4 Ways Online Education Programs Teach Real-World Skills

I worked in an office where we communicated  by interoffice email, and we interacted as though a part of an online community. I could tell you the names of some of the former colleagues, and what kind of person they were, but I wouldn’t be able to describe their faces.We could walk over to each other’s desks, but we never did.

Several years later, when I enrolled in my first online course, I realized that this type of interaction had spread to higher education as well, and that it will become much more prevalent as the years passed.

Online education can help prepare you for these four real-world situations.

1. Sometimes you will never meet your coworkers in person. We live in a time, and in a world, where your workspace likely consists of networks spread across the globe. And within the office environment itself, even if you’ve spoken to your coworker who sits down the hall via email, you may not have met them in person. Written language becomes a primary form of communication, and in place of nonverbal cues and gestures come emoticons and other symbols.

Online learning can help refine these ways of communicating before getting into the workplace, where they can turn into the difference between getting a task done and losing efficiency due to poor online writing skills.

2. Online programs rely on self-discipline. More than other schools, where a teacher might go out of his or her way to advise or encourage students to succeed, online programs teach students self-reliance.

4 Ways Online Education Programs Teach Real-World Skills

This means that students must learn how to succeed without outside motivation and must find it within themselves to get online every day and do the work without anyone watching them. This translates into successful office practices because businesses often reward those who take the initiative to perform their duties.

3. You learn to make deadlines on your own. Programs foster self-motivation by setting deadlines for all assignments. Though regular brick-and-mortar institutions do this as well, with online learning, nobody’s there to remind you or give you weekly assignment schedules.

Online students need to set deadlines for themselves to accomplish the goals set out by each course. Oftentimes, the student gets the whole assignment schedule up from the very beginning, and it’s up to the student to adhere to it for the rest of the semester. This creates self-motivated and efficient workers after graduation.

4. Online schools familiarize students with technology. Many nontraditional students may not have the same familiarity with technology as their younger counterparts. This may cause a significant learning curve for some, or generate a fear of misusing the technology used at the workplace.​ Online students might not have this issue as often, since they have already used similar technology to get through their school career.

The takeaway: School does more than just provide an education. It also teaches a valuable work ethic, and online programs prepare students to work in an online world.

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