How Online Learning is Fueling Employment Opportunities

By: Jennifer Stralka

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Online learning is making education more attainable to many individuals and greatly enhancing their employability.

Individuals no longer need to be concerned about online learning programs not being deemed acceptable by employers. According to a survey of 750 employers in the United States, 61% believe credentials earned online can be of equal quality to those completed in person.

As a result, online learning programs being offered by universities, as well as eLearning platforms, continue to attract more learners to pursue degrees and certifications. Online programs offer students the ability to pursue degrees while remote, while also offering options that cater their needs or restrictions, such as financial constraints or family and current work obligations.

Online learning is presenting new students and seasoned professionals alike with opportunities to expand their skill sets. In fact,  according to a Coursera Learner Outcomes Survey, 87% of those learning for professional development said they received a promotion or a raise as a result

Offering Flexible, Cost-Effective Education

60% of students taking online courses are employed full time. Many students are also juggling family, may not have access to transportation or other responsibilities to account for. Learning remotely with online programs offers these individuals the flexibility needed to complete a degree they may not be able to achieve otherwise. 

Online learning also makes education more accessible financially, as it can be more affordable than traditional schooling. In some cases, online programs and eLearning can translate to savings of 70% or more compared to the costs of traditional education.  

Driving Employability through Skill-Based Learning

The resume is often still the core element hiring managers consider when reviewing candidates. Online learning offers more opportunities to achieve degrees that may not have been possible in person, but also allows those seeking employment to gain specific skills.

Short online courses, also referred to as micro credentials, enable students to develop and learn new skills they can tout on their resumes and bring to their professional roles. Microcredentials and additional online offerings allow students to stand out from the competition. 

Connecting Students with a Professional Network

Online programs mean exposure to a greater network of contacts in similar fields or interests.  Interacting and meeting professors, fellow peers, and industry experts can open many doors. Many universities and eLearning providers  are connected with recruiters who can then make introductions to students for internships, externships and eventual full-time opportunities. “It’s all who you know” is truer than ever, with job candidates who were referred by employees or contacts typically being considered more seriously by employers.

Pursuing an online degree or certification opens one’s network to a world of post-course employment opportunities fueled by connections formed.

Offering Professional Development

Taking online courses prevents individuals from remaining stagnant in their careers, allowing them to expand their knowledge base and build valuable skill sets that can make them more knowledgeable employees and competitive job candidates.

A plethora of eLearning platforms such as Skillshare and Udemy offer professionals great opportunities to  further specific skill sets. For example, a professional can take a niche course to obtain skills or certifications in new areas that weren’t offered when they received their degree initially, such as online marketing or social media management. Taking more professional development courses online can make these individuals more appealing to both current and future employers.

Key Considerations for Online Courses

Schools offering online courses, as well as eLearning providers must also consider if their virtual environments are engaging and accessible to work effectively for learners. Incorporating accessibility measures, such as captioning and transcription, ensure equity for students with disabilities, but also enhance online courses by increasing learner engagement. In a national research study conducted by Oregon State University, the majority of students polled found that captions and transcripts improved their comprehension. 

Captioning and transcription tools can assist all remote learners by providing them with an added visual cue and note taking capabilities to ensure they’re retaining the information effectively. Verbit’s technology ensures online programs adhere to ADA guidelines and other legal requirements in the UK, Australia and other regions.

For more information on how to utilize Verbit and offer transcription and closed captioning to remote learners, contact us here