How can online degrees help neurodivergent people progress in their careers?

19 October, 2023Mutahara Gofur

University education has transformed in recent years, as new technology has made distance learning a viable alternative to traditional on-campus education. Although there are many benefits to in-person learning, it may not be an accessible option for everyone.

Neurodivergent people, such as those with autism, ADHD, dyslexia, and otherfemale-studying-at-desk neurological conditions, can often find pursuing higher education challenging. For example, North East Autism Society found that autistic students had a higher likelihood of dropping out of university, with 36% of undergraduate students who started their degree in 2019 not completing their studies. Similarly, The Independent reported that a third of students who dropped out of university in 2020 did so due to mental health issues.

Could online degrees present the ideal solution? We look at how remote learning can remove barriers to education for neurodivergent people and allow them to pursue their career ambitions without restriction.

What are the benefits of remote learning?

A key benefit of studying online is the flexibility that it offers to students. For neurodivergent people, it gives them the opportunity to build a study routine that works for them and design their own study space to minimise any sensory distractions. This can increase focus and productivity levels and allow you to thrive in a learning environment that you find comfortable.

Starting a degree on campus can be a big adjustment. It may involve relocating, buying new furniture, or dealing with commuting. These things can be taxing for neurodivergent individuals, due to sensory demands, tight schedules, and the unpredictability of public transport. Online degrees eliminate these issues, giving you more time and energy to invest in your studies. This reduction in stress levels can lead to improved mental well-being, which in turn can mean improved academic performance.

Remote learning can minimise sensory challenges

Sensory overload is a common issue that many neurodivergent people struggle with. This can be triggered by background noise, crowded rooms, and bright lighting. Being able to study online can limit the possibility of sensory overload, as you can choose your environment, making it easier to study without disruption.  

Social interactions can also be challenging and cause anxiety. Online learning makes it much easier to control these interactions and reduce the social pressures that often come with studying on campus, whilst still allowing students to connect with their peers and lecturers through virtual communication.

Online degrees: learn on your own terms

Neurodivergent people can benefit from self-paced learning, as it allows them to manage their educational journey in a way that aligns with their learning process. Depending on the study format you choose, some online degrees allow you to work through course materials at your own speed, revisiting complex concepts as and when you need to. This gives you the time to fully grasp the material, ultimately leading to better comprehension and retention.

Online learning platforms can also leverage the latest technology to better accommodate learning difficulties and neurodivergent needs. For example, customised fonts or backgrounds may make learning easier for those with dyslexia. Likewise, speech or reading software may be useful for those with autism or visual impairment.

Enhance your career opportunities with online degrees

Online degrees provide an inclusive option that can offset some of the challenges faced by neurodivergent individuals and open a world of career opportunities.

At LIBF, we offer a range of online degrees and qualifications designed to meet the demands of the modern banking and finance industry.  An online education will still allow you to connect and engage with other students and industry experts from around the world, so you’ll still get plenty of networking opportunities that could prove invaluable when you venture into your new career.

Alternatively, if you think traditional in-person learning is for you, we also provide specialist banking and finance degrees at our campus in London.

As we continue to recognise the importance of accessibility in education, online degrees provide a clear path forward for neurodivergent individuals, enabling them to reach their full potential and showcase their skills and talent.

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