Online Studies: Are They Worth It?

Studying online is a rapidly growing field, with many universities offering degree programmes in just a few clicks. The convenience and flexibility of online study is attracting students from all over the world, with many completing their degrees remotely. But is this model of study worth the time and money? We take a look at the pros and cons of studying online.

Familiar Faces

One of the main advantages of studying online is that you don’t need to be physically on campus to attend lectures and take part in classes. This means you can study whenever and wherever you want, which has many advantages. You can use tools like Skype to connect with lecturers and fellow students, and take part in online study groups where you and your classmates can review important material together. This level of engagement can encourage better attendance and higher engagement with course material, which ultimately leads to better grades.

Another advantage of studying online is that you can access a huge range of courses and choose what suits you. If you’re not into science, you can always study arts or social science related courses instead. You can use your existing social connections to get involved with a range of community activities, such as sports clubs and cultural organisations, which can also help you to get better acquainted with your classmates. This is essential if you want to be successful in your studies, as making new connections can help you discover hidden talents and interests that you can use in your studies. It also means you’re not tied down to just one subject area, which can increase the chance of you discovering a range of skills and knowledge that you can apply in your future career.

Cost Effective

One of the major appeals of online study is the reduced costs involved. Tuition fees vary between universities, but on average, they’re a lot cheaper than traditional brick-and-mortar courses. This is mainly because there’s no need for transport to and from school, plus you can access most of the necessary material from home. The internet is a goldmine when it comes to finding information and learning new things, with thousands of websites offering all the information you could need, for free.

It’s also important to note here that some courses, especially in the social sciences and humanities, can be completely free. All you need is a good internet connection and a microphone to get started. If you have a smartphone, you can download specially designed apps that turn it into a study tool. Even better, many universities now provide smartphone-friendly study apps, which can make your experience much more convenient.

Flexible Schedule

Another great thing about online study is that you don’t need to fit your studies around a fixed campus schedule. This can be extremely useful for students who want to work or have a social life. If you’re not happy with the idea of spending most of your time in a library or on a computer, you can always take a part-time job to finance your studies. Many people even choose to study at night, so they can get some extra work experience during the day. This can help you to find a better balance between your studies and your other commitments in life, as well as improve your mood, since much of your time will be spent inside your house, where there’s generally less stress and more relaxation.

Self-directed Learning

One of the major advantages of studying online is that you don’t need to rely on teaching assistants or exam invigilators to provide you with the essential knowledge and skills you need to succeed. This is a traditional block to learning, as you often don’t have the opportunity to ask questions and get help when you need it. Studying online means you can work at your own pace and learn material that interests you, which benefits both you and your studies. Plus, you have the option of revisiting lessons that you’ve struggled with, to see if your memory is improving.

This form of learning is called self-directed learning, and it’s one of the best things that can happen to your studies. Instead of just relying on your teachers to provide you with the knowledge and skills you need for the course, you can take control of your own learning and set yourself the target of achieving a certain level of competency by the end of the programme. If you make enough effort, you’ll achieve those results and continue to develop your skills, even after the course has ended.

If you’re looking to gain some experience before starting a full-time course, working towards a degree can be a great option. You don’t need to decide now, but thinking about what subject you want to study, how much you want to spend on tuition and what kind of job you want to end up in, can all be useful guides to making the right decision for you.