Online professional development courses offer a flexible way for individuals to advance their careers. They are available in several different formats and a wide range of topics.
Online Professional Development Courses -- Overview
Online professional development courses offer busy, working professionals a flexible, convenient way to strengthen and enhance their professional skills, increase their value as employees and improve their overall quality of life. Online professional development courses can also help employees advance to a higher position or earn a higher salary.
How They Work
Many online professional development courses allow students to enroll whenever they wish. Students learn at their own pace, and coursework can be completed at any time or location. Although courses can be completed at the student's convenience, a course completion deadline is usually set. For example, some courses must be completed within a 6-9 month time frame.
Other courses are term-based, meaning that students must start on a specific date, spend time interacting with professors and classmates online and adhere to deadlines for course registration, assignments and tests. General completion time for these courses is typically between 1-2 months.
Online professional development courses are often interactive, incorporating multimedia elements such as:
- Streaming video
- Audio recordings
- Interactive exercises
- Instant messaging
- Real-time chat sessions
Students typically pick up and turn in their assignments via one of the previously mentioned multimedia elements, by e-mail or through a course management system, such as Blackboard.
Possible Fields of Study
Online professional development courses can be used for career advancement as well as for self-enrichment. Students also use online professional development courses to renew a teaching license or some other professional credential. Areas of study are numerous and may include subjects such as:
- Educational Leadership
- Human Resources Management
- Nonprofit Management
- Public Administration
Professionals who want to advance their careers without committing to on-campus studies can benefit from online development courses.