Business ResourcesMaking the Case for Online Learning to Your Boss

Photo by Andrew Neel / CC0

Linnea Schulenburg
writes on May 17, 2017

Whether you’re hoping to qualify for a promotion or simply want to gain new skills, it’s always a good idea to look for professional development opportunities. If you haven’t asked your boss for a learning budget yet, it’s easier than you think. Once you have a license to learn, you need to consider your many options.

Community college, books, on-site training, all-day seminars, conferences, MOOCs – it can be hard to decide what type of training will best suit your needs, and once you choose you’ll need to present it to your boss for approval. However, there is one very adaptable, widely available choice – e-learning.          

E-learning, a.k.a. online learning or online training, has a lot of advantages – let’s talk about a few.

It fits your schedule

Because all the learning content is hosted online, you can learn anywhere you have internet access, wherever and whenever makes the most sense for you.  Learn at home in the morning while drinking your coffee or during lunch at work (a great time to pair learning with other people on your team).

Set your own pace for learning

In a traditional classroom, skills are learned by the group at roughly the same speed. With e-learning, you can take more time on topics you need to focus on, and move quickly through material you’re already familiar with so you can use your learning time more efficiently.

It can be individual or team oriented

Just like traditional training courses, online courses can incorporate group and individual work. For example, at Treehouse we give business users the ability to create learning teams so companies can make a JavaScript learning group or put everyone in a department together with a shared goal. That way, you can support each other and get help when you need, or you can progress by yourself.

It’s easier for your manager to understand your progress

At the end of a school year, you get grades. At the end of a training course, you sometimes get a certificate – but those are assessments after the fact, and don’t let your manager know how you’re doing during the beginning and middle of your training. Most e-learning platforms have tools for managers that let them see your progress, and help them give you the support you need to complete the material and truly understand it.

It’s cost effective

Learning online means you can study whenever and wherever you want. There are no travel costs, no venue costs, and you don’t have to take any time off from work. Saving money on those aspects means you’ll be able to spend your learning budget on just new skills.

Your education will be up-to-date

Hosting courses and content online makes it easy for teachers to update their lessons more regularly, and because e-learning is on-demand, you can access those updates whenever you need them. That means you can stay adaptive to new projects or client work, and gain skills in real time, not six months or more after a new tool has come on the scene.

E-learning is more effective

Some people learn better by listening, others by watching, and even more by doing. E-learning offers the most flexible learning options, especially when it comes to learning technical skills like coding. The right e-learning platform will give you the option to make use of  learning tools that work best for you. For example, Treehouse gives you video courses that allow you to listen to a teacher explain a concept, teacher notes to read through, visual examples and how-tos, and a built-in, hands-on editor called Workspaces that lets you code alongside lessons. You can use all those tools or not, but the idea is to help you retain lessons and make progress.

Those are just a few of the advantages of e-learning. Remember, as you’re considering which e-learning platform will help you in your professional development endeavours, make sure the platform you choose has frequently updated content, gives you the tools that help you learn best, and lets you work with either others on your team or your manager to reach goals.


Interested in learning more about the advantages of e-learning for businesses?  Check out our infographic!

One Response to “Making the Case for Online Learning to Your Boss”

  1. E-learning from my prospective has always worked better in the professional environment as I believe it has more flexibility in allowing for the working environment as it allows for you to mould you learning around the ever changing nature of work. Especially as a web designer I also believe it gives you a greater range of topics to choose from and you’re able to find ones that fit your interests.

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