How Online Education Became Popular Among Youngsters

Given the coronavirus outbreak of 2020, many people are looking into alternative methods for nearly every aspect of their lives. People are working differently, shopping differently, and even learning differently. Many might be surprised to discover that online education was booming well before COVID-19. It is expected to continue to stake out a nice chunk of the education industry for all age groups.

There are many reasons youngsters were turning towards remote or virtual educational programs. Kids today have a lot on their plates; they need flexibility and the option to save money when and where they can. The following will explore some of the reasons that virtual education has been growing in popularity. The goal is to help you determine whether or not remote educational options are for you.

Tuition Price

Let’s get the big one out of the way first. Education is expensive. Whether or not you believe it should be, if you’re looking into taking a course or getting a degree, the price will be a factor for you. Online education programs come at a wide range of prices. Some degrees cost nearly the same as an in-person program, while others are a tiny fraction of what you could expect to pay attending an in-person institution. 

Cost Of Living In A Bigger Student City

Beyond the flexibility in tuition prices, so many other costs are minimized or downright eliminated by online education options. No longer do students need to spend money on parking passes, transit passes, gas, or meals between classes at those hyper-expensive on-campus coffee shops where the line is always far too long. No longer do students need to live in expensive downtown cores paying exorbitant costs for rent, utilities, groceries, and other necessities. Yes, people mark up the price on things in student neighborhoods because they know that kids’ parents will pay for it or because they know young people with massive loans don’t know the first thing about managing money. Not every student can afford to pay for this.

Financial Opportunity Cost

Beyond any of the above financial costs, maybe the biggest one is the opportunity cost of not working while students are studying. Studying at home, on their own schedule, allows students to maintain full-time work or near full-time work, which can really ease up the financial burdens of education. Not all students can put a hold on their bills, financial obligations, and needs in order to devote all of their time to studying. With online education, they no longer have to make this tough choice.

Emotional Opportunity Cost

Beyond financial obligations, many youngsters today have important emotional commitments. Some are caring for elderly relatives; some are caring for children. It can be hard to put these essential parts of our life on hold to maintain non-sensical course schedules on campus. Have you ever tried getting a babysitter for three hours Monday morning, an hour and a half Monday evening, four hours on Tuesday afternoon—you get the point—it’s hard to work with traditional educational schedules when you have serious obligations that rightly come first in your priorities.

Variety of Programs And Platforms

Because online learning is growing so rapidly, there are countless options available for students—in many cases, more opportunities than are available through traditional learning institutions. Given that everything is online and accessible, students and teachers have lots of help choosing the right course platform for their needs and goals. There are individual courses designed for students who intend on keeping their current job but want to adapt to new technologies in their workforce. There are entire degree programs. There are certifications consisting of several highly focused courses with no introductory prerequisite classes.

Flexible Learning Speeds

Consistently, online learning’s flexibility is what students cite as the most attractive aspects of virtual education programs. Students today love being able to shape their own schedules to meet the demands of life. Depending on where a person is in their career and educational path, they might need more time with certain topics and less time with others. Students can go at their own pace, which tends to be a little faster than in class. This is because there’s not the distraction of 20-200 other kids in the room playing with their phones, asking questions about the class they skipped or asking genuinely interesting questions about something only minorly connected to the course material.

The above are just a few reasons why students are leaning towards remote educational opportunities. Of course, every student is different, and everyone’s knowledge and experience requirements differ as well. When looking into educational programs, it is always best to examine your long-term goals and ask yourself whether a program or course suits these goals. If you are unsure, reach out to an education guidance counselor or someone in the field you want to work in.