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The recent boom in online services, like shopping, restaurant and hotel bookings as well as ride-sharing apps, might make you wonder how we ever managed to survive without them. Just think back and remind yourself of the difficulties and inconveniences faced before the internet.

Organisations are now – more than ever – taking their products and services online. This is evident in journalism and the publishing industry, for example. With the emergence of e-readers and online libraries, hardcover books and magazines are becoming more difficult to sell. We also rely heavily on online news platforms to know what’s going on in our local communities and around the world in real-time.

This shift to online platforms can be attributed to convenience. Online platforms provide a convenient cost and time saving, variety and accessibility.

Why Australian higher education is heading online

As a global, interconnected community, we are moving exponentially towards what has been regarded as the fourth industrial revolution; a key aspect of this revolution being digitisation.

As more industries evolve to accommodate the digital, so too does the education sector. University campuses rely heavily on the internet to facilitate communication between students and teachers, as well as teaching methods through email, webinars, chat and discussion boards and interactive whiteboard sessions. In recent years, the most groundbreaking use of technology in the education sector has been the availability of e-learning programs, or online courses.

E-learning: nothing short of revolutionary

‘E-learning’, or online learning is revolutionary, to say very least. Institutions around the world are beginning to warm up to the idea of developing fully online courses to reach new students, while many others have already begun. While some across the education sector may be hesitant to accept this approach, this is likely the future of education in Australia and something that may need to be accepted.

Of course, this does not mean the dissolution of traditional on-campus study, rather an extension of it, making education more accessible. Students now have the opportunity to consider which pathway to take; whether that be the traditional university experience or a more digitised one. For many hopeful students, this new approach will open the door to obtaining a degree, which they may not have had access to beforehand due to time or location.

Over the last few years in Australia, online learning has seen a steady rise in popularity. This trend looks set to continue and is likely to become a force to be reckoned with.

A (online) force to be reckoned with

It’s undeniable that online courses provide an opportunity for more people to gain an education. When it comes down to obtaining a degree, it doesn’t matter whether you attend a university campus or access your coursework from your laptop, both methods produce the same result.

One major benefit of pursuing an online course is that it provides extreme flexibility when trying to balance personal, professional and study commitments. It also gives you the ability to enrol into a course and study from an entirely different country (or your lounge room, should you choose).

What will the future hold for online learning?

In 2016, the online education sector reportedly saw an astounding 900 growth since 2000. The US’ Online Report Card survey noted that more than 5.8 million students were enrolled in online courses nationally, with one in four students choosing to pursue this form of higher education. As we move more and more towards a digitised world, these numbers are likely to be reflected in the Australian market.

Online study is an extremely rewarding and viable option for many people. Discover RMIT’s range of online postgraduate programs across business disciplines such as human resource management, marketing, commerce and project management. Get in touch with our Enrolment team today on 1300 701 171.