distance learning statisticsIt’s long been thought that the only way to further your education is to take the time to register and commute to a brick and mortar school. As a matter of fact, this is becoming an antiquated way to further ones education. More adults and even younger students have found that distance learning programs not only give them the education they need, but it also provides a much more convenient way to earn a diploma.

Since early in the millennium, distance learning was something that only offered a few classes. Students were still forced to commute to a physical location to completely finish their diplomas.

Since 2013, however, 5.5 million students in the United States have enrolled in distance learning courses. This could be due to numerous reasons – adults have easier access to courses that fit their schedule, students in rural areas have opportunities that didn’t require long-distance commutes, and remote learning offers handicapped students better opportunities.

An even more recent study shows that a trend in online learning programs continues to increase. The study shows that many faculty members don’t completely support distance learning, but student statistics show that it’s a preference especially among adults. Distance education students increased from 3.7% to 3.9% in 2015. 5.8 million students accounted for online distance learners in 2015, which is up from the 5.5 million in 2013. Of this 5.8 million, 28% were distance learning students.

The findings show that online distance learning continues to grow each consecutive year as more students prefer learning on a schedule that is more appropriate for adults. For decades, adults were unable to go back to school once the responsibilities of jobs and family wouldn’t allow them to attend classes in the middle of the day. These online courses now allow adults to learn on their own time. According to a recent study, online distance learning is expected to see tremendous growth in the next three to five years.

Distance learning is no longer considered an inferior form of education. It continues to gain popularity for its convenience and gives busy individuals of all ages a chance to gain access to educational resources to further their careers.

Students can focus their education on a range of careers including medical, technology, business, vocational trades and more. Students are able to choose from any number of diploma options that directly relate to their career growth paths. Because of the numerous opportunities, the next decade could see more online students than traditional on-campus enrollees.