When thinking about continuing education or taking additional classes to supplement your career, many business professionals automatically dismiss it since they are always “too busy.” However, when that next promotion rolls around and the other candidate has taken the initiative with furthering their education, you will be wishing you had made time before.
There are actually options available for business professionals to continue education that allow you to work it around your schedule. The most adaptable form is online training which can be provided via certification courses, webinars, or even universities. The latter might have a more rigid schedule but will still provide some scheduling flexibility compared to taking traditional on-campus classes. However, with the rise of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) there are more online training options available to the business professionals.
The 3C’s to online training are as followed:
- Convenience- By saving the time of commuting to campus and being able to complete courses more at your pace, online training is more time flexible than traditional forms of education. All that is needed is access to a computer (or even nowadays, a mobile device) and Internet connection, then you can complete homework and assignments around your work schedule. Some courses, like ones offered through websites like Coursera or Udemy, even allow you to complete them at your own pace, so if you have a busy week you don’t have to stress out about meeting class deadlines and complete them once things calm down.
- Cost- The smaller a business is, the harder it becomes to provide quality training at a low cost. Traditional training programs are geared more towards larger corporations so it becomes impractical for a small business to shell out the large investment to only train a few employees. Instead, you can create your own online business training program tailor made to fit your business with scalable pricing options.
For the business individual, attending classes online will cut down on fuel expenses which in itself, could save a lot of money. Depending on the course, you may be able to enroll for a relatively cheap price, especially if taking it through a MOOC. It is important, however, to research the different options because although we are tempted to take a course because its cheap, that usually means you don’t get the accompanying certification or validation so be sure the course is worth your time.
- Concentration- Traditional training tends to offer classes that are more rigid and broad in scope, not always focusing on industry relevant information impertinent to you. With online training, there is a much wider array of courses available with higher specialization, allowing you to pinpoint which skill you’d like to work on and find the appropriate class to teach it. Wanting to study something not as common in the business arena? Look at online options and you are bound to find a course that is more defined and relevant to the topic of interest.
The 3C’s are just a few of the reasons why online training is beneficial but at the end of the day, you have to do what works best for you and your specific circumstance. Many networking organizations, like the National Association of Distinguished Professionals, provide their own methods of online training with plentiful resources to take advantage of. Besides gaining knowledge, online training will provide many opportunities for career advancement and networking that could be used throughout your professional life.
"Advantages & Disadvantages of Learning Online." BizHelp24. N.p., 22 Aug. 2009. Web. 10 Sept. 2013. <http://www.bizhelp24.com/personal/advantages-disadvantages-of-learning-online.html>.