Distance Learning and Your Career
The coronavirus pandemic has generated a series of modifications in people’s lifestyles. It has led to a series of changes reflected in the commitment and development of new habits that they were not necessarily accustomed to. People have realized that generating an attachment to activities that can stimulate their daily lives leads to productivity and establishing daily efficiency.
Among the new lifestyles are distance learning classes. Education has become an essential factor that has not been neglected during this period. The insistence of some study centers and institutions that have adequate technology, so that their students do not miss the academic year, has allowed teachers to teach their respective subjects virtually. Likewise, many free workshops have been opened so that people can learn in these times of quarantine. For all those who have opted for digital education, we have made a list of the benefits this distance learning system brings for those who do not have absolute access to face-to-face classes.
1. Freedom to choose
As you may have heard, the great benefit of distance learning is the flexibility of schedules. But what does this say about students?
First, each of them must define their study schedule based on their own learning pace and routine.
The student needs to analyze what is most appropriate to his daily life and his particularities to make his choices.
Will you combine work and study? What are the family demands? How many hours per day can be devoted to classes and exercises?
Only those willing to commit to their training and know-how to define their priorities are successful in distance learning.
Autonomy only works for those who know themselves and know where they want to go. Therefore, a professional who completed his graduation at a distance learning centre is determined and knows how to use flexibility to his advantage.
Distance education is beneficial for all those who do not have much time. Adapting to your routine is one of the benefits that this modality allows. The only thing that people should do is establish schedules to study based on their personal and work commitments.
2. Commitment to learning itself
Classes have fixed schedules (although they are available on-demand) and assessments, which must be done in person. Concerning the study routine, however, the distance learning student must be more engaged and autonomous, since his progress depends exclusively on his effort.
The job market recognizes this engagement, this search for improvement, as proactivity. Proactivity and commitment are big selling points in the eyes of companies!
3. Discipline to achieve what was planned
The ability to set your schedule and get good results depends on discipline. To make good use of the freedom that we mentioned in the first point, the student needs to have the discipline to carry out his plans and adjust it whenever necessary.
What distance learning students understand very well (or learn in the first months of the course) is that it is no use being independent and defining your hours if you do not know how to take advantage of this independence in a productive way. Awareness and organization are necessary for the daily practice of any profession in the post-digital age.
4. Role in skill development
In distance education, the student and his desire to grow are the focus. Teachers, tutors, and communicative resources function only as guides and mediators in acquiring knowledge and the development of skills.
The student is the protagonist: he is the one who seeks to learn. His initiative makes him attend classes, answer questions, seek support and feedback, talk to his colleagues and tutors, monitor his progress and the effectiveness of his schedule, and readjust the direction and intensity of studies when necessary.
5. Responsibility to deal with the virtual environment
Here, let’s talk about a key element: the virtual presence!
Most distance education takes place online, in learning environments, channels of dialogue, and specialized forums.
The student learns from an early age that it is necessary to use these platforms responsibly, as all actions taken have effect and leave a record.
Today, we know that many head-hunters and employers recruit talent for their virtual presence. At a minimum, before hiring, a candidate’s presence on social media is checked.
Another issue is the responsibility for the information that circulates on the web. The vast majority of recent books and publications can be accessed with a simple click. Still, it is necessary to know how to use these materials and information productively and respectfully.
Thus, the maturity to know how to deal with this environment and its resources is one of the benefits of distance learning and ends up highlighting the professional who has been trained in a distance learning platform.
6. Preparing for the future
Have you noticed the pace at which our society keeps up with the evolution of technology?
The greatest sources of job creation in our decade are not the same as in previous decades. Think only of the IT industry, which expands each year.
Education needs to train professionals to be able to deal with these changes. Intellectual and behavioral development must accompany technological development.
With its active learning methodologies, the distance learning system is the closest format we have to the education that will take place in the future. It places the student as the protagonist in constructing his knowledge, stimulates proactivity, and commitment to his own goals.
7. Experience and motivation to innovate
So far, we have listed some behaviors and skills that distance education evokes in students.
All of these factors – proactivity, autonomy, protagonism, maturity, and discipline – are essential for the professions and fields emerging with the evolution of technology.
Distance learning is the modality most aligned with this awareness because it uses technological devices to cross barriers and reach those willing to grow and motivated to innovate!
8. Self-motivation to perform tasks
And motivation is so important that we need to dive a little deeper into this topic to talk about self-motivation – one of the best distance education benefits.
To begin, think about your goal concerning the university course you intend to take. What is behind this decision? You probably want to earn a diploma to compete for better jobs and salaries, right? Your goal is the kick-off; it is the stimulus that makes you enroll in a distance learning program.
But will that goal be enough to keep you excited and motivated daily during your years of study? Probably not. After all, everyday life is full of ups and downs, no one is made of iron, and even your initial goal can change.
And what is the role of self-motivation in this journey of distance learning? When you realize that your concentration, writing skill, learning, and other areas in distance learning are improving, you are more motivated to continue the journey and find it easier to turn self-motivation into a habit.
By taking this habit into your professional life, you transform your career.
After all, you will be able to stimulate yourself daily, stay safe, and confident in your skills, establish professional goals and objectives, and develop an action plan to make them a reality.
9. Concentration to not lose focus
How long are you able to stay focused? And can you stay focused on a single activity? If distractions affect these skills, distance education helps to develop them.
After all, you need to study routinely to perform well. And to ensure good performance, you must improve your concentration. That is, being able to stay tuned for long periods watching online classes. And it should improve your focus—the ability to pay attention for a particular activity.
Coming to the job market with these two skills, you will be organized, productive, effective, and aware of the opportunities to boost your career.
10. Resilience to develop long-term projects
An undergraduate course is a long-term project that requires resilience. Are you a person capable of adapting to different types of changes? This is one of the benefits of distance education!
When you take a distance learning course, you develop your resilience. After all, this modality generates changes in your habits and daily life that you need to adapt.
For example, you should design a study schedule to follow and test it to see if it works. You must learn to study effectively, avoiding wasting time with unproductive techniques, doing (or redoing) challenging individual jobs, among other activities that require adaptation.
By taking this skill into your professional life, you will develop long-term projects, deal with crises, focus and act under pressure, and have responsible attitudes.
11. Powerful writing skill to negotiate
How is your writing skill? Are your texts clear and objective? Or do you have a hard time putting your point of view on paper?
Regardless of your current situation, your ability to write will improve considerably, thanks to this benefit of distance education.
This is because you need to verbally share your ideas, opinions, point of view, and arguments on the different topics seen in online classes. It is by answering the disciplines’ forums and sending emails through the message center that you will make yourself understood by teachers and classmates.
Your results are positive with great writing skills: you enrich the debates, avoid ambiguities, and guarantee good grades and valuable extra points that make a difference at the end of the day.
The same positive feedback happens in your career. Knowing how to write clearly and objectively, you will successfully present and/or negotiate proposals and projects with your bosses and clients.
12. Learning effectively
One of the major benefits of distance education that you will enjoy is: learning to learn. Using techniques and practices that enhance your studies facilitate the understanding and retention of new knowledge.
You will quickly realize that betting on passive techniques is a waste of time. As a result, you will seek ways to learn effectively and without suffering.
Once you learn to learn, take that knowledge into your professional life and make it a competitive advantage.
Knowing how to use study techniques that help you quickly understand and retain information, you stay ahead of many professionals.
After all, it will be easier to acquire new skills, get certified in a new branch, and specialize.
When an innovative project appears in your company, which professional do you think managers will call on the team: the one who assimilates and applies information quickly or has difficulties retaining and employing new knowledge?
13. Growth mindset to advance your career
Have you ever heard of a fixed mindset and a growth mindset?
Knowing these two concepts makes a difference in your life. This is because these different mindsets directly influence your academic and professional results and how you enjoy distance education benefits.
If you have a fixed mindset, the distance will be a great challenge. After all, people with this mindset:
- they believe that their intelligence is limited and that they are not able to develop new skills;
- they run away and/or give up challenges easily as they can demonstrate their lack of skill;
- they think that the effort to learn something is a sign that the person is not good enough in a certain subject;
- they don’t like to receive feedback because they take it personally;
- they blame other people for their poor performance and are easily demotivated.
However, if you are open to new experiences and opportunities, you must take advantage of distance education: building a growth mindset.
This is because distance learning:
- enables the development of skills and competences (resilience, self-motivation, effective learning, autonomy, discipline, among others);
- it requires an investment of time and effort from the student to study and understand the contents;
- provides feedback on performance through exercise and exam templates, assessments, and responses from teachers and students in online messages and forums.
And in your professional life, how does having a growth mindset help to boost your career?
When you believe that you can develop the skills, competencies, characteristics, and talents by investing in studies, working hard, and pursuing the necessary activities, you learn faster, create job opportunities, search for mentors and act towards your professional goals.