Last updated: 26.02.13

E-learning 'benefits students in a variety of sectors'

Online learning courses could be beneficial to prospective students hoping to gain qualifications in the medicine, banking, nursing, journalism, social work and finance sectors.

Computer-assisted education is becoming increasingly popular among both young and old audiences and for one postgraduate student of molecular biology, distance training has been vital to improving her professional development, the Independent reports.

Enas Newire completed an e-learning Masters degree in infectious diseases at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and with the help of a scholarship from the Schlumberger Foundation, a non-profit body supporting science and technology education, she has been able to study towards a doctorate in antimicrobial strategies and resistance.

According to the young woman, distance learning provided her with a pathway to the prestigious degree, without her needing to sacrifice any social commitments.

She told the news provider she met with teachers and project supervisors during a five-week blended learning module in 2010, adding: "It was really great to meet all the instructors I had been communicating with through emails for quite a long time."

UK postgraduate Lucy Harbor, who is halfway through a green economy Masters programme at the University of Bournemouth, reported a similar positive experience with online learning. She said she is able to both work and support herself at the same time as furthering her education and claimed: "I find distance learning suits me very well. I'm getting better grades than I did when I was studying at uni the first time around."

In order to achieve the ideal balance between earning a living and studying towards a degree, it seems e-learning is the best option.

Not just useful for individuals hoping to acquire new skills, the approach could also be necessary for businesses that struggle to find the time to roll out training to their employees.

Learning resources uploaded on to an online portal can be accessed in workers' spare time and this means they do not have to take time out of a busy daily routine to sharpen up their workplace knowledge.