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Let’s face it: adults are rarely happy about the decisions they made in their teens. However, that is precisely when most of us need to pick our future careers. And when a survey by The Conference Board reveals that 46 percent of Americans do not feel happy about their work, it doesn’t come as a surprise.
On a happier note, the opportunities to make a career switch are also better than ever: you are free to gain new skills in various courses, bootcamps, evening schools, etc. Looking at the multitude of options available, most people start by choosing between online education vs. traditional education. Can the benefits of online education online truly replace a class environment? Let’s have a look.
Flexibility: the ultimate question for career switchers
One of the main obstacles for those who wish to make a career switch is time. Still employed and with certain financial responsibilities to care for, they simply cannot afford to take time off work to attend classes on campus. Sadly, traditional education happens at fixed hours, and the journey to the designated place can take quite a lot of time as well.
Absolutely no requirement to conform to a set place and time is among the most important benefits of online education. By choosing online courses, you can learn anywhere and anytime. Best of all, you can do it at your own pace and repeat the lectures if you feel the need to. Flexible learning also means you can pick and choose the subjects you’re interested in: unlike in college or grad school, courses do not come in unbreakable packages, and you are free to shape your skillset in any way you like.
Why online learning can prove more effective – but not for all
In addition to saving your valuable time, not being tied to a particular location also provides you with an opportunity to choose from a great variety of instructors and subjects. Global accessibility is one of the secrets to the effectiveness of online learning. Imagine you live in a small city. Why choose from two mediocre teachers available locally when you can select the best ones from all around the globe and master something in hours? The online curriculum is also much quicker to get updates, which means you will always be learning the latest methods and techniques.
Traditional learning might have an advantage in the areas where face-to-face lectures are essential due to the specifics of the curriculum. If you’re learning, say, chemistry, seeing the reactions on the screen might not be enough, as you will need to experiment with the supervision of a professional. Areas like nursing would also be rather tricky to practice. However, learning online is a great option for those who wish to gain digital skills, such as programming, design, or
SEO. Being able to easily do all their practice work on the same computer they’re using to watch the lectures, they can enjoy the benefits of online education to the fullest.
The financial benefits of online education
The biggest disadvantage of traditional studies is often its price. It’s understandable: the number of students in one class is limited, and there’s a lot of expenses to cover. However, it is not always affordable to someone who wants to reskill – after all, earning too little is often the reason for a career switch.
When comparing online education vs. traditional education, we can definitely see the former is heaps ahead. Being able to create a course once and sell it to thousands of students allows the instructors to lower the price significantly. There are also a lot fewer expenses involved (e.g., there’s no need to rent office space). There are also programs that allow you to apply for a scholarship and learn your chosen course for free.
The effectiveness of online learning is in your hands
Some of the benefits of online education can also become disadvantages. If the student lacks motivation, they might find it hard to discipline themselves with no exact timetable to follow. Luckily, most instructors take this into consideration when preparing the study materials: they create short and dynamic video lectures, which can even create a binge-like experience.
Of course, everyone is different, and there can be no one-size-fits-all technique to suit everyone. However, instead of thinking of how and why online learning could be worth it, try it for yourself. You might be surprised how far it can take you!