The Advantages and Disadvantages of Studying a Distance Learning Degree

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Studying a Distance Learning Degree
The Advantages and Disadvantages of Studying a Distance Learning Degree. Image source: Pixabay

Studying a degree via an online course has become extremely popular over recent years. It allows people to change their career and improve their knowledge, without having to disrupt their normal life. From business degrees to nursing qualifications, there are many options to choose and learn from. Gaining qualifications from home can be a unique and valuable experience, but understanding the pros and cons around this method of learning is crucial. This can help you decide whether or not an online course is suitable for you and if you should follow this route, as it takes a certain person to succeed and thrive at independent learning. To help you understand more, here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of studying a distance learning degree.

They Are Flexible

The flexibility of an online learning program is something that grabs the attention of potential students. You can set your own schedule and you are not expected to be present in a classroom, which means you can study around your normal life. You can also learn and earn. Many students who choose to participate in an online degree are full-time professionals who want to advance in their careers. Even if you don’t work full-time, an online course gives you the chance to earn money while you learn.

No Geographical Boundaries

Distance learning can be done from the comfort of your own home, by the pool on holiday, or on the train to visit family. These courses can be completed anywhere, so you do not have to worry about your geographical location. If you find a school that offers the perfect course, but it isn’t close to home, then you can still consider it because they can be completed internationally. You will never have to relocate or worry about transferring to a different school, so you can keep your freedom.

Learn on a Budget

Studying a distance learning degree means that you don’t have to pay out large amounts of money for essential costs, such as travel, parking, child care, books, plus more. Many of the courses on offer are self-paced, which means you have the chance to graduate in a shorter amount of time compared to a traditional degree. When you spend less time in college, then your educational costs will decrease. The tuition fees for the majority of online courses are also less than a normal program.

Become Tech-Savvy

Understanding how to use technology is crucial in the modern world. When you choose to learn via a distance learning course, then you will end up using sophisticated technology during your education. You will need to access content electronically, partake in online forums to interact with classmates and professors on a daily basis, and submit assignments through websites. By doing so, you will be able to become more confident with technology compared to your classroom equivalents.

Overwhelming Material

If you find it hard to motivate yourself and become overwhelmed easily, then a distance learning degree may not be for you. When studying online, you have to create your own schedule and many students can become tempted to procrastinate. This makes it important to stay focused, motivated and disciplined. If you need attention from professors and struggle with complex information, then independent learning may not work for you, but you will learn essential skills for career development.

Quality of the Course Must be Researched

Despite their growth and popularity, the validity and quality of a distance degree are often questioned by students. This is mainly due to the presence of ‘fake degrees.’ The quality of learning will depend on the reputability of the course you choose and you must make sure that you earn an online degree from an accredited institution. This is why researching into the course you are interested in is vital. For more information on what to look for when studying a an MBA program online, follow this link.

Shortage of Feedback

Online degrees are mainly self-directed and one of the biggest disadvantages highlighted by graduates is the shortages of individual feedback and attention, plus a lack of student and professor interaction. This can make distance learners feel quite isolated and doubtful. However, in order to combat this, you could look into a blended course, which combines classroom teaching with distance learning. Many professionals have enrolled in online courses with their workmates, so they can learn together.

Different Experience

On-campus life is one of the biggest things you will miss out on when studying a distance learning course. As mentioned previously, by completing online classes, you will miss out on interacting with other students and getting the full student experience. Distance learners will also miss out on activities that are associated with life on campus. This includes inter-college games, cultural events, prom nights and graduation. However, if college is an unrealistic prospect for you, then this is a small price to pay.

The Future is Changing

Now that you are familiar with the advantages and disadvantages of a distance learning degree, you may be wondering how to combat any problems you have faced. Research and feedback from students, plus the popularity of these courses, means that the future of online learning is constantly changing and looking for ways to improve. For example, mobile-friendly content will need to be essential, as many people use their smart phones to research, study and do course work. Career advice will need to be offered to distance learners, to help them find work after they have graduated. Online courses are also starting to become more diverse, giving every individual the opportunity to study and progress in a field they are interested in. Keeping this in mind is important if you are considering online study.

Distance learning degrees are popular and are here to stay. They will only continue to improve and help people reach their goals. You just need to know and understand what to look for, and do your research into an online school before you make a decision. It is important to remember that sometimes, traditional education will not be able to be overlooked. This just depends on the person.