The world has radically changed in just a few decades. The primary factor has been the digital revolution, which has marked history, generations, and especially education…
Internet technology has transformed humanity in just half a century and is one of the greatest advances in history, perhaps only comparable to the invention of the wonderful artifact known as the wheel, which brought about the rapid flourishing of ancient civilizations.
The first computer connection happened in 1969, radically marking the generation called millennials, which was born during the period 1981-1993 and is so named because it came of age with the advent of the new millennium.
Millennials had to learn to deal with a new way of doing things, but then came Generation Z – born between 1994 and 2010 – who are already digital children and have a totally different way of looking at the world and dealing with it.
Education and work in the digital age
Especially during the last 20 years, numerous tools have been developed for learning through the web, which is known as ICTs or Information and Communication Technologies. These have been created by computer experts, in conjunction with specialists in neuroscience and learning psychology, to guarantee their maximum effectiveness.
Regarding the work areas, it is no longer conceivable to hire any collaborator who does not effectively handle the multiple digital tools available, which are also updated daily as well as new ones appearing. In this new universe of technology, skills are much more important than titles.
Companies have also changed other paradigms and no longer require their employees to be located in an office; in fact, they can be located anywhere in the world. Similarly, companies use virtual resources to update their workers through courses, seminars and workshops.
Autonomy, freedom and irreverence of Generation Z
The study of the profile of those belonging to this new Generation Z, some of whom already occupy relevant positions in the business world and others are in full training, determines that their most important characteristics are the need for autonomy and freedom, in addition to the fact that they are irreverent by nature.
Based on these qualities, they have their own lifestyle that breaks the rules with respect to previous generations, more concerned with stability and success.
This means that they are not easily tied to schedules, or to situations that immobilize them, which is why they also prefer to carry out their own ventures rather than be employed in a company.
Their irreverence, in this sense, is also manifested by opposing all traditional ways of educating themselves, preferring online training, which exempts them from meeting schedules and sitting at a desk listening to a teacher.
This type of training, on the other hand, gives them the possibility to combine work with education in an easier way, as well as to acquire skills in the digital environment, and, most importantly, it offers them the advantage of remaining acquiring knowledge during all of life, which is vital in this dynamic and changing world.
What are the main advantages of online education
Various investigations and studies about the benefits of online education and why it is preferred by young people, as well as by adults who are in constant search of knowledge, determine that the main reasons are those indicated below.
Studying a career or online course gives the possibility of choosing the best university or teaching center in any physical place of any country, so many opportunities are opened in terms of careers or specialties.
One of the main arguments of those who are not in favor of face-to-face education is tranquility, freeing themselves from the anguish of not arriving on time due to the innumerable traffic jams in large cities.
Additionally, studying online gives the benefit of going at the particular pace of each person, delving into the topics that are particularly necessary and ignoring those that are already mastered. On the contrary, in face-to-face universities the rhythm is imposed by the professor.
Likewise, the objectives of the students of one class and the other may be different, giving the impression that, in many cases, the students of the face-to-face courses have the purpose of passing the subject, while those who study online have more vocation to learning.
Online courses, for the most part, do not require previous degrees or academic averages. In this way, education becomes much more democratic, since anyone can choose the study plan they prefer or need to do. Likewise, several simultaneous studies can be done because the student is the one who manages the times.
Finally, a strong argument is the price. Online studies are much cheaper because the amounts do not include the costs of infrastructure, maintenance and materials that face-to-face universities have to face. For this reason, online universities can invest more money in technology and high-level professors. And, on the other hand, the student avoids the expense of transfers, meals and books.
Some facts about virtual training
2020 and 2021 have been especially atypical in terms of the number of online students, which is unknown if it will continue, although experts indicate that this trend is already irreversible. Here are some interesting statistics that correspond to the times before the pandemic.
In the world there were 18 million students online; 60% male and 40% female. Spain was the fifth country in the world with the highest percentage (32%) of virtual students, including courses, careers and postgraduate courses.
There were differences regarding the type of studies completed. In Spain those related to Languages stood out, while for example in France Business stood out, in Germany Data Science and in Greece Arts and Humanities.
Likewise, there were some interesting variations in terms of study schedules. In Spain, most of the students studied at 6 in the afternoon, while in the United Kingdom they did so at 3 pm, and in Brazil, one of the countries with the largest number of virtual students in Latin America, they connected to the 9 pm.
The rise of online education opens many unknowns about the future of traditional private schools. One of the big questions is how many will be able to stay and also about its cost since, as they have fewer students, tuition prices will undoubtedly rise, so they may become very elitist places of learning.