The Benefits of Online Learning
for Career Development

See also: Online Education and Learning

The workplace seems to be changing faster than ever before. Keeping up can seem a struggle – while staying ahead of the curve can feel pretty much impossible. However, there is an incredible range of learning opportunities available for those who need them.

Online learning has revolutionised the education industry, providing individuals with the opportunity to learn and develop new skills from anywhere in the world, at their own pace. With the increasing popularity of online learning, many people are turning to this style of education to advance their careers, by picking up new skills and honing existing ones.

In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of choosing accredited online courses for career development.


One of the main benefits of online learning when it comes to career development is the flexibility it provides. Unlike traditional, classroom-based learning, online learning allows people to study at their own pace and on their own schedule.

This means that professionals can fit their learning around both their professional and personal commitments, making it easier to pursue career development goals while still maintaining a balance in their lives. Being able to learn without compromising on other aspects of your life can be an absolute game changer.


A lot of us don’t have the funds to take time out of work to go back to a traditional learning environment - another benefit of online learning for career development is that it’s often more cost-effective than traditional classroom-based learning.

Online courses tend to be cheaper than traditional courses, as there are no overhead costs associated with running a physical classroom. Additionally, there are no travel expenses or accommodation costs associated with online learning, which can add up to significant savings over time. And, if you can learn while still working, you’ll be even better off financially.

Breadth of access

Online learning also provides individuals with access to a broad range of courses that they may not have been able to access otherwise. With online learning, individuals can choose from a variety of different subjects, including those offered by top universities and colleges, as well as specialist courses in more niche areas.

A lot of courses are designed to provide skills related to emerging technologies and workplace practices, which is absolutely crucial in many industries. This can provide individuals with the opportunity to learn new skills and acquire knowledge that’s relevant to their personal career goals, which can help them to stand out in a competitive job market.


One of the most significant benefits of online learning is that it’s far more accessible to a lot of people than traditional classroom-based learning. With online learning models, individuals can access courses and learning resources from literally anywhere in the world, as long as they have an internet connection and a compatible device.

This means that individuals who live or work in remote areas, or who have mobility issues that make travelling to in-person classes an issue can still access high-quality education, allowing them to develop new skills to advance their careers.


When you’re learning in a classroom along with potentially hundreds of other people, as is common at many universities, the amount of personalisation that course leaders can provide is extremely limited. However, it’s a simple fact that no two people learn in the exact same way, making this method of learning seem increasingly outdated.

Online learning allows for a high level of customisation when it comes to the overall learning experience, allowing for the learning process to be adapted to suit the individual needs and preferences of students.

For example, individuals can choose to learn at their own pace, repeat modules if necessary, and access additional resources if needed. No two learners will want to learn the exact same things, with everyone having weak points that they’re looking to turn into strengths. This level of customisation allows individuals to tailor their learning experience to their specific career development goals, which can often help them to achieve their goals more effectively.

It genuinely promotes career development

One of the main reasons why professionals pursue online learning is to advance their careers. As a result of the flexibility and customisation mentioned above, online learning provides professionals with the opportunity to learn new skills that are actually relevant to their chosen career development path. This can help them to stand out in a competitive job market, increase their earning potential, and advance their career to the next level.

Networking opportunities

Another of the multiple benefits of online learning for career development is that it provides learners with invaluable networking opportunities. Online learning platforms almost always have formal or informal forums and discussion boards, where learners can interact with other learners and their course leaders.

These platforms provide learners with the opportunity to network with other peers and professionals in their industry, which can help them to build valuable connections, increasing their visibility in their chosen niche.

Transferable skills

Finally, a lot of online learning courses provide individuals with useful transferable skills that can be applied to a broad variety of different industries and careers. A lot of these courses won’t cover typical ‘academic’ subjects, but will often be a lot more professionally relevant than courses that are taught at standard universities.

For example, online learning courses can help professionals to develop skills such as time management, organisation, and people management, all skill sets which are highly valued in most industries. These transferable skills can help individuals to advance their careers and increase their employability in a variety of fields.

It’s clear that online learning has a whole host of benefits when it comes to career development. From its flexibility and cost-effectiveness to the wide range of available courses and customisation options, online learning provides individuals with the opportunity to develop new skills that can help them to advance their careers.

Whether you’re looking to increase your earning potential, stand out in a competitive job market, or simply learn something that you find interesting, online learning is a great way to achieve your career development goals without having to compromise in other areas of your life.

About the Author

Heather Gough is the Head of Digital Product Management at StaySharp. StaySharp is a flexible subscription based training provider offering CIPD Level 5, CIPD Level 3, ACCA, AAT and CIMA courses. StaySharp offers the flexibility to study from anywhere and learn at your own pace.