Education has never been more important as a job prerequisite than it is today. That's why full-time college enrollment has been on a steady rise.
But thanks to the Internet, college campuses are no longer the only way people can access advanced education. From 2001 to 2011, the number of people enrolled in courses online rose to more than 6 million. From 2008 to 2012, the number of students who had taken an online class rose from 15 to 31%.
Online courses have made higher education accessible to millions of people who wouldn't be able to pursue it otherwise.
And it's not just online universities that are making access to education easier. Unaffiliated online education centers are offering quality, affordable lessons to help people learn and build new skills online.
Take ZeoLearn, a platform offering hands on training and immersive project based learning from the best professionals in the field in an interactive virtual classroom. The platform provides help even after courses are done so that a portfolio can be built instead of just getting a certificate.
The really creative part of the courses is how interactive they are, following learning-by-doing method. Instead of learning from video tutorials (like many other online learning platforms), students get live interaction with their teachers, who have years of industry experience and expertise.
And tools like ZeoLearn are only going to grow in importance in the coming years.
Soon, students all around the world will have access to online courses, making new education opportunities easier to reach for many. For people living in emerging economies in particular, coding and other computer skills are in more demand every year. With the help of online courses, people in these areas can take advantage of this demand, or even find new work online.
And an adaptable platform like the Internet makes it easy to engage with students using active learning materials. What has been accomplished in that realm is already paying off -- research has found that 70% of students perform better in a blended learning environment than face-to-face classes.
One of the best parts of online learning is that people can personalize the courses they take based on their unique interests and needs. People seeking to improve their technical skills but don't necessarily need credentials can save money and time by taking advantage of online courses.
Using an online platform for learning makes it easier for students to schedule their classes around other commitments. This ability is of risking value in the modern world where few are able to stop working to find a babysitter in order to go to school.
While usability and cost are important factors that make online learning important today, probably the most relevant benefit is for the environment.
By making online courses accessible to people around the world, it eliminates the need for the material goods required to create in-person learning facilities. More importantly, students no longer have to commute to and from school, which can help lower greenhouse gas emissions in the long run.
And growth in technology has led to a lot of skills becoming more important for everyday business success than ever before. Coding, for example, used to be a skill reserved for software developers, but now it's being taught in primary school. In the coming years, one of the only ways mid-level professionals can continue to compete for job promotions against the younger, more computer-savvy generations is by filling their gaps in knowledge as they go along.
ZeoLearn is perfectly positioned to help professionals to that end. Their HTML5 and CSS3 training course, for example, is led by a live instructor, who assists students through a live coding experience. Instead of just listening to lecture, students can learn by doing with ZeoLearn's unique hands-on training. Students also get a real interactive experience by working with their instructor on developing a "mini-project," just like in their AngularJS, NodeJS, and other course offerings.