Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Employer's View: Online Education

Traditionally, if an employee wanted to go back to school they would either have to quit their job or take a long leave of absence leaving the burden on the employer to hire and train a replacement. E-learning allows students to pursue their educational goals without compromising their careers. It's a win-win. Employers gain the benefit of the employees new skills without the traditional time away from the office. Employers can help increase employee retention, create higher visibility and enhance products or services by implementing professional development programs within their organizations. Students love the flexibility and professional rewards often gain from furthering their education online.

There are a variety of education programs that can be taken online. Undergrad and graduate degrees, professional certificate programs, you can even go to law school online. The Sloan Consortium found that fully online degree and certificate programs are offered by 34 percent of institutions. For profit institutions, like Kaplan Higher Education and Kaplan Continuing Education (KCE) according to the report, expect to increase their online programs more rapidly than any other type of institution, anticipating an increase of more than 40 percent. Additionally, three quarters of academic leaders at public colleges and universities believe that online learning quality is equal to or superior to face-to-face instruction (The Sloan Consortium: Entering the Mainstream, October 2004.)

An increasing numbers of professionals choose to pursue their education online. Technology is becoming more advanced and demand for these programs will continue to grow forcing employers who may be uncertain of online education to re-evaluate their position.

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