6 Advantages Of Online Learning

Your secret weapon to keep up with the curve

All we seem to hear about is change. Supply chain change to be exact and all that goes with it from “disruption” to “innovation” and the changing landscape that lies between. As professionals, we are constantly on the lookout for the “next big thing,” whether it be a new system or modality as it feels like our industry is developing at such a fast past that a cursory look through industry news magazines for updates is a daily compulsion.

The challenge of updating and upskilling is, therefore, a constant in today’s supply chain environment. It can be the difference between company survival and success.

Add to that the further dimension of geographic distance which can also add the challenge of disparities in learning resources.

Yet around the world, upskilling is on the increase. Once it was enough to have a set technical skill. Now, however a whole group of soft skills such as communication, budgeting and leadership are also required. Added to that are new modalities such as new technology that are requiring a whole set of new competencies.

It is no wonder then that supply chain and logistics leaders have abandoned their preference for classroom-based learning. Companies are driving this change as their needs for easier, cheaper and more accessible training solutions grow.

“The sector was once very reluctant to embrace virtual learning and had a significant preference for face-to-face instruction, only up until a few years ago,” said Carmel Perales, General Manager of Logistics Executive’s Singapore office. “These days we are noticing the trend is for big business to try to drive an integrative approach to supply chain. They are searching for better and faster ways of doing things on a global scale” she concluded.

All of this means that there has been an exceptional growth in online learning as professionals at all levels of their career development are seeking out online course options as a means of advancement.

To help you make a decision, below are listed ten advantages of online learning:

  1. Total lower costs – Straight up you will not have to pay for commuting costs and the cost of online course materials is also negligible. A lot of online degrees have less expensive tuition prices though offer the same prestige level offering.
  2. Huge variety of courses – There is an enormous range of offerings from universities and learning institutions all over the world. No matter what students wish to study and at what level of learning, there are options out there for everyone from certificate to doctorate.
  3. Flexibility – Unlike classroom learning, can be undertaken at any time of day and fit in study while working full time or fitting in other personal commitments like having a family. As it is a lot cheaper than face-to-face learning it is also much easier to continue learning even if you leave your job. It also means that if you want to work at a faster pace you can.
  4. Convenience – This is by far the biggest standout benefit of online learning. Long commutes each day are negated in favor of being able to pick up your computer anytime and anywhere.
  5. Attunement to work life – Students can fit in their theory lesson with actual practical work examples. A lot of employers develop spring boarding programs which advance their staff through structured experiences both at work accompanied by online learning that give them a taste of different jobs within their company and the Supply Chain and Logistics sector.
  6. Ability to network – This was a major stumbling block with the supply chain and logistics sector in the past as it was feared that networking, which is considered a significant side benefit of sending employees to industry courses would not be possible. However, as we all know, technology has become one of the important mediums which people use to socialize with these days from Skype, LinkedIn to online forums. The difference is that these networking events can be more targeted and linked to professional outcomes.

These are just a few examples of the benefits in the area of online study. It is clear that supply chain learning revolution will continue to grow off the back of the supply chain revolution as the needs of the industry to bridge the knowledge gap and keep their workforce agile and competitive continue.

I would like to hear your opinion on online learning. Have you used this study medium before? What sort of course did you study? Do you agree with the list above or would you add to it?

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