What Is Remote Learning?
At this point, you probably have some important questions. For example, what is remote work? And, how can remote learning help you get there?
First off, you should know that remote learning is a term used to describe the pursuit of knowledge that takes place online and from home. Students who take part in remote learning can choose from various online learning formats, such as synchronous classes that take place at specific times or self-paced learning that can be tailored to fit around one's other responsibilities and schedule. In some cases, students who opt for remote learning can even get started with a hybrid approach that includes some on-campus learning along with online coursework.
In many cases, online degrees offered by colleges and universities include the exact same curriculum as the degrees offered to on-campus students. However, students who learn online do so with the help of digital tools, like webinars and online message boards. Students who pursue degrees online also review and submit through coursework with the help of learning management platforms, like Blackboard or Moodle.
Pros and Cons of Remote Learning
Earn a degree without relocating. Online students can pick colleges that offer the degrees and programs they're interested in, regardless of their physical location.
No commute is required. You can save money and time by not having to drive back and forth to school.
Study and learn on your own schedule. Many online degree programs let you complete coursework around other responsibilities, such as work or childcare.
Pay less for college overall. Some online degrees are more affordable than similar on-campus options, and you may be able to avoid paying separate charges for room and board.
Learn online skills that translate well into the workplace. Learning to navigate online learning platforms can help you with the transition to remote work.
You need to be disciplined to learn on your own. Some online students may struggle to stay on track without a rigid schedule and in-person courses.
Finding work-life balance can be a challenge. Studies show that finding work-life balance can be more challenging when you work out of your home.
Distractions can keep you away from your studies. While learning in a classroom requires your full attention, learning at home can be difficult if you have kids to care for, ongoing household responsibilities, or both.
Interaction with other students is less common. Networking with peers can be a challenge when you choose remote learning over an on-campus degree program.
What Does Remote Work Mean?
Where remote learning lets students earn a degree online and from home, remote work allows individuals to do their jobs from the comfort of their homes.
Remote work requires you to have a quiet place to do your job, as well as a strong internet connection and work-related equipment. The vast majority of the time, employers that allow remote work will supply you with everything you need, including a computer, a microphone, a webcam, software equipment, and more.
In many ways, remote work is similar to remote learning: You need to be disciplined and focused to earn a degree or do your job without direct supervision, and some of the same online tools can apply. For example, remote learners and workers might need to use tools — like Slack or Zoom — to participate in video calls or collaborate with others.
How Has Remote Work Evolved?
We already mentioned how remote work increased during the pandemic, but many studies show that working at home may be here to stay. A 2022 study from McKinsey & Company found that 58% of respondents had the chance to work at home at least one day per week earlier this year, and that 35% of workers had the option to work at home up to five days per week. Further, the American Opportunity Survey revealed that, when workers get the opportunity to choose remote work, 87% of them take it.
Of course, the opportunity to work remotely is much more prevalent in some industries than in others. For example, many jobs in healthcare and the service industry require a physical presence no matter what. Nurses who perform bedside care provide one example of a job that cannot be done remotely, along with retail workers, cooks and chefs, and bus drivers.
That said, data uncovered by McKinsey & Company shows that industries that have not historically embraced remote work are starting to do so in order to retain talent. In fact, half of those working in educational instruction and library occupations, as well as 45% of healthcare practitioners and technical occupations workers, are now working at home at least part of the time.
Do Online Schools Prepare Students for Remote Work?
Online colleges and universities help prepare students for the realities of remote work in the future — and in more ways than one.
For example, remote learning helps students become accustomed to working alone and staying on task without direct supervision. Not only that, but both online colleges and remote work environments require students to use the same tools, like video conferencing, email, and instant messaging.
With that in mind, students who want to access the benefits of working from home in the future are wise to take part in online learning in some capacity, even via a hybrid approach.
Remote Jobs for College Students
If you're planning to pursue an online degree and you want the advantages of working from home, there are remote work-from-home jobs to consider while you're still in school. In fact, online job boards, like FlexJobs, list remote job openings in fields like customer service, writing, computers and IT support, and project management.
These jobs can help you prepare for the realities of working from home later on, including both the pros and the cons of remote work. For example, data compiled by a company called AirTasker shows that 29% of remote workers struggled with finding an appropriate work-life balance, whereas only 23% of office employees felt the same. Even worse, one in three millennials who worked at home struggled to hone in on the work-life balance they really want.
However, Airtasker data laid out other advantages of working from home in great detail. For example, remote workers saved more than $4,000 on average in costs associated with commuting (or not commuting) alone. Further, people who worked at home had 8.5 more hours of free time per week, which translates into 408 additional hours of free time per year.
Best Degrees to Work from Home
If you want all the benefits of working from home from day one, it helps to look at the best degrees for remote work. For the most part, degrees in this realm are ones that apply to careers that offer the best telework opportunities overall.
Fortunately, many of the best colleges and universities offer fully respected online degrees that translate perfectly to high paying industries that are also in-demand.
Some of the best degrees to work at home including the following:
Bachelor's Degree Programs and Remote Jobs
- Careers in writing, editing, and copyediting
- Writing, editing, and journalism jobs
- Information Technology (IT) positions in various fields
- Management positions in various industries
- Accounting positions or self-employment
- Marketing and business positions
Whether you're looking for the best jobs for introverts or you love all the potential benefits of working remotely, you should know that your chances of working from home are better now than ever before. That said, picking from the best degrees to work from home can dramatically increase your chances of landing the remote gig you want the most.
At the end of the day, this means you'll want to research and compare degree programs carefully before making this important decision. Consider all the best online schools and programs to find the right fit, and only select from colleges that are fully accredited.