline and follow through to fulfill the degree.

Credit Transfers

At first glance, this may not be viewed as an obvious benefit to a student, but when you consider that online courses may be used as stepping stones to an education within a brick and mortar institution, the advantage of credits transferring to those schools becomes invaluable.

You’ve taken the steps to begin your knowledge advancement, don’t let it be for anything because the online school doesn’t transfer your credits or the school you wish to attend won’t accept them. The key here is to do your homework carefully before you sign any documents. The good news is that a vast majority of online course credits are easily transferable and will be of great benefit to you.

Ultimately, your online degree will in and of itself be a huge benefit, but the other intangible benefits will add components to your experience that will take you far beyond your career goals!