How online courses can make you money

February 20 2017

The Australian Bureau of Statistics cited an almost $47,000 yearly salary difference of those with postgraduate degrees. But “non-traditional” students may feel reluctant signing up for a class at the local campus. There’s an easy answer: online courses.

Researcher Tuan Nguyen found substantial evidence showing that online classes are just as effective as classroom models. Add in flexibility and variety, online programs can be key for for busy professionals looking to get ahead.

Online learning allows students to move at their own pace and review course subjects during free hours. Those reluctant to speak in classroom settings can contribute more confidently in online forums and participate in discussions without the anxiety associated with public speaking. Feedback from teacher to student can be exchanged more quickly than traditional paper based reports, and online assessments can ensure students have assimilated course principles before moving on to move advanced modules.

Teachers, too, can benefit. Direct communication between student and teacher means reduced office hours and the reduction of scheduling conflicts. Readings and class notes can be posted online for students to review, eliminating unnecessary photocopies and paperwork, and supplementary content — videos, articles, journals — can be accessed quickly online. Such engagement can encourage students to fulfill course requirements and interact with industry professionals.

Free online learning opportunities are plentiful: Khan Academy and Coursera.org are good places to start. If you have taken an online course, I want to hear about it. Tweet me @redheadlefthand.