What Is Online Training?

B. Miller

Online training refers to education and skill development that takes place over the Internet. It may also be referred to as e-learning, and typically refers to specific job training rather than general education, such as a college education. Generally, people will take online training courses in order to learn a specific skill, or set of skills, required to perform their jobs correctly. Larger corporations are frequently making use of online or in-house computer training because it allows new employees to learn what they need to know without needing to take them away from their jobs to train them. In addition, it ensures that every individual is trained the same way.

Distance learning can be a good option for people who have other commitments, such as raising children.
Distance learning can be a good option for people who have other commitments, such as raising children.

Each company may have different software used for online training, depending on the nature of the work and what they want the new or existing workers to learn. It generally features a combination of written instruction, videos, and simulated or actual hands on work to allow people to practice. For instance, someone completing online training in order to become a cashier at a store might practice doing transactions correctly so that when he or she uses the actual register, it is not completely unfamiliar. This type of training is often then supplemented with additional on the job instruction.

A corporate training specialist may teach fellow employees to use computers more productively.
A corporate training specialist may teach fellow employees to use computers more productively.

Online training is popular because it saves a great deal of money for businesses. Some companies will have a number of computers set up with the training software to allow larger teams of people to train for the job at once. This prevents needing to assign training duties to other employees, which ideally maximizes the cost benefit ratio for that time. In addition, existing employees who need to maintain certifications in certain things will often be able to complete these online now, rather than having to take a formal class or travel somewhere.

Of course, there are a number of online schools that offer online training for people interested in improving their resumes or becoming more qualified for certain jobs. These are often self-paced programs that allow people to complete the work in their own time. These programs may sometimes lead to a degree, but they are often just certificate programs. Popular ones such as transcription or medical coding and billing, for example, often lead to a certificate that may make an individual more likely to get hired at a certain jobs. Online degree programs are typically not referred to as "online training."

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Online training can also be challenging if you have an old or outdated computer that is not compatible with the coursework being offered. I learned this the hard way when I enrolled in an online class and my computer kept crashing when I tried to get the work done. If this happens, you may have to borrow a friend's computer or work online at your local library, neither of which is convenient.

The bottom line is that if you are planning to take any type of online training, check with the organization or company that is offering it. Verify the types of computer systems are compatible with the training software and website so that enrolling in the training is not a waste of your time.


Online training is great, but some people have a hard time disciplining themselves to get the work done. If you are considering any type of online training courses, you should check out what the courses entail and make sure that you have the time and motivation to comment the effort needed to complete any training you decide to take online.


Taking online training is often a great option for students who need to take classes that they can't fit into their busy schedules. This type of online training can be done based on what their time allows, and is a great way for these students to make sure they get all of the coursework they need in the shortest amount of time.

Before taking online courses, students should check with their advisers to make sure these classes will meet credit requirements. Usually they will, but confirming first will save time and money just in case various online training courses do not transfer or meet curriculum requirements.

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