Expanding Your Horizons: 6 Industries That Can Benefit from Online Courses (And Why)


Internet education is booming, with online courses and certifications available in just about every topic under the sun. Online courses are not just for colleges and universities these days, however. In fact, online and distance education are quickly becoming commonplace in many professional sectors. Working professionals can also gain valuable education and skills without enrolling in a traditional college program. Here are six industries that are perfectly primed to make the most out of online courses now:

  1. Healthcare

Digital records and reference materials are revolutionizing healthcare, allowing doctors and nurses to spend more time with patients, better coordinate between care providers, and have up-to-date information on best medical practices…as long as the healthcare professionals make the most of their digital resources. Proper training in paperless recordkeeping and continuing medical education are two ways online courses help doctors and nurses stay at the top of their field.

  1. Construction

You might not think of construction workers as a target audience for online courses, but distance education has a lot to offer construction crews. The ability to translate skills into marketable certifications is one reason online courses are so helpful for construction professionals. Another benefit of online education is the fact that information and training can take place on the actual job site, no matter how remote.

  1. Retail

Online and e-commerce make up a bigger share of annual sales each year. Whether retailers are using distance courses to improve their website and online footprint or simply to train store employees, online retail training is growing rapidly. Many retail employees benefit from training in business and communications, two traditional areas of study that can be found through many online education outlets.

  1. Manufacturing

Careers in manufacturing look very little like manufacturing jobs from twenty, thirty, and fifty years ago. Improvements in technology have drastically changed the day-to-day responsibilities of manufacturing professionals. Staying abreast of current technology and learning to manipulate digital manufacturing tools are two ways that manufacturers can solidify their place in the workforce of the future. Many manufacturing companies rely on a combination of online education and on-the-job training to create a proficient workforce with highly specialized skills.

  1. Education

Perhaps not surprisingly, the education sector was one of the first to embrace online learning. Both professional educators and students can benefit from the convenience and accessibility of online courses—allowing them to take classes from anywhere in the world. Many rural and impoverished areas that struggle to attract enough teachers absolutely depend on online courses to certify teachers without losing any days in the classroom. Teachers are not the only ones using online courses. Students are also seeing the benefit of distance education with online high schools, online assessments, and specific courses that allow students in smaller schools to have access to specialized electives and training. Even traditional, brick-and-mortar schools are using formative assessment tools to better track student achievement on an individual and district-wide scale.