Knowledge in any area is much more available today than it has ever been before. More and more educational institutions are adopting tech innovations as a way of making their courses available to the general public. Private schools, colleges, you name it – they are all upgrading their online platforms and adapting them to online interactive courses all as a way of approaching students from otherwise hard-to-reach socioeconomic groups. Thus, even those potential students who are in a difficult financial or life situation can access higher education.
This way of learning has recently outgrown the stigma of not being as good as the traditional face-to-face classes. Yet, it’s still in the early stages of development and has a long way to go before being on the same level of acceptance and appreciation that knowledge gained in brick-and-mortar classrooms gets. One thing is certain, an increased number of prospective students chooses this form of education due to multiple factors.
When it comes to IT, is it just us or choosing an online platform to master the art of coding makes complete sense? All jokes aside, the truth is that having even a basic grasp of coding principles can bring you numerous benefits. IT industry is changing and developing far more quickly than other industries, and it constantly produces new job openings.
In the following text we have analysed the good and the bad sides one student may have to deal with after choosing to receive their higher education online.
Here are the most prominent conveniences that may come up while taking such courses.
This must be the first thing to come to mind when considering online education. Some people will gravitate towards online courses due to the location convenience, while others will choose it because of the time flexibility. Still, it’s the same idea – you aren’t obliged to be at a certain classroom at a specific time. Many of these courses don’t establish rigid schedules or deadlines. Learners decide when to take classes, they manage their study time and go at their own pace. The entire system is made to be practical, and as expected, people are thrilled about this opportunity.
There are numerous busy people who would love to gain coding skills or higher education. They are self-motivated and willing, but they are trying to avoid rearrangement of their schedule. More importantly, there are those who would love to enrol in courses, but certain physical problems such as different forms of disability present a challenge when it comes to relocation to the vicinity of the campus entails. This is where availability and time flexibility step in to solve many practical problems. No need to leave the comfort of your home to participate in class- internet access and a computer are usually the only things you need. No need to quit your job- you can continue to work and attend classes.
Many students delay getting their college degrees because they have to work. Quitting their jobs is simply not an option and they can’t commit to full-time studies. Online education proved to be great in these cases since people can take their laptops to work and study during lunch breaks. Many of us commute to work, and that’s when we get a valuable downtime that we can use to take some lessons or tests. There are no such things as wrong time or place if you want to learn. And that leads us to the next feature.
In its essence, this factor equals flexibility. But getting high education from home is one thing and being able to do it regardless of your location is another. There are no geographic restrictions when it comes to online learning. This is a huge advantage compared to traditional location-bound universities. For many people moving is not an option, and because of that, in the past, they would have been deprived of the chance to get the knowledge they want. In this case there are no immigration issues and travel costs.
Platforms for online learning are especially good for introvert students, since there is no pressure to connect with other attendees. Everyone has access to the same resources, usually at the same time, and there is no discrimination. Since the progress of each attendee depends on their personal drive and individual discipline, the classes are made to be dynamic, innovative and they often include creative approaches to lessons. This type of interactive learning environment for adults stimulates critical thinking and empowers independence. These traits are especially important as we know that many programmers are freelancers.
Just know that if you decide to enrol in an online course, you will be able to travel anywhere you want and learn on the go.
The expense of academic learning has prevented many from going after the knowledge they wanted. So, to balance it out, the good people created online courses. An online course is usually a more affordable way to earn a degree. By taking an online course we are saving money on many different fronts, not just tuition-wise. Different aspects of traveling to college, like parking and gas, can put a noticeable strain on a budget. By staying at home, the students are not just saving, they also get an opening to earn more by doing some freelance job from home.
The quality of lectures and classes on many courses is at a very high level, not differing from the classes at prestigious universities, with the addition of a more relaxed atmosphere. So, you actually get the same knowledge for a lower price.
Those were some of the good sides, but there are also certain limitations when it comes to online learning, and we need to keep an eye on them.
Less Social Interaction
This type of learning takes away a personal approach that comes with traditional classes and all the fun they bring. Opportunities to communicate directly with other students and professors may be very limited, depending on the course. So, if you are an extrovert or in need of constant validation and approval, you may have trouble assimilating. For that reason, you need to consider your level of independence and self-discipline when thinking about taking an online course.
Physical distance can especially affect younger students since the social aspects of going to University are important. Those include studying together with classmates and forming friendships that can last a lifetime. Sure you can go through life without those memories, but having a campus experience is considered to be a great preparation for the “real adult world” that comes after. Relationships we build with other students and professors have the potential of extending to professional networking. This serves as a springboard for many people, helping them land their first jobs, or advance to better positions later in their careers.
Reputation and Accreditation Issues
Traditional universities still have the upper hand in comparison to online studies. Some companies and institutions automatically dismiss candidates that studied online. However, many conventional universities are creating online programs that are accredited, and that’s a positive sign. But the fact is that until online programs lose any trace of the stigma that follows them, a college degree will have an advantage over certificate.
It is also important that you stay aware of many non-accredited programs that are available. With some of them, you can get the skills of and learn the tricks, but your degree or certificate won’t have any value. If that happens, you will have to pay more money to startyour education from scratch on some accredited program. Luckily, many accredited courses have excellent reviews and social proof, and you can research them on the internet before deciding to enrol.
For the majority of online courses, it’s left to students to provide technology and Internet connection. Other additional elements that may or may not be needed include all the necessary updates and mandatory downloads, different software programs, as well as mastering new computer and troubleshooting skills. This can place a huge financial burden on one person to handle, and it takes more time to set everything up. Hence, there is a need to establish a budget and plan accordingly for any additional costs.
The Last Word
To sum up the above- online education is a decent opportunity. It has its flaws and strengths, and it stays available to us. In a world where information flows fast and we are competing with time to achieve our goals, it’s good to have more sources of knowledge. We talked about highs and lows and looked at the issue from different angles, to make it easier for you. But the final decision is yours, of course.