The Importance of Networking in Online Education

Networking Skills for a Successful Online Education Experience

When someone is taking classes online, networking skills become even more important than in a traditional classroom. The traditional classroom has the benefit of close-knit relationships and personal interactions with the professor and fellow students. In an online course, these connections are much more difficult to establish. There are several ways to effectively network in an online educational setting to ensure a successful experience.

Job Fairs and Conferences

Whether a student is pursuing undergrad, graduate, or doctoral studies, job fairs and conferences can be a great place to gain networks. Many of these conferences offer lectures, seminars, and workshops that are incredibly beneficial for furthering knowledge in any discipline. Attendees are typically encouraged to network with fellow professionals and peers, allowing for the potential to build valuable contacts. Additionally, job fairs offer incredible opportunities to converse with potential employers, giving a student the chance to demonstrate their knowledge and show what they have to offer.

Direct Contact With Professors

When one is taking an online course, it can be difficult for the professor to gauge a student’s proficiency and knowledge. Unlike in a traditional classroom setting, it can be intimidating for students to establish contact with their instructor. However, through direct contact with the professor, a student is able to demonstrate their interest in their education and prove themselves. One way to ensure a one-on-one connection is to email the professor directly with questions or thought-provoking ideas regarding the material. Asking your professor for their expert advice can be incredibly helpful.

Online Communities

Websites such as Twitter, Reddit, and online forums are incredibly useful for networking and engaging with fellow students. On various subreddits, Redditors discuss various topics, creating a common space for discussion and opinion. Joining in on the conversation and providing thoughtful contributions can vastly increase networking potential. By engaging in a thoughtful debate or providing an opinion, students can open the door to a valuable contact. Additionally, social media platforms provide an avenue for collaboration. Social media groups can be beneficial for finding potential study partners, collaboration projects, and even meeting potential employers.

Career Services

Many college career centers offer leading-edge programs and services, such as internships and career exploration tools, specifically designed for students enrolled in online courses. These services typically specialize in helping students build the skills needed to excel in a digital landscape. Career centers also usually provide job search assistance and the opportunity to attend career events. These career fairs can be incredibly beneficial for networking, and can offer the chance to make connections with faculty, employers, and recruiters.


Networking can be a challenging task in any environment, even more so in an online course. By taking advantage of the resources they have available, such as job fairs and conferences, direct contact with professors and career services, and online communities, students can establish and maintain valuable relationships. Timely networking can significantly improve one’s online education experience, and can potentially open doors to great opportunities.

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