Having experienced explosive growth over the last decade, the Internet is the world’s most rapidly expanding market. Since it is intrinsically tied to computers, the Internet market requires companies to employ professionals with a specific set of skills and knowledge to effectively reach its consumers. Those skilled in Web design and IT are particularly important for Internet marketing efforts, and jobs are almost always available for these individuals. This makes taking courses in information technology or web design a good decision for students unsure of what to do after graduation.
While traditional universities provide programs for Web design and IT, it only makes sense that online universities do, as well. Due to the nature of what digital designers do, their fields of study are particularly well suited for online learning platforms. The first hand experience using web tools and computer hardware might give graduates the advantage they need to land their dream job.
Full Sail University is one of the industry leaders for post-secondary online education. Unlike some other leading online universities, such as University of Phoenix, DeVry University, and Kaplan University, Full Sail focuses specifically on providing programs that prepare people for careers in the media arts. For example, its BS in Digital Arts and Design offers courses in a variety of digital design theories, methodologies, venues, and skills. Students learn about Internet marketing, Internet video production, digital publishing, and Web design, among other things.
For those looking to specialize in the technical side of the web, Devry’s Information Sciences program offers degrees that helps aspiring professionals obtain the skills necessary to keep their future company’s computers running at full speed.
The entertainment industry is one of the beneficiaries of Full Sail’s professional curriculum. For example, at last year’s Grammy Awards, 5 nominees for “Album of the Year” were either mixed or engineered by Full Sail graduates. In fact, more than 70 Grammy nominated projects were touched by Full Sail alums.
Of course, there are some disadvantages to the online learning model. Students miss the face to face contact with instructors, the collaborative energy and interaction with fellow students, networking potential, and the lack of supportive facilities, such as libraries, gyms, student stores, computer labs, research labs, study areas and more.
However, the benefits of online learning have been supported by numerous reputable studies. For example, a meta-analysis study* published in 2009 by the U.S. Department of Education revealed that online learning has definite advantages over face-to-face instruction when it comes to teaching and learning. The study found that students who took all or part of their instruction online performed better, on average, than those taking the same course through face-to-face instruction.
*A meta-analysis is one that takes all of the existing studies and looks at them for patterns and conclusions that can be drawn from the accumulation of evidence.