Classroom, eLearning

Advantages of Online Education

Online education has become a viable alternative to the traditional way of learning. All you need is motivation and access to the internet and you’ll be able to take classes to further your interests, satisfy professional requirements and even enroll in degree programs. Getting an education online has lots its novelty and is an acceptable way to achieve your educational goals.

Advantages of online education:

There are many reasons why online schooling is a popular choice for many students and/or their parents. They include:

  • classes are usually available 24/7
  • you can continue to work
  • complete homework on your own schedule
  • flexibility of subject matter and starting and completion dates
  • proceed at your own speed
  • variety of schooling options from children to adults; public to high school and college

Moreover, opting for an online education is a great alternative to brick and mortar schools for::

  • those who work
  • recent immigrants
  • those with special needs
  • home schoolers
  • troubled children

Getting an online education offers great flexibility and even though it is often just as pricey or even more expensive as a traditional education, the advantages you gain from learning online may well outweigh the disadvantages.

Issues with online education:

Online schooling also has some disadvantages; this is particularly true for the higher levels of education. The lack of state-to-state uniformity may cause some problems and the cost of using private online schools may be prohibitive. Some employers may not consider an online degree to be equivalent with its bricks-and-mortar equivalent.

There is also the concern over quality of the education you’ll receive from an online school. Online Education can be as good and as bad as traditional learning, and you’ll have to do your research. Check with the United States Department of Education for a list of accredited schools – both online and traditional. If a school you’re considering isn’t accredited, your ‘degree’ would be essentially worthless.

Find online reviews from several sources. Candid comments by present and former online students is one way of finding out whether this is the virtual school for you. Remember, some online schools, just like traditional schools, may excel in one program but be unsuccessful in another. In any case, the more you can find out about an online school, the better. Finally, before you sign up for any school, make sure you check their payment and refund policies. Should you decide a school you signed up with isn’t for you, it shouldn’t be too hard or expensive to cancel your classes.

Photo credit: iStockPhoto

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The Author

Mary Brown

Mary Brown

Mary Brown has enjoyed writing about education and finance related topics, such as scholarships, student loans, college, vocational degree choices, and adult education since the early 2000's. She also writes about school budgets, accreditation and fundraising.