SQLAuthority News – Technology and Online Learning – Personal Technology Tip

This is the fourth post in my series about Personal Technology Tips and Tricks, and I knew exactly what I wanted to write about.  But at first I was conflicted.   Is online learning really a personal tip?  Is it really a trick that no one knows?  However, I have decided to stick with my original idea because online learning is everywhere.  It’s a trick that we can’t – and shouldn’t – overlook.  Here are ten of my ideas about how we should be taking advantage of online learning.

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1) Get ahead in the work place.  We all know that a good way to become better at your job, and to become more competitive for promotions and raises.  Many people overlook online learning as a way to get job training, though, thinking it is a path for people still seeking their high school or college diplomas.  But take a look at what companies like Pluralsight offer, and you might be pleasantly surprised.

2) Flexibility.  Some of us remember the heady days of college with nostalgia, others remember it with loathing.  A lot of bad memories come from remembering the strict scheduling and deadlines of college.  But with online learning, the classes fit into your free time – you don’t have to schedule your life around classes.  Even better, there are usually no homework or test deadlines, only one final deadline where all work must be completed.  This allows students to work at their own pace – my next point.

3) Learn at your own pace.  One thing traditional classes suffer from is that they are highly structured.  If you work more quickly than the rest of the class, or especially if you work more slowly, traditional classes do not work for you.  Online courses let you move as quickly or as slowly as you find necessary.

4) Fill gaps in your knowledge.  I’m sure I am not the only one who has thought to myself “I would love to take a course on X, Y, or Z.”  The problem is that it can be very hard to find the perfect class that teaches exactly what you’re interested in, at a time and a price that’s right.  But online courses are far easier to tailor exactly to your tastes.

5) Fits into your schedule.  Even harder to find than a class you’re interested in is one that fits into your schedule.  If you hold down a job – even a part time job – you know it’s next to impossible to find class times that work for you.  Online classes can be taken anytime, anywhere.  On your lunch break, in your car, or in your pajamas at the end of the day.

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6) Student centered.  Online learning has to stay competitive.  There are hundreds, even thousands of options for students, and every provider has to find a way to lure in students and provide them with a good education.  The best kind of online classes know that they need to provide great classes, flexible scheduling, and high quality to attract students – and the student benefit from this kind of attention.

7) You can save money.  The average cost for a college diploma in the US is over $20,000.  I don’t know about you, but that is not the kind of money I just have lying around for a rainy day.  Sometimes I think I’d love to go back to school, but not for that price tag.  Online courses are much, much more affordable.  And even better, you can pick and choose what courses you’d like to take, and avoid all the “electives” in college.

8) Get access to the best minds in the business.  One of the perks of being the best in your field is that you are one person who knows the most about something.  If students are lucky, you will choose to share that knowledge with them on a college campus.  For the hundreds of other students who don’t live in your area and don’t attend your school, they are out of luck.  But luckily for them, more and more online courses is attracting the best minds in the business, and if you enroll online, you can take advantage of these minds, too.

9) Save your time.  Getting a four year degree is a great decision, and I encourage everyone to pursue their Bachelor’s – and beyond.  But if you have already tried to go to school, or already have a degree but are thinking of switching fields, four years of your life is a long time to go back and redo things.  Getting your online degree will save you time by allowing you to work at your own pace, set your own schedule, and take only the classes you’re interested in.

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10) Variety of degrees and programs.  If you’re not sure what you’re interested in, or if you only need a few classes here and there to finish a program, online classes are perfect for you.  You can pick and choose what you’d like, and sample a wide variety without spending too much money.

I hope I’ve outlined for everyone just a few ways that they could benefit from online learning.  If you’re still unconvinced, just check out a few of my other articles that expand more on these topics.

Here are the blog posts relevent to developer trainings:

Developer Training – Importance and Significance – Part 1
Developer Training – Employee Morals and Ethics – Part 2
Developer Training – Difficult Questions and Alternative Perspective – Part 3
Developer Training – Various Options for Developer Training – Part 4
Developer Training – A Conclusive Summary- Part 5

Reference: Pinal Dave (http://blog.sqlauthority.com)

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