In recent years the number of people taking up distance learning courses has been on the rise. The reasons are obvious. They are cheaper, more flexible, and much more time efficient than any traditional methods of education, including both university courses and apprenticeships. All round they can be one of the best decisions you’ll ever make. It’s no real wonder that more and more people are studying from home.
Motivation is a key factor. It is often the busiest people who manage their time the best, so if you’re thinking of improving your skills and gaining a new qualification, look at your current schedule. If you’re out at work every day from 7am until 6pm, and then you cook dinner before finally having a sit down in front of the television, you’re likely to be exactly the sort of person who will succeed with distance learning courses. You’ll be studying for your new career whilst maintaining your current role. There isn’t the same risk involved as there might be with you giving up your job in favour of academia.
You’ll also show your new potential employers that you have superb time management skills. There will be no employment gaps and if you only work part time you might even be able to fit in some relevant work experience as well.
So who’s got their qualifications through distance learning courses? Apparently, everyone.
Working mothers, adults looking for a new career, anyone who can’t afford the extortionate and rising prices of university education in the United Kingdom. And celebrities. Distance learning courses are perfect for people who are a little bit short on time. They allow you to study from wherever you’re currently based without having to worry about relocation. Many younger distance learners do so because they want to work part time to fund their course.
For celebrities, distance learning courses can be the only choice if they’re interested in higher education. For those in the film or music industry in particular, moving around is a big part of their job. It can make it incredibly difficult to learn in traditional institution. As a result some of the biggest names in the world are advocates of distance learning.
Steven Spielberg dropped out of college to focus on making films when he was 22. And he’s made countless productions, from E.T, to the Indiana Jones franchise and Jaws. To date, his films have grossed more than $8.5 billion worldwide. He has five honorary doctorates. In 2002 he completed the BA in Film Production and Electronic Arts which he has started studying for at California State University Long Beach nearly 40 years previously. He was probably more than qualified to teach the course in reality, and some of his credit came from Schindler’s List. So he wasn’t quite your typical student.
Desperate Housewives and Melrose Place star Marcia Cross (you might know her as Bree Van de Kamp or Dr. Kimberly Shaw). Not only has she maintained a strong acting career since 1984, but she also earned a Master’s in Psychology through online courses with Antioch University.
Lenny Henry, Holly Willoughby, Arnold Schwarzenegger, James Franco, Jerry Hall and Shaquille O’Neal all studied from afar.
What to look for
The best thing about distance education is that you can study anywhere and anything you like. There are very few limitations. At university you will need to study at certain times, to fixed deadlines, and with a limit on the courses available (and whether you’ll be able to get onto them at all).
With a wealth of different ways you can study online, you’re bound to find a suitable option for you.