6/10/2019 by Amy ODonnell Posted in Job Tips

Training overloadOnline education has expanded exponentially since the 2000s, fueled by digital media. Online colleges and eLearning companies bring training and degrees to you anytime, anywhere, with a wide range of available subjects.

You can learn at your own pace, 24/7, no matter what your schedule or where you are. It’s convenient, frequently less expensive, technology-based, and you’ll work with students around the world. Introverted? Online learning may be just the thing. Students who learn with visual cues, or need additional time to learn the information, also benefit.

Online learning also means you can learn a skill without going through a degree program. In 2019, we’re literally flooded with information and overloaded with options. You can just go online and find a way to learn something. From YouTube videos to any number of online learning sites, you can find what you need to learn quickly and easily, and usually for a much lower cost than a traditional college or university.

Small and large businesses are quickly realizing the value of online learning and incorporating it into their employee training programs (case in point: Top SAP skills infographic). E-learning is suitable for a much wider range of students, offering:

  • Learning (and tutoring) at your own pace
  • Available anytime, from home, the office, or anywhere you are
  • Generally takes less time than traditional classroom learning
  • Students of all ages can take training for anything they need, usually from any device


Making It Work For You

Finding the right online learning for you starts with the question: what do you want? Once you’ve discovered that, it’s time to explore how and when you’ll achieve your training goals.

  • Objective - what’s the purpose of your learning? Is it an SAP training course for your job, or to advance your career? Or is a full degree program for you? You’ll also need to explore: 
    • What specific skills are you interested in developing?
    • Do you want to learn something new, or learn more about a skill you already know?
    • What’s your skill level? (You don’t want to start with a class for advanced software users if you don’t know the software yet.)
    • Is it for work, personal development, or enjoyment?

Use your criteria to narrow down your choices.

  • The time you have available for training. Can you invest the time as well as money involved in this training course or degree program? Specific training courses will take less time than a degree, but you will still have to spend a fair amount of time on classwork and study.
  • Read the course description completely. This sounds like a simplistic idea, but don’t skip it. You need to take the time for due diligence and find out exactly what the course will teach you. Make sure that the course is right for you since it’s an investment of both time and money.
  • Learn about the company. Are you considering one of the popular online universities or even one close to you that offers online training or degrees? Or are you considering one of the thousands of sites that offer skill training in just one or two courses? Due diligence in researching each vendor is key to finding not only the training you want but also the best information and a reputable company. Read online reviews to find out what others have experienced with the eLearning company you’re considering. Their marketing materials may make great claims, but it’s the students who have already taken their classes that tell you what to expect.


Before you enroll in and pay for a program, speak with someone at the company who can help you create a training path (like our SAP career paths) to reach your objective. You may not need to take as many courses as you thought, or you may omit a required course if you don’t ask. Understand what’s involved in the training plan, how long it will take, and what that means for you before you sign up.


The Downsides

One issue of information overload is that you may have so much information that you can’t make a decision. While “analysis paralysis” can happen for any kind of informed decision, it’s especially prevalent if you’re taking training for a new job skill. With thousands of online courses and vendors available, identify what you want first.

Online learning may require more time studying and working than traditional learning. The flexibility and self-pace frequently have more reading and assignment requirements than in-person classes. This also requires more self-discipline and time management to ensure that you get the work done and submitted on time.


Get Started

Congratulations! You’ve enrolled in online training and will soon be learning a new skill. How long it takes depends on the course or training plan you’ve selected and how much time you can invest. You may be finished in as little as a few hours or may take longer, depending on your course work.

Staying motivated can be a challenge when you’re working on your own. Sure, your family, friends, and coworkers may be supportive, but you must motivate yourself to continuously work on your selected course.

It’s also easy to put off reading or coursework until tomorrow. Then you realize that something is due tomorrow. Don’t let that happen - set aside time just as if you were going to a class on campus, and make sure you stay current.

Keeping your momentum with a longer training program may be difficult. In fact, it’s estimated that only 15% of people who take online training actually complete the course they purchase and start. Many get what they need and quit, and others never get around to finishing and getting a certificate.


If it’s important, you’ll find a way. If not, you’ll find an excuse.



How do you stay motivated?

  • Keep the long-term goal in mind. Remember why you started, and what you want to achieve—a new career, a promotion, or just more valuable SAP skills.
  • Visualize the outcome. Whether it’s seeing your framed degree or certificate on the wall, thinking about the new job, or a promotion, visualize your “future state” when you’ve completed your program.
  • Be sure to schedule your training time. It’s easy to put things off, but you may never reach your goal. If it’s that important, devote time in your schedule to training. 
  • Balancing everything. Work, life, and school are all important, but it’s also important not to let one overtake everything. Take breaks as needed, and don’t neglect your personal life.
  • Staying positive. It’s easy to become stressed while you’re taking training. A positive attitude will make it easier and will keep you motivated when you feel like procrastinating. 

Once you’ve completed your training, celebrate your accomplishment. You’ve learned a new skill that you’ll take into the workplace. Will it mean an advancement or raise at work, or will you take it to find a new job and career?

We’re ready to lead you to your new skill, job or career.

Michael Management is the leading online learning site for all things SAP. We’ve helped over 30,000 learners gain skills in one of the most important skills in today’s workplace. If it’s time for you to up your game, register for a free SAP training preview and learn how to become SAP proficient with one of our courses or learning paths.


Author Photo

Amy O'Donnell is a staff writer at Michael Management and curates various blog topics. An experienced writer with expertise ranging from writing web copy, blogs, and articles to white papers and case studies, Amy enjoys writing about food on her personal blog the most.
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