Since there are so many online schools around these days, students have even more options for furthering their education. People who have jobs find online schools appealing as it allows them to keep their jobs without making any major changes. However, this does not mean that choosing between studying on campus or online is an easy choice. When trying to decide between the two, it makes sense to look at the similarities and differences. Your career choice and finances will also play a role in your decision.
This is one of the biggest selling points for online degrees. Many people like the fact that they can generally set their class time for the time most convenient to them. When you are on campus, you do not have this flexibility. If you miss a class online, it is generally easier to catch up as many programs have online forums where class notes are uploaded. Of course, with advances with technology, this is now possible with many campus-based programs as well.
The downside to online learning flexibility however, is that some people end put putting off their classes and assignments for too long. By doing this, some students take much longer to complete their courses. If you are working and your job does not have flexible hours and you are good at time management, then online classes could be the right thing for you. Some people prefer the strict format of campus based learning as it challenges them to work harder. When you do classes online, you will have to motivate yourself.
Details on any course of study are important if you want the best value for your investment. Make comparisons between the course curriculum for both online and campus-based schools. The online program should offer the same or similar subjects as campus-based programs of the same course. If important areas or major differences exist, look at other online schools or select a traditional brick and mortar school.
There is no doubt that most online programs are cheaper than studying on campus. Online schools generally do not charge as much as other universities for the same course of study. Also, you don’t have to worry about expenses like staying on campus or traveling to school. Overall, however, most online students are happy with the fact that they can save money on their education.
Interacting with others
If working with other students face to face is important to you online learning might not be suitable for you. This is one of the drawbacks to studying online. You will only be able to keep in touch with other students and the lecturer by email, web conference or by text. Some students have no problem with this, but others may find it difficult.
Access to technology
For online learning to be successful, you need to have the necessary tools to participate in the classes. If you do not own a computer and have no Internet access, learning online will be difficult. When you attend a campus, some of these challenges are less. You have to think about the expense of getting a good computer and access to the Internet if you want to study online. Alternately, you need to have a reliable alternative such as a library. On the other hand, even if you have to pay a computer and get Internet access, it may be still be cheaper than paying for a campus-based program.
In the past, many online schools had trouble getting accreditation. These days, this is not such a major issue. Most accreditation bodies recognize most online schools. In addition, many online schools are affiliated to or are extensions of established traditional universities. This means you can get a valid degree by studying online, but it makes sense to research the school first. Choosing between online or a campus for your studies is a personal decision. Take the time to explore your options so that you will make the best possible choice.