Online degree programmes have been gaining relevance for the last five years. Yet, it is only in the last six months that they are being perceived with the recognition and respect they deserve. Another noteworthy trend is that the pandemic of 2020 has nudged top universities in the world to revisit the way they deliver knowledge.
By leveraging technology and contemporary online education models, institutions have redesigned programmes and are delivering world-class education online. Here are some of the key benefits of embracing this trend and deriving the best value from an online degree programme.
1. Stay home, stay safe
The safest way to pursue your education while prioritising health and safety is to enrol yourself for a top-notch online degree programme in the stream or discipline of your choice. Millions of students around the world are opting for this mode and continue to receive an excellent quality of education. This shift also paves the way for the world to recover from the pandemic much faster while not hindering anyone’s right to a good education.
2. Flexibility that works wonders
A key benefit of the online education model is the flexibility it offers to study at your own pace. Online education also helps students cut down on travel time. Students can opt to pursue a part-time job, volunteering opportunities or a passion alongside an education – all of which contribute to enhancing one’s resume. They can also devote more time to family, especially if they have responsibilities at home. Also, work while studying.
3. Cut down costs but not quality
On-campus and residential education comes with additional costs such as hostel fees, meals, and transportation. If you study outside your home state or move to another city for education, the costs rise even further. Online education cuts down the investment in such additional costs, and you end up only paying for tuition while focusing on the quality of education.
4. Gain work experience while studying
The value of work experience, even before applying for your first official job, is increasing in a competitive business world. Many students are opting to pursue an internship, hands-on project, or freelance opportunities while completing their education. Online education presents the perfect opportunity to balance both activities at once, with a little time management.
For example, Manipal University Jaipur offers an online Bachelor of Business Administration degree programme, which is designed to prepare students for the corporate world. Pursuing the programme, while also doing hands-on management projects gives business students an edge, even over students with a master’s degree but no real-world experience.
5. Access to the best faculty
While the top universities have shifted to online education, the live lectures are still being delivered by the best-in-class faculty. The online mode also enables engagement with a host of industry experts who can tune in from any part of the country or world, via video conferencing. As mindsets towards online education shift, the overall access to the best mentors has stepped up a notch, and the possibilities are endless.
6. Interactive mode of study
Online education offers a much greater scope for learning to be engaging. Course material is innovatively designed and offered in formats like quizzes, presentations, gamified formats, and projects. Video conferencing enables peer to peer discussions that also encourage shy students to participate and engage via chat. Assignments can be easily submitted online and reviewed in a transparent way. Technology and online programme design is paving the way to make education more engaging.
7. Democratising access
Many students do not end up going to the best universities because they are unable to leave their hometowns for various reasons – it could be due to lack of funding access, gender biases, caregiving responsibilities, mobility issues or disability. Via online degree programmes, the best universities can travel across the world, making education accessible across social, monetary, and geographical barriers. It creates scope for students from underserved or marginalised backgrounds to pursue a quality education and increase their chances of success.
8. Online degrees by accredited universities
In India, the University Grants Commission has come out with specific guidelines that determine which universities can deliver online degree programmes. Universities having an accreditation rating of 3.26 and above by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC), have the nod to offer online degree programmes.
Manipal University Jaipur is the first university in Rajasthan to be accredited A+ by NAAC. No doubt this is a watershed moment for online education delivered by UGC-recognised universities in India.
According to a report, India is one of the top countries alongside USA, UK and South Korea, to invest millions in online education, and this market is expected to keep growing as access to data, smartphones and laptops, penetrates across the country. Opting for an online degree will offer younger generations the flexibility, access and support needed to develop strong foundations for a bright future.