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Training Online

Get information on training online and how it benefits businesses.

Online training allows employees to learn from their home or office. [©Jupiter Images, 2010]
©Jupiter Images, 2010
Online training allows employees to learn from their home or office.

Businesses can acquire numerous benefits from having employees complete training online, a process also known as e-learning that helps to improve employees' industry-specific skills and knowledge. According to Small Business Review, the e-learning market produced around $17.3 billion in 2008, which was a substantial increase over the $7.9 billion generated in 2006.

By allowing employees to brush up on their business writing, computer software or other business-related skills, online training courses aim to help workers become more productive and efficient, which benefits the business. The flexibility provided by training online is one of the key reasons so many companies opt to have their employees complete online training courses.

Training Online for Business Skills

With numerous training courses to choose from, it may be overwhelming for small businesses to decide which ones will suit their needs. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, some of their most popular courses include writing federal contracts, preparing business plans and preparing loan packages. These are all business-based writing courses that is an important skill in many fields.

In years past, an online training course might have culminated in a true/false test at the end of its session to test the participant's knowledge. Today's courses are more sophisticated, especially those geared toward writing business plans.

Training Online for Specific Computer Programs

Another option in online training for businesses to consider involves computer software training programs. One of the leaders in computer software is Microsoft that offers software-specific training online. According to Microsoft, most of its free courses take between 15 and 50 minutes. Additionally, employees can take an entire course at once, complete it over an extended length of time or refresh their memory by only completing part of the course, depending on the needs of the company.

There are sites available that offer online training computer programs for a fee, so businesses should take their budgets into account when searching for online courses. Fee-based sites tend to provide a more diversified array of courses, which may appeal to specialized industries or even select departments within the same company. If one department uses accounting software while another creates tables and graphs, one Web site might offer training online that benefits both of these skill sets.

Training Online Advantages

Allowing employees a few days off to attend off-site training seminars may not be a feasible option for some businesses. By training online, employees can learn at their own pace, and online courses may even save the company money, since the business will not need to provide employees with transportation or accommodations to attend seminars. Companies also won't have to worry about work hours lost to travel time. A benefit for employees is that they can start and stop training sessions instantaneously—they do not need to wait for the next seminar to begin and can pause sessions when needed.

Another advantage of online training courses is that they provide employees with hands-on experience. For employees learning about changes to a company's computer software, using the program's applications during training exercises ensures the employees are paying attention, making online training courses beneficial to hands-on learners.

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