TO WIN, STAY IN THE GAME

Here is a well known but oft neglected truth: it’s not dreaming to win, but staying in the game that makes winners. If you are ambitious to step up the management ladder, or just plain curious to learn and grow, expanding your knowledge quotient is a big ally.

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It’s never late to opt for a different career path. Not when you can train yourself for something better, something that you find interesting.

And that’s the case with distance learning.  It is your customized platform of learning, your ally in need.

Technology has turned access to virtual classrooms easier. That, in turn, can accelerate your speed of learning, even when you’re hung up with your everyday job or responsibilities. International degrees can now be delivered at your doorstep without you having to go through the pains of acquiring a visa and other stringent regulations.

It all started when people started seeking alternatives to night schools and education for those having mobility issues. So education is no longer out of reach, with e-learning coming to your rescue.

If you think online learning is also stuck with school courses for elementary training, here is a surprise. It has evolved to offer you competitive degrees which can give that additional push in your career. Whether it is in the form of retail management courses or PG Diploma in Finance, distance education can bring a formal degree to add more value to your resume.

Besides increasing your field of expertise, distance education also provides an upper hand amidst the cut-throat competition in professional scenarios where ‘survival of the fittest’ is essential. Pursued through well set-up institutes, the courses can develop not just your know-how, but also focus on strengthening your analytical and creative problem solving skills. Supported with industrial visits, brainstorming sessions and allied activities, these online courses can help you win races.

The courses help equip professionals with knowledge of ongoing market trends, and can also meet the transforming needs of entrepreneurs. Virtual classrooms can thus be your window to growth. The best part – they allow you to sharpen your skills at your convenience.

With time, the demand for distance learning courses in India has increased. As professionals seek to acquire that winning edge over their colleagues, the field has also grown so much that you will be spoilt for choices.

Equip yourself with a qualification through distance learning, and see yourself counted among the winners, because you stayed in the game.

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DISTANCE EDUCATION – TOO NEAR OR TOO FAR?

Time is said to be the greatest educator. But what if you don’t have ample time for a formal education? No worries, since the older classroom bound concept of education has transformed over the last decade to bring it closer home.

Learning and obtaining certifications are not constricted to the closed doors of a classroom anymore. This allows working professionals and others to continue their education at their own pace. Combine new hybrid learning technologies with a willingness to achieve success, and bingo, distance education can make your career grow.

Take away these benefits, and the situation changes dramatically. Let’s take the case of Ajay, who spends night hours working at a call center. His mornings however are not a cozy sleeping routine as you might expect. He trudges to attend PG classes, and catches up on sleep in the weekends. Predictable and full of stress, this routine made permanent marks on his declining health.

Contrast this with the case of Rohit, an HR executive, who is breezing through his part-time MBA in Financial Management course, while attending to his work and also playing guitar for his local band. He selected his course well, with offline classes held at weekends, modular online learning, and classes accessible over his mobile and laptop.

When carefully selected, a Hybrid Distance Learning Programme can easily blend into your lifestyle. Here goes the checklist:

  • Flexibility to study in convenient locations – Check
  • Access to courses abroad – Check
  • Self-paced learning – Check
  • Learning amidst irregular work schedules – Check
  • Increasing vocational eligibility for individuals with restricted mobility or family issues – Check

Another important factor to keep in mind is the human touch and scope for interpersonal communication. Isolated learning with no direct access to instructors and constant dependency on technology can act like dampeners. So, the time you decide to enroll for a distance learning institute in India, you need to choose the one that helps you stay motivated and stick till the end.

Let’s take a look at what people who have been through a successful distance learning course have to say.

Experienced faculties, well researched modules, better infrastructure along with personal care and real time workshops can work wonders. The bottom line is motivation: for not just ‘mugging up’ but ‘learning’, literally.

Rise of Distance Education in India

The Indian education system has seen radical changes in the last decade with online platforms becoming the next big change; thus making distance education the most sought after method of learning.

In 2014, the Online and Distance Learning sector in India grew to 5.42 million (report by TechNavio) and is expected to reach 8.79 million by 2019, growing at a CAGR of 10.16%.

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The following reasons summarize the overall growth of Distance Education in the country.

 Distance/Online Education is convenient:

The employment sector has grown to be highly competitive.Thus, compelling professionals to acquire new skills and enhance their knowledge. Distance  education enables people to get a new degree, while keeping their current job. Also, for professionals from Tier II and Tier III cities, who do not have numerous options for higher education, Distance Education comes as a blessing. They can, elevate their skills  and qualifications even while working from a remote location.

 Government Initiatives:

The Government of India has been taking serious initiatives to bring radical changes to  the education system. And, online and distance learning has been a significant part  of  such endeavors. By initiating various programs across the country, in association  with public and private universities, the Indian government has been regulating the  standard of distance education.

Corporate Initiatives:

Corporate are now widely encouraging Distance Learning among their employees. This enables their employees to learn specialized skills and become more competitive  without hampering their current productivity. In fact, major corporates have entered into partnerships with institutes offering Distance Learning Programs. Such initiatives also include collaborations with international institutes offering Distance Education and online learning programs.

Watch the following video on distance education initiatives taken by Welingkar’s Hybrid PDGM Program to learn why and how online and distance learning is taking over the Indian education system

A different perspective to Distance Learning

We have seen many major universities focusing on online education or distance learning in a big way. They have encouraged many working professionals and students across the globe to sign up for courses and enhance their knowledge and embark on a different career path. “Virtual classroom”, as we call it, is the crux of Distance Education and an effective tool that becomes an important part of every student enrolling for distance learning courses.

This tectonic shift from  ‘actual classrooms’ to  ‘virtual classrooms’, has  seen resentment amongst  the faculty members who fail to see the manifold advantages of distance learning. Don Huesman, Managing Director of the Innovation Group at the Wharton School says,

“Distance learning is a noble cause, providing access to college to those who otherwise find themselves left outside the ivy covered gates. Imagine displaced autoworkers or single mothers completing coursework after putting the kids to bed. In some instances, the barrier to access is not distance, but capacity.”  We agree, yet again the question still remains “Can distance learning be one of the best forms of education?” Well, one school of thought suggests that distance learning is a monologue whereas attending classroom lectures is more in the form of a dialogue.

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In a way, the old or traditional method of learning would still be of significance where teachers and students sit together and interact with one another. However, one cannot solely agree to the idea that only physical classroom education is meaningful. For example, a seminar conducted by Harvard University is no doubt best for a student to attend in person, but at the same time will it not be favorable for another student to attend the same seminar through virtual classroom and gain the same knowledge sitting in another corner of the world?

After all, the purpose of an institute is to enable students to enhance their skills and qualifications and enrich their knowledge and eventually develop their careers.

Often, critics miss the point that distance education is one of the most collaborative, collective, social as well as an interactive way of learning. Apart from this, distance education also fulfils a person’s desire to learn steadily and gradually over a longer period and they can enjoy the pleasure of being part of a learning experience that’s rewarding as well as exciting.

Undoubtedly, online education can never be similar to the real classroom experience but seeing it from a long term and different perspective, it has manifold benefits because it provides personalized, attentive, concentrated education which any classroom or interactive session could not possibly give.

With Hybrid Distance Learning Programs, online education has escalated to a whole new level and gives a new dimension to the new age learners.