A recent survey from Harvard Business School found that taking online courses can accelerate your career, improve confidence, and open new doors in the workplace.

“The biggest difference with our online courses is we teach through storytelling,” said Harvard Business School’s Patrick Mullane. “We ask students to put themselves in the shoes of a manager that’s facing a real problem and work through that problem. We ask them to work through that problem with a global community of learners.”

In order to have the critical mass to make the interaction work, Mullane says they need 200 to 300 people in a given class.

“People will be working through the materials at different times, given different time zones,” said Mullane. “If you have that number of people, it really makes for an enriching experience for the students.”

The variety of experiences means that someone in your group has likely seen the situation you are facing before.

“It’s not academic, it’s not theoretical,” said Mullane. “That helps people say, hey, I’ve seen this situation, or a situation like this before and then address the problem. Since you’re dealing with a global community as a team, there’s very few problems in business that you’re not addressing with a team.”

Mullane said to think about the holes in your resume or skills you don’t have and find ways to fill those holes with online education and look at options that are local, as sometimes a local option fits better in your particular situation.