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Online Professional Development: How Your Business Could Benefit

As a manager or business owner, you want to help your organization grow. And you don’t just want it to grow larger: you want it to be smarter and stronger. One of the most common means of improving your organization from the bottom up is to invest in ongoing professional development for your employees. Traditionally, this means hiring speakers or allowing employees time to pursue coursework on a local college campus. Both of these traditional methods can cause missed work hours and lower productivity.

Fortunately, the expansion and rapid development of online education makes professional development more convenient than ever for you and for your employees. Here are a few reasons why partnering with an online university for professional development could be the solution you’re looking for.

Get Back Lost Productivity

Online education’s main drawing point is the flexible scheduling. Any Internet-enabled computer becomes a virtual classroom, where lectures, course materials, and quizzes are available 24 hours a day. This means that there’s nobody ducking out at 4:30 to commute to a campus, and that you don’t have to round up entire departments to attend a three-hour seminar from a visiting professor down in the board room while work comes to a standstill.

With online education, your employees can access their online courses anytime, anywhere, allowing them to keep their productivity high as they pursue professional development with minimal disruption to their working schedule.

Flexible Curriculum

It’s not just the scheduling that’s flexible with online professional development. Some universities are willing to ensure that the courses your employees take have industry-current, practical problem solving built right into the materials. In some cases, the online university may even tailor entire programs towards your industry. This means that your workers will be able to apply what they’ve learned to their work immediately, potentially improving processes and productivity even further.

Universities Are Keen To Partner Up

Many online universities offer special corporate partnership programs that include carefully tailored courses and, in some cases, fee waivers when you sign up employees. This is in part because partnering with companies allows universities to expand their school’s reach and visibility. It’s also because they can learn from you: corporate partnerships offer schools and professors a chance to keep their fingers on the pulse of industry: how it works, and what skills it expects successful workers to have. This helps them develop better, more career-relevant degree programs.

Online Education Is Effective

There are still many sceptics out there when it comes to the effectiveness of online education. The US Department of Education isn’t among them: last year, the Department of Education released a report that examined 12 years’ worth of study data testing the effectiveness of online education. The study, “Evaluation of Evidence-Based Practices in Online Learning: A Meta-Analysis and Review of Online Learning Studies” determined that online education actually results in somewhat higher performance on tests than traditional classroom learning.

So don’t be afraid to take the plunge into online professional development. If you choose a regionally accredited  school with well-designed courses and immersive “virtual classroom” technology, your employees will most likely benefit. And your business could, too.

Colorado Technical University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association (30 North LaSalle Street, Suite 2400, Chicago, Illinois 60602-2504) www.ncahlc.org.

CTU does not guarantee employment, salary, or performance of graduates.

References:
http://www.ed.gov/rschstat/eval/tech/evidence-based-practices/finalreport.pdf