Not so long ago, it was rare for anyone to consider an online course over actually going to a university to get a degree. These days, however, we’re all spending a lot more time online, for everything from communication, to work. In today’s fast-paced world, online learning can offer a valuable alternative to rushing around trying to manage a complex schedule of lessons and life obligations. 

Of course, there are pros and cons to both learning online, and visiting an actual college campus. While learning on the web will give you more control over your schedule, it also means you miss out on some of the soft skills you’ll develop in a college campus. Here’s what you need to know about making the right choice for your future. 

The Benefits

Online learning offers a lot of unique advantages over traditional, campus-based learning. First and foremost, it’s one of the most flexible ways to get your education. This is particularly true if you’re planning on getting an MBA or graduate degree, which can take a decent amount of time. You can balance your education around your work life, so you can earn as you develop new skills. Online learning also gives you:

  • Access to amazing opportunities: You can take graduate courses with some of the best teachers and lecturers in the world, without having to travel across country to attend a school. You might even be able to take advantage of some innovative new MBA courses, to help you build a more exciting resume for your future. 
  • More freedom in your schedule: It’s hard to work, raise a family, and get a degree at the same time. The ability to adjust your online learning needs around your schedule should mean you can accomplish more with your time, including earning money. 
  • A more cost-effective solution: You’ll likely need to take out a student loan to finance your graduate degree, and a great option is utilizing a private lender to take advantage of more favorable repayment options. When you’re learning online, you don’t need to pay for things like student accommodation or travel, so you might find your education becomes more affordable. 

Are There Downsides?

For most people, the biggest negatives to learning online rather than attending classes in person, is you don’t get the same social experience. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t develop any essential soft skills because you’re learning online. Although you won’t be interacting with people face-to-face in-person as often, you’ll still chat with colleagues and teachers over things like email and video chat. 

You’ll also learn how to communicate as eloquently as possible with written words, rather than relying entirely on voice. Even better, online learning gives you an opportunity to interact with people from all over the globe. While the same can be true for some local universities, you’re more likely to be exposed to different cultures and diversity when you’re learning online. The reality is that online learning can be just as effective, if not more appealing than offline education.

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Lauren Sanchez - Author

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