Pin Me

Who Is the Typical Distance Learner?

written by: •edited by: Laurie Patsalides•updated: 4/25/2009

Distance learning is available to everyone, but who is the typical distance learning student? Certain people are more likely than others to pursue a distance learning program. Let's take a look at who...

  • slide 1 of 1

    Who is Learning Online?

    Online learning is readily available to anyone with an Internet connection; however, not everyone takes advantage of it. The typical distance learner may not be who you think. Distance learning programs are sought after by a variety of people from different walks of life all for different reasons.

    The benefits of distance learning programs apply to all distance learning students. Online education saves the student gas money and time. In today’s busy world free time can be sparse. An online student has the option of completing class assignments any time of the day or night allowing for ultimate flexibility. All students need these benefits, but all need them for different reasons.

    • Single parents have a lot of responsibilities. Shuttling children to and from daycare and to after-school activities can be a full time job in itself. When you add in the cooking, cleaning and an actual full time job, you can see that the single parent has several jobs. Trying to make ends meet can be a challenge and furthering your education can help one meet that challenge. Since a single parent’s schedule is already jam packed, online learning can provide the solution. With no class commute time, a parent can log in to classes when he or she has the time allowing the parent to still attend to all other duties and responsibilities.

    • Retired persons might find themselves with a problem different from that of the single parent. Someone who has spent the last 20-50 years working may now have more time than he knows what to do with. Pursuing a distance learning program can help fill the time and allow the retiree to learn something he has always wanted to learn. Just because someone is retired does not mean they have to stop learning. Many retired individuals are earning an online degree and using their newfound knowledge to start a home business for some extra cash. Of course, the added benefit to an online degree is again, saving time and gas money.

    • Handicapped individuals are another group that is likely to take advantage of an online degree. Commuting to a brick and mortar school is not always an easy option for someone that has trouble getting around. An online education can allow someone with a handicap or disability to earn the same degree that could be earned at a physical campus.

    • Military personnel must be ready to leave on a minute’s notice. This can be a problem for someone who is in the military and attending a college program. There is not a lot of flexibility in a class taken at a college campus. Traveling from country to country is big possibility when you are in the military so being able to take school with you is very important. It would be a relief to know that assignments can be completed on the military’s schedule.

    • There are many professionals in the corporate world who need a college degree to get a promotion or keep their jobs. It’s hard to find the time for school when you already work long hours. Some examples are nurses, accountants, healthcare administrators, busy managers, police officers, firefighters and many more. These busy professionals are able to earn an online degree that allows them to reach professional goals they would not otherwise be able to meet.

    Distance learning gives students something they cannot get elsewhere. This is flexibility. Knowing you can earn a great education and still attend to life’s responsibilities is a great comfort to many.