Your learning needs and your discipline will determine why you might be better off aiming for a campus-based school, or why, perhaps, online college is better for you. Key issues to weigh are:
- Studying without having to take time away from work is a key e-learning benefit. Some studies say that more than 75% of online students are employed full-time. If you want to remain in your job, and perhaps even have a family to take care of, elearning on your own schedule is definitely a key advantage. Many digital schools offer self-paced college programs that will permit you increase or cut down on your class load to account for your life responsibilities, or even to take a break for a semester if necessary.
- Cost: You can certainly save money with online learning, even though the per-credit course fees may be the same as what you’d pay in a traditional school. But you still save a bundle by not having to travel to school or live in a college dormitory. ( more on the price of online courses)
- Dip your toe: If you’re currently a secretary and you think you’d like to get into finance, taking a few online finance courses is a great way to start moving in that direction without quitting your current job. When you finally get an interview for your first finance job, you’ll have a some grounding in the specialty you can talk about.
- How much discipline do you have? If you’re taking an online degree program, you need to be the sort of person who can stay inside and work on your computer when it’s a beautiful, sunny day outside. Not having enough dedication to the course work is one of the most difficult problems for students in online education.
- Less networking: Being at a college or graduate school and meeting people who will become successful in your chosen profession can give you connections that make a difference later on. Online programs have recognized this to a large extent, and many have taken steps to make it easier for students to meet each other and work together, albeit online. It must be working to a degree, because many online students say that connecting to other students around the world is a huge e-learning benefit.
Are Online Degrees Just As Good?
The basic truth is that each school is unique in it’s own way. in fact, there are cases where a college will have a high ranking for campus-based degrees, but the same school will have a less well-ranked online degree division. If you’re concerned about learning effectively, you can feel fairly confident that classes delivered over the internet improved tremendously in the past decade as the technology used to deliver them has evolved. Nowadays, online students have lots of direct contact with each other and with the professor. An instructor can now ask everyone in a class to solve a complex problem, create a requirement that every student solve the problem by a particular time, and then give each student and individual assessment of the solution they have submitted. Other tech advancements have made it extremely difficult to cheat on the tests for an online course. As you look at the pros and cons of online college, though, the most important thing to remember is that whether it’s any good or not ultimately depends on how dedicated you are as a student – exactly in the same way it is in a classroom course of study.