My Top 10 Reasons to Study Online
Being in complete control of how, where and when you study is the main attraction for many students who chose to study online due to work or family commitments or hobbies that take main priority.
Whilst I don’t have those commitments, I am determined to see as much of the world as possible and I have been able to make this dream a reality while also studying for a maths degree. Another benefit of the flexibility for me has been the ability to study part time while working in between travel. This is possible as the online courses don't have set lesson times so coursework can be looked at whenever you have time, meaning you are free to set your own schedule and study at your own pace. I find this works really well on days I was working long shifts. If I was tired, I could just relax when I got home and choose to study another day.
Online courses are less expensive plus I have saved the cost of either commuting to university each day or having the cost of accommodation at university. Not having to pay this has already taken a huge chunk out of the price associated with university.
Acquiring a trusty laptop and good Wi-Fi to help me study were the only additional costs. All course materials, such as books and resources, were covered in my course fees. At a traditional university my course would have cost around £30,000 while studying online with the Open University it will be almost £10,000 cheaper.
3. Easy access and no heavy books
Due to the tutorials being held online (although it is possible to go to some face-to-face) and therefore the lack of travel for lectures, it means everyone has access to the best academic staff and industry experts rather than just the small group of people in the lecture hall.
Although books were given to me as an included cost of the course, while travelling I have found the need to carry them was pretty much extinct due to the books all being available online as eBooks. Once downloaded these can be saved and used offline so even without Wi-Fi connection you are still able to carry on studying. I found this the most useful out of everything as I was able to make time fly by on my two 6-hour flights to Thailand.
4. Meet lots of new people all over the world
As there are people from all over the world studying online, I have met lots of people from miles away who are interested in the same study career path as me. Not only making professional connections but making friends with people from different countries and cultures.
5. Can tailor the course to fit exactly as you want it.
With several modules to choose from you can alter your course to fit exactly what you would like to do. This is a huge benefit of the Open university rather than the pre-fixed courses which are delivered by most universities. For example, I have chosen to skip a module in the first year due to just finishing a level only 5 months previously as I felt this was backwards step from this level. Therefore, I was able to choose another module to personalise my own pathway, choosing from economics, accounting or even a language to help specialise towards a certain career.
6. Allowed to pace yourself
Being able to pace yourself is the best part as on days where you are not feeling it, you aren’t forced to go to lectures and on days you are motivated you can smash out a day of study getting yourself a couple activities ahead meaning you can relax later, going to see friends and family on the weekend.
7. Learn responsibilities and new skills to stand out
Studying an online course will help you stand out from a crowd as you can tailor your course to suit exactly what you want to do, which on pre-fixed courses at university you are not able to do.
New skills such as self-motivation, self-reliance and time management are all beneficial and highly regarded by future employers. Taking an online course shows an employer you have taken the initiative with no external force to improve your mindset.
8. Can travel and see the world
With a laptop and Wi-Fi connection the world is your classroom, the ability to study anywhere from the snowy scenery of Sweden to the beautiful beaches of Bali or even when doing a road trip as part of a Global Grad semesters.
9. Can learn a completely new subject as no previous grades needed
At any age or any time, the online courses can be completed. Unlike a traditional university there are no grade restrictions with the OU meaning all courses are available to you and people can follow every dream of studying they choose.
10. No lecture halls so can study where you want
I am enjoying the freedom of choosing exactly where I want to study. There are many places you can choose; an office space, in the living room, a library or quiet café. Or if being outside and nature is more your thing you can study in your garden or local park which is a wonderful benefit over a lecture hall full of hundreds of people and no windows.
I started my OU degree in October 2018 whilst at home and joined Global Grad’s January 2019 semester in south East Asia
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Author: Jordan Spring