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Is Online Right for You?

Education has come a long way.  No longer do we have to quit our jobs, move away and live in a dorm to attain a higher education.  Learning now comes to us. 
Advancements in technology have changed the way we study and online education is now more available, more efficient, and more valued than ever before.  In the past, online certifications did not carry the same weight as traditional education but those days are over.  It is now widely regarded by the education community that online education is an acceptable and productive means of furthering one’s education.   Classrooms are no longer the only place where students can receive career training.

Your best bet when deciding which type of schooling is right for you is to weigh your options and understand the pros and cons of each.  By comparing the advantages and disadvantages of each, you can decide whether a classroom or online is the better option for you.

Online Education Advantages:

•    Convenience and Accessibility – This is probably the biggest advantage of studying online versus in a classroom.  You are able to decide when and where you study and for how long.  In many cases, you proceed through your program at your own pace.  Since you are not bound to a classroom, you are able to study wherever there is a computer and internet access.

•    Cost – Online courses tend to be less expensive than their campus-based counterparts.  In addition to the lower program costs, you may also see savings in transportation as the need for bus passes, gas, and parking are eliminated when commuting to school is no longer necessary. 

•    Independence – Students have a great deal of independence since much of their studies are self-directed.  They are able to control their learning environment by progressing through courses at their own pace and studying from any location at any time of day. 

Online Education Disadvantages:

•    Instructor Interaction –While instructors are available online, students who may require more guidance may find the lack of face time to be a deterrent.  

•    Social Interaction – While online courses offer opportunities for virtual interaction including chat rooms, message boards and instant messaging options, those students looking for the classic campus life should opt for a traditional education. 

•    Self-directed Study- It is important to remember that online students must be self-disciplined in order to complete assignments, readings, reports and exams on time.   Taking the initiative to meet deadlines and stay on track can be a challenge for some.

As you can see, there are advantages and disadvantages to both types of learning environments.  Options for both online and campus education are numerous – some even combine the two. Whether you’re looking to start a new career or upgrade your current skills, you can be sure there is a school that will meet your needs.  The best choice for education is the option that compliments your lifestyle and your personality.

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