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Five Reasons Online Learning Is Growing

Online learning enrollment grows as students reap the benefits.

In just four years, the number of college students enrolled in online classes grew by 17.2%.1 Now, one out of every six college students takes exclusively online courses.2 This tremendous growth in online learning comes as overall enrollment in higher learning institutions decreases,3 so the proportion of students taking exclusively online classes is likely to grow.

What’s driving so many learners to eschew traditional college classes and flock to online universities? While each learner has his or her own reasons, a few common themes contribute to this trend.

Online Degree Programs Are Convenient

While online universities offer several benefits, one big factor that draws learners is the unmatched convenience. Students earn degrees from the best online colleges from anywhere in the world. Online universities like Walden University offer asynchronous courses. In these courses, students have deadlines each week. However, students can watch lectures, participate in online discussions, and complete homework whenever it fits into their schedule each week. These online courses give students control over their schedule while still ensuring they adhere to deadlines.

For ultimate flexibility, some online universities also offer a self-paced option. With Walden’s competency-based learning structure, you can finish your work whenever you want with no weekly deadlines. So, if you have a few weeks with more downtime, you can get a lot done. Then, if something comes up and you don’t have time to study much, that’s just fine. Come back to your studies when you can.

Online Learners Continue to Work

A recent report showed that 40% of American adults would have to go into debt to pay a surprise bill of $400 or more.4 With this in mind, it stands to reason that many prospective college students could not afford to stop working while they earn degrees. After all, many students can get financial aid to cover tuition and books, but they still have living expenses.

Because online learning offers flexibility and convenience, you can keep working while you attend classes. Not only do you keep your income, but working while learning offers other benefits. For example, some employers offer tuition assistance or reimbursement for employees. Furthermore, you continue to build work experience, which can look great on your résumé.

Online Degrees Open Doors

If you’re not happy with your current career, the best online schools can help. You can earn credentials that open new paths for you. For example, online business degrees can allow graduates to move into management roles in their fields.

Online education can also allow you to move into a completely different sector. If you already have a bachelor’s degree, you can earn an online master’s degree in a high-demand area like information technology, healthcare administration, or business management.

With more career opportunities, you can also earn more money. When you earn a higher degree, your salary potential rises. Just take a look at the median annual earnings for workers depending on their education:5

  • High school diploma: $35,256
  • Some college, but no degree: $38,376
  • Associate degree: $41,496
  • Bachelor’s degree: $59,124
  • Master’s degree: $69,732
  • Professional degree: $89,960
  • Doctoral degree: $84,396

Online adult education gives nontraditional students chances to change careers and earn more money to support their families.

Online Certificate Programs Provide Additional Opportunities

You don’t have to earn a degree to reap the benefits of online learning. Online certificate programs offer exciting opportunities. If you enroll in one of these programs, you can:

  • Save money compared to a full degree program
  • Earn a credential that can open job opportunities
  • Boost your résumé
  • Learn on your own time

Walden University is an accredited online college that can help you reach your goals. If you’re ready to discover why so many students flock to online education, check out Walden’s many online degree programs.

Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission,