September 1, 2021  |  Purdue Global

Enrollment in online college continues to trend high, according to a report from the National Center for Education Statistics. In fall 2019, 6 million undergraduate students (36% of the total) enrolled in at least one distance education course, and 2.4 million (15%) exclusively took distance education courses.

Online courses are attractive for part- and full-time students, working adults, parents, military members, international students, and others who want to diversify how they learn. Here are three pros of online learning that make it a popular option today.

1. Flexibility and Convenience

One of the advantages of online learning is flexibility. Online courses enable students to:

  • Learn on any connected device
  • Study on their own schedule
  • Get a degree without having to commute to campus

According to the 2021 Digital Learning Pulse survey, a strong majority (73%) are so satisfied with their online experience that they would like to take some fully online courses in the future. Two-thirds of students (67%) would like to see more digital materials and resources used in their courses.

2. Same High Quality

Accredited online colleges and universities have to meet certain criteria and curriculum standards, just like traditional schools. They are held to rigorous standards similar to on-the-ground universities.

According to the Digital Learning Pulse survey published in 2021, 57% of students said they felt more positive about online learning now than before the COVID-19 pandemic. From instructor interaction to virtual collaboration with other classmates, there's not much students miss from the in-classroom experience when they're learning online.

The 2021 Online Education Trends Report by Best Colleges found a large number of satisfied remote learners. Of all students, 95% would recommend online or remote learning to others, while 83% of remote learners would make the same recommendation.

3. Continue in Your Profession

Most online college students work while going to school. According to EdTech magazine, 60% of online learners are employed full time, and 20% part time.

You have no need to quit your job or leave your profession when you go to college online. You don’t need to rearrange your work schedule for school, since you study on your own time.

Many online college students who are also employed find they can directly apply what they're learning to their work roles. Taking online college courses while working can help some employees move up at their jobs or find more meaningful work before they graduate.*

Is Online College Right for You?

There are many benefits of online college, and depending on your needs, online learning may be a good fit for you. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, Purdue Global provides a world-class online college education that’s tailored to the unique needs of working adults—and we’re part of the respected Purdue University system.

Request information about Purdue Global today.

Filed in: Online Learning

About the Author

Purdue Global

Purdue Global delivers a fully personalized, world-class education online that's tailored for adults. We offer 175 programs, including associate's, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees as well as certificates, in areas such as business, IT, education, health sciences, nursing, criminal justice, and more.


*Employment and Career Advancement: Purdue Global does not guarantee employment placement or career advancement. Actual outcomes vary by geographic area, previous work experience and opportunities for employment.

Accreditation: Purdue Global is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (, an institutional accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.