The BBC recently published an article highlighting how some UK residents, who were out of work, now have the opportunity to get into a £40,000 per year career thanks to a free engineering course. The story in question was subject to jobs in offshore wind farms, which are due to, if you can pardon the pun, blow up in the coming years as they are receiving heavy investment by the UK government. The overarching aim of the investment is the hope that offshore wind farms will provide enough electricity to cover a third of the UK in just over 20 years from now.

The course discussed by the BBC certainly indicates a good investment of time for the job seekers involved in the course, but it makes us wonder if all courses like these are worth the time? The debate over university degrees is another matter – which the aforementioned free course does shed some light on – but what about online courses that are supposed to help develop your staff’s skills? Are they worth the time, effort and money – the hype? Should your business look for the sign-up sheet or choose to train your staff using other and more conventional methods?

The Popularity and Benefits of Online Courses

The online course industry is expected to pass 300-billion dollars within the next decade. This is because so many adults are taking it upon themselves to enhance their careers. It is also in part due to the recognition of businesses that e-learning can become a powerful way to train staff with many benefits compared to more orthodox methods. Here are the reasons why your business should start considering online courses:

1. They are Cost Effective

The main rival to online courses as a method to train staff is either sending staff to a trainer or welcoming a trainer on-site. The prior is costly as you have to fund transport for your staff to get to a location and lose more business time. Together these can be quite costly for your business. On the other hand, online courses do not come with these added transportation expenses. Moreover, if you enrol large groups of staff onto courses with the same provider you can often find big discounts as well.

2. They are Relevant

Due to the popularity of online courses, the industry has expanded the types of online courses that are available. You can easily find suitable courses for your staff. Whether you need to get IT professionals up to speed or need to develop personal skills among HR staff, there will be an online course for all your employees.

3. They are Convenient

For similar reasons to why online courses are cost-effective, they make them exceptionally convenient as well. Staff members can complete courses wherever they are without having to waste time transporting to training providers. They can even complete them out of business hours if needed. They will even help you avoid having to host on-site trainers which can be an inconvenient addition to the business schedule.

4. Updated Learning

One of the lesser realised benefits of choosing e-learning is that they keep getting updated. Some staff members may rely on resources and manuals they received during training from years ago, but these materials may well be outdated. Alternatively, online courses are frequently being updated with results from new research and to changes in fast-paced business environments. Some online courses even allow learners to keep their access to materials that continually get updated.

5. They are Tax Deductible

Another benefit of online courses is that staff training is tax deductible and these courses are included. Businesses can still get tax relief from enrolling staff onto e-learning courses, just as they would if they were enrolling them onto standard in-person staff training courses.

Final Thoughts

As more of our business operations go online and into the cloud, there is no reason why staff training should not head that way too. The popularity of online courses is evident and that is due to the benefits they offer. For even more convenience, training relevance and cost-effectiveness, it is worth considering this new way of training staff.