Elearning is so cool, even Justin Bieber knows about its advantages. For those of you who don’t know (or more likely, don’t care), Justin Bieber received his high school diploma last year by taking his courses via elearning. According to USA Today, “the Biebs” took various elearning courses while touring, although no details on the course content were revealed. If you’re the instructional designer who created this training, go ahead and put “elearning developer for celebrities” on your resume.
This is just another example of one of the most powerful benefits that elearning affords us today, and that is the ability to continually learn while honing our craft and building skills through real life experience. Before today’s technologies made distance learning more accessible, initial learning took place in a traditional classroom, and then practical experience was obtained on the job. Today’s workforce has the best of both worlds because of the physical boundaries that are erased due to today’s technology.
From a traditional academic sense, a professional pursuing an advanced degree by way of virtual learning while maintaining their job is in a better position to apply their new skills sooner – almost in real-time. This, of course, has value to the employer, and also to the employee who can continually refine their skills and apply them to his or her work. In essence, elearning blends the worlds of real-life experience and leading industry specific practices.
Skill building doesn’t just have to be through academic settings, but also through the elearning programs offered by professional institutions. For example, many of these organizations offer a wide range of courses on specific topics relevant to the field – giving professionals today the opportunity to gain additional accreditation by applying on-the-job experiences, resulting in continuous improvement.
For those of you who are familiar with elearning and its benefits, you already understand these benefits – but I think it never hurts to take a step back and truly analyze the impact that elearning has on the modern employee. From a skill building perspective, the positive outcome is realized by both the employee and employer alike. The world is quickly becoming a place where “specialists” are preferred over “generalists”. Employers benefit from highly skilled employees driving the day-to-day business while employees benefit from higher compensation and more responsibility.
No matter what industry you are in, don’t be afraid to “pull a Bieber”; supplementing the skills you gain from your working environment with some form of elearning can only be beneficial in the long run.