As the coronavirus outbreak has made its way around the world, the way we live, work and learn has changed dramatically. In a bid to prevent the spread of the virus, workplaces, social venues and educational institutions have been closed for long periods of time. 

Fortunately, technology has enabled many organisations to remain operational, even in the face of an unprecedented global pandemic. Virtual workspaces, video conferencing and online learning platforms have ensured that companies can continue to function, people can remain in contact with loved ones, and students can continue their education. 

Online learning, in particular, has grown exponentially in recent months. Schools across the world have used virtual classrooms to give students access to a unique learning environment. In addition to this, universities and colleges have set up more comprehensive online learning facilities to ensure that people can continue with their studies. 

Lockdown Sees Increased Demand for Online Courses

The increasing use of virtual classrooms and online learning facilities hasn't only been beneficial for students that were enrolled in school, college or university prior to the COVID-19 outbreak. As lockdown restrictions were imposed in many countries, people were looking for constructive ways to spend their time at home. 

For many, this meant enrolling in online courses and programs. From informal learning on video sharing sites, like YouTube, to formal education from prestigious universities, there has been an increased demand for online learning opportunities. 

Although lockdown restrictions are now being eased in many regions, social distancing requirements mean that learning in a traditional classroom environment is still tricky. In an attempt to reduce the risk of a second wave of the virus, many educational institutions are continuing to hold lectures and host seminars online, rather than face-to-face. 

However, concern regarding COVID-19 is not the only reason why schools, colleges and universities are expanding their online learning facilities. Even prior to the spread of coronavirus, there was a growing demand for reputable online courses. Now that more people have had the opportunity to experience the benefits of online learning, it's highly likely that they will want to continue to further their education in this way. 

What Are the Benefits of Online Learning?

Studying online offers a wide range of benefits, particularly in comparison to traditional methods of learning. These include:

Flexibility

Many people who are enrolled in further education continue to work full-time while studying. The flexibility associated with an online master's degree UK ensures that students can frame their studies around their existing commitments. Furthermore, there is no need for students to relocate to a specific area in order to obtain a degree from a top university. 

Lower Costs

Obtaining a degree or a professional qualification used to be a costly process. In addition to paying tuition fees, students typically had to fund accommodation close to their place of learning. Furthermore, most people were required to give up their jobs or scale back their working hours in order to attend face-to-face classes. The fees associated with online learning are far lower than the costs of traditional courses. This, combined with the increased flexibility, means that people can complete their studies without excessive expenditure. 

Self-Paced Learning

When you study online, there is typically more opportunity to complete your course at your own pace. Students find this beneficial at any time, but this is likely to be a particular draw in the aftermath of COVID-19. With many industries severely affected by the outbreak, a significant number of people will experience professional upheavals in upcoming months. 

The uncertainty surrounding how organisations will bounce back from the impact of COVID-19 means that many people are reluctant to enrol in long-term courses that tie them to a particular area or a specific timeframe. The self-paced nature of online learning ensures that students can fit their studies around other responsibilities and create a schedule that fits with their changing needs. 

Becoming an Online Learner

As more educational organisations embrace online learning, even primary and secondary school students are becoming accustomed to virtual classrooms. With some of the top universities in the UK already offering online degree courses, it's clear that there is a growing trend towards virtual learning. 

If you want to broaden your horizons, achieve your professional ambitions and increase your employability, becoming an online learner could be a top priority. With the potential to enhance your earning power and climb the career ladder, enrolling in an online course from a reputable provider might just be the best step you can take.