Most everyone knows the value of a college degree and the value that employers place on college graduates. And though we think that we are a great deal smarter than those without a college degree, a college degree will almost always pay off.
But when it comes to working professionals and not-quite-college-bound millennials, learning new skills is something many can’t afford to miss. That’s why we’re bringing you an in-depth look at the new world of distance learning.
Many adults are entering the workforce with a gap in their education or skills. For these individuals, a flexible, online learning environment is not only a viable option, it can also be a viable way to obtain a credential, a skill upgrade, or even a career change.
Facts About Distance Learning Education to Keep in Mind
If you are considering enrolling in a distance learning or online education programme, there are a few facts regarding the distance learning industry that you may not be aware of.
Keep these points in mind as you enrol, as they could save you considerable time and money.
One must first keep in mind that online education is, at its foundation, a for-profit operation when thinking about the distance learning industry. Financial support is necessary for distance learning programmes just as it is for traditional public and private institutions.
Attending a traditional institution that is made up of brick-and-mortar buildings can often be less expensive than participating in a distance learning programme because brick-and-mortar institutions are required to pay for overhead expenses such as salaries for faculty members and server costs. On the other hand, they are substantially more adaptable and save a large amount of time.
Second, you should understand that distance learning places you more independently than in a traditional classroom.
You are responsible for studying at your own pace, reading the book, and completing the assigned work. While you can discuss issues with other students via instant messaging and chat groups, motivating yourself to study and complete assignments is entirely up to you.
The third point is one that many people who enrol in distance learning programmes find frightening. Not all online colleges and universities are accredited, meaning your degree may be meaningless. This is not a topic that the distance learning industry likes to discuss, but it is a severe issue.
Before enrolling in any online education programme, ensure that the institution is completely certified. You do not want to discover afterwards that your degree is only worth the paper it is printed on.
Best Universities for Distance Education in India
There are several reputed institutions in India that offer distance education programs. Here are some of the best universities known for their quality distance education offerings:
- Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU): IGNOU is one of the largest open universities in the world and offers a wide range of undergraduate, postgraduate, diploma, and certificate courses through distance learning.
- Symbiosis Centre for Distance Learning (SCDL): SCDL is a leading institution offering various management courses through distance learning mode. It is known for its quality curriculum and flexible study options.
- Annamalai University: Annamalai University’s Directorate of Distance Education offers a diverse range of courses covering multiple disciplines, including arts, sciences, management, engineering, and medicine.
- University of Mumbai – Institute of Distance and Open Learning (IDOL): IDOL provides opportunities for students to pursue undergraduate and postgraduate programs through distance mode from one of India’s most prestigious universities.
- Madhya Pradesh Bhoj Open University (MPBOU): MPBOU is recognized as one of the largest open universities in India, offering a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses in diverse disciplines.
- Dr BR Ambedkar Open University (BRAOU): BRAOU offers various undergraduate and postgraduate programs along with professional courses through distance education mode. It focuses on providing inclusive education opportunities.
- Osmania University – Prof G Ram Reddy Centre for Distance Education: This centre offers a variety of undergraduate, postgraduate, diploma, and certificate programs in fields such as arts, commerce, science, business administration, computer applications, etc.
- Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies – School of Distance Learning (NMIMS-SDL): NMIMS-SDL provides industry-relevant management programmes through its virtual classrooms and online platforms.
- Netaji Subhas Open University (NSOU): NSOU offers a wide range of undergraduate, postgraduate, and diploma programs in fields like arts, science, commerce, social work, etc., focusing on fostering an inclusive education system.
- Karnataka State Open University (KSOU): KSOU offers numerous undergraduate and postgraduate courses in diverse disciplines through distance education.
These universities have built a reputation for delivering quality education through distance learning and have the proper infrastructure to support the needs of students pursuing their studies remotely. It is essential to conduct thorough research about the specific courses, accreditation, faculty expertise, and student support services before choosing a distance education programme that aligns with your goals and requirements.