Advances in technology have meant that there has been an increase in online courses. This trend was exacerbated in the last year by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has seen many more courses move online. While in-person learning is likely to remain popular, online learning should not be considered a second-rate option and has some advantages over the classroom.
Many of us now lead busy lives, juggling work and family with social obligations and also trying to squeeze in a hobby, leaving virtually no time for a course. In the past, this would simply mean that they would be unable to study, hindering them in their career advancement. Online learning has changed this, allowing courses to be studied at a convenient time and pace. A good example of this is the online criminal justice degrees available at Central Christian College of Kansas. Courses there have multiple start dates throughout the year and students study one six-week course at a time of the day or night that suits them, making it far easier to fit in around other obligations.
Classroom learning requires the student to live near to the place of study, while online learning can be done from the comfort of your home, with the opportunity to learn from teachers based anywhere in the world. This increases the scope of courses to beyond anything that a single university can offer.
While many will study online from home, you can, of course, study from anywhere with an internet connection. This allows you to combine study with travel or simply to take your laptop to a quiet café and study there for a change of scene. For those who sometimes find study stressful, this ability to give yourself a change of place or pace may well prove a strategy to help you cope.
Learning online can increase your skillset beyond the scope of the course. With the onus for managing your study resting solely on your shoulders, online learners often become more proficient at managing their time and more self-disciplined.
You will likely also boost your technical skills until features such as online research, software suites, discussion boards, and teleconferencing become second nature. These are undeniably useful skills to bring into the workplace, no matter what subject you study.
A good online course is not likely to be cheaper than its in-person counterpart, but there are other savings that can be made when studying online. You will have no transport costs and will not have to find often costly accommodation near to your place of study. Rather than buying textbooks, you are also more likely to access online materials or purchase the cheaper eBook format. All this can add up to considerable savings.
The ability to work and study at the same time means that you do not miss out on the latest developments in your work. Instead, you keep gaining skills from your work, while also gaining additional qualifications, making you ideally placed for promotion.
Whether to study in a classroom or online remains a personal choice, but the advantages of online learning mean that it should at least be considered.