Don't Jump! Build a Bridge With Online Education Before Quitting your Current Job

By Angie El Sherif

The Internet has played an undeniably major role in the evolution of our world, carrying humanity from the industrial age to the information age. From enhanced communication, leisure activities to gaining knowledge in a split second.  The Internet has become a beacon of information, especially in the world of academia.   Online colleges and universities are leading the way with new, easier access to education.

The advancement of online learning, for example, has made educational material much more accessible to the general public, opening up many doors for many people. Today you can get an online nursing degree, a Master’s in computer science or a teaching certification all from the seat of your couch.  

For adults who want to pursue further education, online learning is one of the most suitable and convenient approaches for a number of reasons. With the online learning method people are given the freedom to move at their own pace, have a quicker and cheaper turnaround and are offered 24/7 accessibility to course materials.  Overall, online learning gives adults the flexibility, convenience and financial benefits needed to pursue further education without sacrifice.

Whether an adult is looking for online programs, degrees, or just courses, there is a plethora of options available.

Moreover, adults who wish to develop the skills and competencies needed in order to stay ahead in the 21st century would greatly benefit from certain aspects of online learning such as specific skill training

One can easily find training and skill courses offered in an array of departments such as first aid, technical writing, dressmaking, desktop publishing, accounting, computer programming and many others.

For example the University of California, Irvine offers a well-rounded course on JavaScript Programming. The course costs $650 and is covered over the period of several weeks.

However if you are looking to obtain certificates or a Bachelors, Masters or Doctoral degree, those options are available too.

Two of the most common methods of earning online degrees or certificates are synchronous e-learning and asynchronous e-learning. Synchronous includes virtual classrooms/video/audio conferencing in real-time, whereas in asynchronous communication between people does not occur simultaneously.

Some examples of asynchronous e-learning include taking a self-paced course, exchanging e-mail messages with a mentor or posting messages to a discussion group.

Ghada Amin, 44, got her online teaching certificate through an asynchronous program called Power-Ed.  Amin completed Power-Ed’s “Silver Star Certificate” in two years and is well on her way to teaching elementary school.

“It was so convenient because you can do it on your own time,” she said. Amin had a weekly deadline for every lesson, took quizzes periodically and participated in a group with five other teachers who held meetings to discuss content.

Some adults, especially ones not as familiar with computers as the younger generations, may feel that taking on online program might be full of twists and turns making it difficult to follow the instructions or curriculum. However, Amin did not run into any complications getting certified with Power-Ed.

“The program was not confusing or complicated at any time,” she said.

Today, hundreds of institutions are offering online degrees and certificates. Capella University, Argosy University, Grand Canyon University, Boston University, University of Phoenix, Liberty University Online are just a few.

Furthering your education using these online colleges can be the reason for your next promotion, a better job or a new career route.  So before quitting your current job see how online learning can give you the tools to move forward, even in this shaky economy.

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