THE BLOG

Why Distance Learning is a Viable Option

18/03/2014 14:40 GMT | Updated 18/05/2014 10:59 BST

If you are thinking of making a change to your career, online distance learning could be the viable option you are looking for.

With the price of university fees in the UK greatly increasing in 2012, more people have been choosing distance learning, as it's an affordable solution to get the skills you require to launch a new career.

Taking an online course has its many benefits; not only does it save you money, but it also allows you to gain new qualifications in the space of 12 months or less, which can be more appealing than studying for up to three years at a university.

Joshua Cole, Managing Director of My Distance Learning College said "We have seen a large increase in students in the past year, whether someone is looking for a change in career or just to expand their knowledge of a certain subject, we offer them a cheaper, more time efficient solution to university."

Most local universities only offer a limited number of subjects, whereas distance learning colleges have a much larger range of learning opportunities from Teaching Assistant to Zoology courses, the spectrum of topics is huge. This means that instead of moving away to a university that offers the subject you are interested in, you can study from home with a distance learning course.

Studying from home not only prevents you from running up huge university fees and loans, there are also other expenses that come with attending university which should be taken into account. For example, learning from home means you don't have to pay for accommodation or petrol to commute to university; also all of your course materials are included so there is no need to pay for expensive course textbooks. You can also eliminate costs of everyday university expenses such as buying lunch in between lectures.

For many people, online education is a viable way of gaining a qualification around other commitments such as work or family life. The advantage of learning at a pace that suits them and that fits around other responsibilities is very attractive to many home learning students.

A distance learning student, Lisa Wright, from East Sussex said "I chose to do a distance learning course because I am a dog walker, lollipop lady and a mum. I needed a course structure which gave me chance to study in my spare time and at a reasonable price."

A lot of people leave school and go straight into work, this could often be because they are undecided on their future career or that they need the money to support themselves and their family. For low income workers like this it can be near enough impossible to leave a paid job for education.

Not only does distant learning allow you to stay in paid work while studying, but there are also many companies that offer affordable re-payment options. This means you are able to gain a qualification and pay it back at a rate that is comfortable for you.

There are often questions asked about whether online distance learning colleges offer real qualifications; it's important to always do some research into a company before you purchase a course with them. However, many do offer genuine accredited courses and one way to check this is to look for Ofqual registered awarding bodies such as CACHE, NCFE, NVQ and QCF.

So, if you are contemplating a new career then an online distance learning course could be the most viable option. With course prices ranging from approximately £50 - £400, it is an adaptable way of gaining a new qualification in a time frame that suits you.