10 Important Faces of Online vs. Traditional Education
People often wonder how online education compares to traditional education. Some say traditional is harder, others claim online is more demanding. Online or classroom education is up to the individual. Think about your options and make up your mind and what is best for you.
In today’s world there are alternatives. Whether going to a physical location in order to get a degree or simply studying online. In the end, the most important question is related to work and skills acquired. Will this degree get me the job I want? Will I be able to learn the skills needed for this job?
Online education offers similar programs compared to the classroom counterparts. The online difference is learning the material online as opposed to going to a classroom. There are pros and cons to every situation.
Which one is better? I guess it depends on your point of view. How do you rank flexibility, autonomy, social interactions? Let’s find out.
Online education is about your discipline, flexibility and determination to study.
When one decides to study online, one must put time aside every day in order to move along in the learning process. The learning that one decides to study is based on the time and effort that the individual puts in. You cannot go into an online course and “wing it” as you might be able to do in a classroom education. The focus is on you, so you need to have the discipline to learn the material needed in order to excel. While the professor will not be “calling on you” for the answer, the professor will be grading your work based on your research and reading involved. Having that discipline depends on the student, and in online learning, students must have enough discipline to complete assignments and follow through with the course.
The cost of learning online is way cheaper than traditional education. According to Time Magazine, the cost of learning in a top public university is $32,000 whereas the top private schools $65,000. Those numbers are too high, especially since the student would be required to pay those figures per year. Yes, online education can get very expensive, but if students find the right university, students are able to save money by enrolling in an online education. According to US News, for example, universities find a way to provide an online degree $35,000 cheaper than in a traditional school setting. For these reasons, online education offers more opportunities to students looking for a better alternative.
Additionally, looking at the cost of living in a university setting vs. living anywhere you choose, will drive down the cost of living when the student is going to school. For example, going to a traditional education institution will require the learner to move within a close vicinity of the university. Studying online can be done from practically anywhere. Therefore, the cost of living can be decreased if one is strategic about where to live and how to live.
Understanding online courses allows the student to develop technological skills that otherwise would not be further developed in a traditional campus. The ability to explain ideas in discussion forums and also on live calls, allows the learner to develop online writing skills and presentation skills. There are other technological skills that are also developed when the learner has to find ways to move around the internet and come up with solutions with researching options. Many times in traditional schooling the students are bound by the classroom interaction whereas in online learning the learner is unbound as the possibilities are endless. Not to say that traditional education does not allow the learner to research and develop technological skills, however, online education is more constant and further developed.
If a student is looking for the college social life, chances are the traditional education is a better fit for the student. Unless the student decides to take online courses and still live within the university surroundings, then the student will be able to have a social life while in college. However, depending on the needs of the student the social life will be different. Working adults might want to go back to school to get a secondary degree. In those cases, the social characteristic might not be preferred. Having a family, a job and getting a new degree might be too much for someone who is a working adult. For those students who are learning their first degree and are coming right out of high school, then the social scene might be a preferred scene for them.
The ability to have a window of time to turn in assignments while working or taking care of the family, might be an ideal situation for a working adult learner. Having that flexibility allows the learner to have the best of both worlds. In today’s world, it is a need to be able to juggle more than one thing at one time. For that reason, if the student needs more flexibility to not be tied down to a specific schedule will allow the learner to be more responsible and flexible. Having that ability makes the world of a difference between someone who wants to study vs. someone who has the ability and flexibility to make things happen.
In online courses, there are ample opportunities to learn different specializations whereas traditional schooling requires more planning and less specializations. Due to the nature of the learning world, specializing in a specific subject can cost next to nothing if it is done online. Traditional education would require learners to register, find out what courses are needed, enroll in them and start studying. Specializations are not the same as degrees, but they still have a heavy weight when it comes to learning as it is a way to show employers constant development in a specific field. The more one learns and specializes, the better it looks on a job application, even if it is done after a degree has already being received. Specialization shows that an individual truly cares about his/her potential and the ability to improve in every field.
Online education requires less time to register for classes and less time to get to the learning part. For the most part, there are universities that take students at virtually any time of the year. Therefore, studying has become an easier way to learn. However, the time it takes to actually study is very different than in a traditional education setting. In traditional education one would need to either drive or take public transportation in order to reach the university to attend a class. Time is spent on the road more than in the classroom. Time is valuable and students would need to use it effectively by either listening to podcasts related to school on the drive to school or wasting the time it takes to arrive at their destination. Either way, time needs to be considered when it comes to online education vs. traditional education. It is up to the individual how the student uses it wisely.
Careers and Professions
While learning online offers a wider range of subjects and careers, one must look at which profession one wants to study before making a decision whether or not online or traditional education is for them. Generally speaking, degrees that are about medicine and law, are required to be studied in a traditional setting. For those looking for a career in programming, then online education might be the best alternative due to the market keeping up with the trends and newest accomplishments. Programming is constantly changing, learning from a textbook with information from two or three years ago might not be the best solution as every day there are new developments. Therefore, depending on the career that one is looking to study depends on whether online or traditional education is for them.
Going to get a degree is not just going to school to learn material. It is about investing in skills that one will need for the workplace. Getting a bachelor’s degree is about learning how to think critically more than learning about a specific skill. When one joins the workforce, the employer will need to teach the new graduate about trends and ways to do things around the workplace. There are other skills that will be necessary to teach since universities cannot teach that. For example, in the marketing, computer science, and business worlds, the employer will need to teach the new student how to do specific items. Yes, having a foundation is key, but on the job training is required. Even for those who have had a job in those fields, they will need to learn specifics about that company. It is important to look at university learning not just as a place where learning can take place, but as a place where one can have the right foundation to join the workplace.
The difference between developing responsibility while learning in an online school vs. learning responsibility while learning in the classroom can have different effects on the individual. In the traditional setting the student must be responsible to make it to class and follow up with the class assignments. It helps to know that on specific days there are class sessions. However, in the online setting, it does not always work the same way. Many times the professor allows students the week to hand in the assignments. Other times the students must be connected online to form some kind of group project or group discussion. Either way, there are different skills on responsibility that are developed when one is learning through the traditional setting or the online learning setting.
Which is a better system for me?
Well, it depends on who you are and what are your goals. If you have too much time on your hands, you need the interaction and you just graduated from high school, then yes, traditional education seems to be the best option for you. Unless, you want to start working and get experience by being on the workplace and at the same time learn in an online educational system, then yes, online education might be a good fit for you. It is also very important to note that everyone learns in a different way. Having the flexibility in an online educational system might be the best option to learn for you. Taking a test to determine which is the right option for you might be the best. Click here to take a test and learn if online learning is for you. Remember, it is about knowing yourself, what are your expectations and what you plan to do with it. Working parents generally have to maintain a house do not have the ability to take out loans in order to go back to school. For them, online education might be their only answer. Either way, improve yourself and learn. There is so much information out there and in today’s world it is easy to access that information. If you want more information about online education and to see if you are a good fit, click here.
Good luck in your search and learning.
US NEWS: http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/articles/2014/06/03/why-online-education-may-drive-down-the-cost-of-your-degree