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Top 5 Must-have Skills for Online Learning

Online learning is the ‘New age of learning’. It has become vital for every 21st-century learner and tutor to harbor the must-have skills for online learning to avail the full benefits of today’s technology-driven world.


It is a necessity to inculcate the 5 must-have skills for online learning as the Covid pandemic pushes schools and colleges across the world to shift from real-life interactive sessions to virtual ones.


List of the must-have skills for online learning


Well, technology is a savior to all the hearts that yearned for education but were left stranded by the coronavirus. This novel mode of education was a solution to our problems but also came with a set of challenges. It demanded a new set of must-have skills for online learning and quick adaptation to its changes.


Amongst all of this one might think that distance education is something that was invented just around this time. But to one’s surprise, this extraordinary learning has been around for quite some time and has gained immense popularity in 2020 when the Covid pandemic hit the world.


It finds its roots in the 1800s when parcel posts were used to cater to the needs of students who were unable to reach university campuses. As technology progressed in the 1900s correspondence learning found a new medium through the radio waves. Then with the invention of television distance education moved to telecourses.


In 1982, online learning emerged at Western Behavioural Sciences Institute in La Jolla, California. The institute made use of computer conferencing to provide distance education to business executives. By 1989, the University of Phoenix provided distance education through the internet. With the advent of the Internet web browser, in 1993, internet education started thriving.


Since its beginning, online learning has grown 900% globally. Currently, according to Coursera’s inaugural impact 2020 report-India alone comprises 9.8 million online learners. India ranks second in the world behind the USA.  90% of the countries in the world have adopted the digital system of learning during the global pandemic making it the most effective and essential medium of education.


Most of the countries in the world shifted to e-learning, ensuring that education continues. Hence, to ensure fruitful learning sessions and individuals must foster the 5 must-have skills for online learning.


Internet education’s popularity in 2020, predicts it to have a 200% increase in the market. Online education is not only used by students but also professionals from various fields use them to enhance their existing skills or to learn new ones to improve their professionalism.


So that they can keep pace with the 21st-century dynamic world. International and national companies also make use of online education to train their employees. Online education is thus, borderless and provides limitless opportunities for many.

Forms of Internet Education


Online education across the world uses the same medium of the internet to impart knowledge but the techniques may vary. There are several ways in which education can be provided through the internet such as:


  1. Asynchronous Learning


In asynchronous learning, students, tutors, and other participants are not required to be present at the same time or their present physical times. Students can participate in classes as per their schedules but are sometimes required to complete the courses within a given time frame. In such settings of learning students are provided with course content which may include videos, blogs, articles, emails, etc.

Participants can access these materials at times that are suitable to their preferences. Such kind of learning provides great flexibility and allows students to study at their own pace. It is best suited for professionals, full-timers, or generally people who do not find enough time to dedicate to a particular course.

They may be the best option for housewives who want to spread their wings wider. Here is some more information on the courses that housewives can do online. It is also great for students who learn courses available in countries with different time zones. The disadvantage of such courses is that they may make you feel less involved and less responsible with the abundance of freedom that comes along with them.


  1. Synchronous Learning


Synchronous learning is similar to the regular, real-world classes where the tutors and learners impart and gain knowledge at the same or real-world time, the exception being that in synchronous learning, instead of physical interaction it is done through virtual means. Every participant in the class learns from a distance without sharing space but actually sharing time with each other.


Apart from asynchronous learning sessions, synchronous learning is more interactive and interesting as students are able to pose questions, clear their doubts, give presentations, have discussions making the class more personal. For example, most of the schools today, in India, conduct synchronous virtual classes through Zoom, Google Meet, etc platforms.


Some courses also have an option of hybrid courses which contain synchronous as well as asynchronous methods of learning. To Illustrate, courses provided by IIM Skills not only conduct classes online in real-time but also provide materials that can be used for learning at an individual’s convenience.


No matter what type of course you choose, it is important to ingrain the 5 must-have skills for online learning to study productively.


Advantages of Internet Education


1. Access to Distant Courses:


Online education gives a student the advantage of accessing courses that are far away from home. One can also learn from remote places as well as have access to courses taking place in remote areas. It gives the benefit of learning from the comfort of one’s home.


For example, a student from India can study the course being provided in London without going through the trouble of migrating and leaving one’s daily life or people they care about behind.


  1. Increased Opportunities:

With the advent of internet education, one does not have to limit themselves to the education available in their locations and situations. People have increased opportunities to learn varied courses that may not be available to them physically in their hometown or neighboring areas.


An individual can avail the benefit of different educational programs without having to worry about time as online instructional courses tend to be flexible with their time frame and locations. Internet education makes learning available to anyone, anywhere and anytime.


Through the online programs, people can have access to the innumerable amount of knowledge available in it. Thus, online education provides people with increased opportunities for learning and growth at the same time.


  1. Cost-Effectiveness:


Online education does not require an individual to go through hours of traveling from one place to another thus saving time as well as money. Also, it is not needed for the students to buy hard copies of books while learning through the internet. They can make use of soft copies as well as various free books and materials available on the internet.


Educational programs on the internet tend to be cheaper and are faster-paced than physical ones. Moreover, one can learn various skills such as cooking or digital marketing courses online for free. People get a chance to compare various courses and prices and choose the one that is more affordable and suitable for them.


There are also several courses on the internet that charge no cost at all.  YouTube can be considered as heaven on the internet for free learning. Internet learning, therefore, helps save money. By adopting the top 5 must-have skills for online learning one can make education on the internet absolutely cost-effective.


  1. Comes with Comfort


Learning through the internet consequently comes with the virtue of comfort. Students don’t have to constantly sit straight on the wooden benches causing back pain and can instead choose to be in positions comfortable to them.

They can learn at their own pace and try to understand things effectively at their rate. Students don’t have to wait till the class gets over or ask for permission to use the toilet and drink water.


Introverts may consider this type of learning the best way for them as it does not demand social interactions from them. Students who are usually shy may worry less about being judged while performing actions such as asking questions as learning through the screen provides them with a form of concealment of identity. People can opt for programs suited to their tastes and interests making learning fun.


Popular Skills People Learn Online


The internet can teach you anything under the sun from cooking, economics, dance, to playing a guitar, drawing, and anything that you are passionate about. Here are some of the popular skills people learn from it.


  1. Coding


Coding is the process of writing internet programming languages such as JavaScript, C++, Python, etc. Coding can enable an individual to create websites, games, applications, computer software, and many other technologies that we use in our daily life.


Learning to code thus simply means learning the language of the computer so that you can create websites with various designs and fun gaming applications etc. It is one of the skills that are in high demand today. Coding is a profession today with great popularity. Freecodecamp, CodeAcademy, and WW3 School are some of the free websites to learn to code.


Here are the 10 most affordable places to learn website designing.


  1. A New Language


The Internet proves to be a great place for language enthusiasts to learn new languages of their liking. The internet not only has various courses but also videos, audio, movies, songs, and translating aids that help a language learner to completely integrate into the culture of the language and thereby the language itself.


There is no better way than the internet to learn a language without having to visit the place speaking the language. The internet through its various mediums can provide the same effect of learning the language through locals if the learner is ready to put in the required efforts.


Whether it be popular languages like English, Chinese, Spanish, or any other dialects limited to a particular place, learners can learn them through the internet. You can learn the language you desire by applying the must-have skills for online learning and using platforms like Babbel, Busuu, or Duolingo. Here are the top 10 language learning courses in India.


3. Digital Marketing


With the increased presence of the internet in the lives of common people, companies have shifted from traditional marketing to digital marketing. Digital marketing can be considered an effective way of marketing in the 21st century. Companies have started investing more and more of their money into it.


As a result, the demand for digital marketing professionals as well as skills related to it has increased tremendously. This has become even more true in the presence of Covid 19 where most of the trading happens in the online world.


Digital marketing is thus an essential skill for any business that wants to reach new limits in today’s time. Therefore, several people are learning the skill online. You may want to know about the Top 10 Digital Marketing Institutes in India


IIM Skills Digital Marketing Course free demo invite


  1. Content Writing


Content writing today is one of the most significant creative devices to reach out to your targeted audience. It is a highly influential method used by many for marketing, personal branding, blogging, increasing sales, building connections with audience and customers, etc. It is a career with great opportunities.


Freelancing makes a great way for content writers as many people now outsource their content. Multinational companies, as well as small-scale businesses, are constantly on the lookout for great content writers. On that account many people today are trying to learn the skill of content writing through the internet and trying to develop a career out of it.

If you want to acquire certification in content writing, then enroll for a free demo of the Online Content Writing Course, which is ranked as number 1 in India. It not only provides an effective course on content writing but also provides a three-month content writing internship along with it.


Also, check out the Top 9 Content Writing Institutes in India.


Check out these courses from IIM SKILLS 

Technical Writing Course

GST Course

SEO Course

Digital Marketing Course


  1. Graphic Designing


Graphic designers create visual content to transmit ideas and messages. Graphic designers using their creative minds engage in building posters, business cards, book covers, infographics, and a list of numerous other things. It is considered one of the coolest designing jobs by many students in India.


Its popularity has been ever-increasing among students. Graphic designing skills are today needed in innumerable fields to create eye-catching designs to grab the attention of the desired audience or customer.


With its increasing popularity and need many students opt to learn graphic designing online. Udemy, Skillshare, and many other platforms offer several paid and free graphic designing courses.


Must-have Skills for Online Learning

Online learning may sound quite effortless to many and may give people the whim that it can be done quite easily. But in reality, there is no learning that requires zero effort. To become the best online learner and to take full advantage of online courses, one must instill these 5 must-have skills for online learning


  1. Concentration:


Concentration is the most essential skill in any kind of learning but is especially the key requirement for online education. There are thousands of distractions present in the online world which makes it hard for a student to maintain focus on their learning material.


For instance, distractions such as social media, web browsers become quite handy while studying on technical devices making it harder for students to keep themselves from losing focus. A simple notification may at any time have the chance to steal away your focus. Not only on the devices you study but also around you there may be hundreds of other things happening that may want to grab your attention.


For example, at home, the boiling milk on the gas stove may spill anytime, or during transportation, the random argument between two strangers. Lack of a proper classroom environment may make an individual feel less concentrated and attentive.


Hence, to learn effectively it is quite a necessity to enhance your concentration power and to stay away from things that may make it hard for you to buckle your attention to your studies. Maintaining focus on learning through a screen that lacks engagement and the right settings can also be considered a challenging task.


Simple practices such as meditation may help you become more focused and practices such as muting your notifications during class, developing the right educational environment with proper desks and solitude may also prove to be helpful.


  1. Self-Discipline:


Internet education comes with a great amount of freedom. Unlike real-life classrooms, there may be none to monitor learners’ actions or to keep them on track. This may make an individual fail to achieve their goals.


Internet education, therefore, requires individuals to be self-disciplined where they keep a tab on themselves. They should be capable of staying away from any kind of distraction and be able to put continuous efforts into their learning process.


To regularly join in for class, engage in class, complete all the readings or materials of the class such as emails sent by tutors, videos, research papers, sitting attentively, and generally completing all the requirements of a course online without having anyone to regulate your actions requires a lot of self-discipline.

With the plenty of freedom that comes with internet education, a student may feel lazy, isolated, and less responsible towards their learning. Learning online may make a student feel less serious and careless regarding their education. Therefore, self-direction and self-responsibility are essential skills needed for individual learning online. As discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishments. Thus, for every internet student discipline is a must-have skill for online learning.


  1. To be Interested and Motivated towards Learning:


While learning online, it is a prerequisite to keep alive an individual’s interest in it. This will, in return, help the individual be more self-disciplined and self-motivated. Continuously reminding oneself about the end goals and purpose of learning may help maintain one’s interest.


As internet learning requires a lot of focus an individual must choose courses that interest them. Take demo classes, research on the subject that you want to learn, make sure in every possible way that it is in the right interest of yours, and only then commit to a learning program.


Interest and motivation level are the two factors that separate an average student from a top-performing one. Self-motivation and interest are significant for sincerely dedicating oneself to learning. To achieve the goal, one desires it is important to instill these must-have skills for online learning.


  1. Time Management:


Procrastination naturally sweeps into our minds while taking up classes online. It becomes difficult to give time to internet learning processes with its flexible approach. Hence, it becomes necessary for students to have the soft skill of time management.


Making schedules, setting reminders for the classes, breaking up huge tasks into small pieces, planning your 24 hours, designation of time are some of the ways to manage time efficiently for your learning process.


Knowing how to spend your time intelligently, efficiently, and wisely is among the must-have skills for online learning. Here are some tips to improve your work-life balance to enhance your time management skills.


  1. Basic Knowledge of Technology:


It is a given that if a person wants to learn something through the internet, the must-have skill for online learning is some basic information about technology and its functioning.

●       Students must know the basic terms used in the internet world.

●       Have knowledge about how to use the components of computers such as keyboard, mouse, etc.

●       It is also largely impactful to know how to type. It gives a student speed, saving time and facilitating a student to progress easily with the class.


 Learners Must Know How to Perform Tasks such as:

●       Managing files

●       Using online communication spaces such as email, WhatsApp, etc

●       Downloading, Installing, Updating, and Uploading of applications and files

●        Knowledge about how to use the internet, web browsers for research, etc


IIM Skills Digital Marketing Course free demo invite


Adaptability and quick response are also needed for individuals to successfully learn online using the internet and other technical tools. Internet connectivity issues or other technology cliches may hinder the learning process and environment.


This is when an individual needs to respond quickly and adapt to the situation functionally. Therefore, a student of the online world needs to be aware of the technology in hand to enhance their learning experience.


 The internet is a wonderful place to learn and grow with the myriads of opportunities available in it. Online learning can be considered as the future of learning. Hence as future-ready students, we must make sure to instill within ourselves these 5 must-have skills for online learning.


Frequently Asked Questions:


  1. Is online learning effective?

 Ans) Online learning has proven its effectiveness in our current situation with the presence of the pandemic. Students across the world have shifted to the online mediums for education and with time have found themselves adjusting to the online way of learning quite well, effectively benefiting through them.

Although the internet cannot completely replace the feeling of traditional learning as there is a strong urge of humans to feel physically connected. But it does the job of imparting knowledge reasonably. Also, instilling the must-have skills for online learning makes internet education impressively effective.


  1. What are the challenges of online education?

Ans) Difficulty in adjustment, internet connectivity issues, lack of feeling of involvement, troubles in facing the screen for a long time are some of the common challenges that online learners all over the globe face. But if a student strives to instill the 5 must-have skills for online learning, then the height of the challenges reduces to a great extent.


  1. What are the habits of successful online learners?

Ans) To succeed as an online student one must schedule their time effectively. Scheduling helps manage time and get work done efficiently. Organize files, reading materials, etc on your device to save time. Successful online learners isolate and create suitable study spaces to enhance focus.

Prepare their mind for the journey through yoga or pep talks to avoid distractions and stay dedicated. Moreover, following the must-have skills for online learning form great habits of productivity and thereby help reach success.




These are the top 5 must-have skills for online learning that will help you to grow and learn at the same time. If you can master some of the must-have skills for online learning then it will be easier for you to grasp the true essence of online learning.


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