During Medieval times, education was a privilege of the chosen few. As time passed, studying at any kind of school became obligatory. Education began to be seen as a right, and even some kind of civic duty. Nowadays, it is difficult to meet a person (at least in the western world), who has not studied anywhere for at least a year. Depending on the country, education may be more-or-less affordable; for example, in Denmark it is free, whereas in the United States, students have to take out enormous loans to pay for a college or university, which they then have to pay off throughout many years.
At the same time, going to a higher education institution is not the only option one has nowadays. The Internet–the place where it is possible to find anything–has become a perfect solution for those who strive to learn something new, but have no possibility or desire to go to college. Although online education may not seem to be substantial enough compared to the traditional one, it possesses a number of solid advantages you should consider.
First of all, online education means comfort (eLearning Industry). Studying in a college or university often equates to moving to a different city, handing over loads of money, living on campus (which is not always a nice change in life), and having to go out no matter how horrible the weather outside is. Studying online, you get yourself rid of all these drawbacks. Regardless of whether you are at home, on vacation, or having a lunch break in the office, all you need to learn something new is your laptop and an Internet connection. Rather often, online education portals such as Udemy or Coursera offer the possibility to study offline by simply watching videos made by an instructor, and completing assignments whenever it is convenient for students.
Secondly, online education is much more affordable than the traditional one. For example, on Udemy, you can find all kinds of educational programs whose prices often stay in the range of $180-200 (and much cheaper during discount seasons). Coursera, in its turn, along with regular paid courses, also offers a variety of free educational materials available for everyone. Of course, not all of the online degrees offer cheaper prices, but due to the absence of commuting costs and other factors, studying online proves to be more accessible–especially for younger people. Studying materials and/or textbooks, as well as other resources, are often included in the price for an online course, so you do not have to purchase it separately. Moreover, nowadays, credits earned via online courses are accepted by a growing number of educational institutions, which in general increases the value and usefulness of MOOC–massive open online courses (OEDB).
Finally, you can study at your own pace (eLearning Industry). Educational institutions, be it high schools or universities, have to focus on an average student–a John Doe whose cognitive and intellectual capabilities are some kind of an arithmetical mean. The disciplines you will study, the methods of education, teachers, and the academic environment are not yours to choose. At the same time, the Internet gives you the opportunity to study as much as you want, with any teacher or instructor you like. Many courses online have demo videos showing an instructor’s manner of teaching, giving an overview of a course program, and allowing you to make an informed choice. You can watch one video per day, or you can finish an entire course in a week–you can do whatever is convenient to you.
It can be said that nowadays, online courses have become a great option for everyone willing to master a specific area of knowledge, but not willing (or having costs, possibilities, etc.) to enter a college or university. Studying online is convenient, can be pursued for much lesser prices than traditional education, and can be performed at an individual pace. Online degrees and certificates are in no way inferior to regular ones, so why hesitate?
Norman, Stephanie. “5 Advantages Of Online Learning: Education Without Leaving Home.” ELearning Industry, ELearning Industry, 3 Aug. 2017, elearningindustry.com/5-advantages-of-online-learning-education-without-leaving-home.
“10 Advantages of Taking Online Classes.” OEDB.org, Copyright © 2006-2018 OEDb – Accredited Online, Specialty, and Campus-Based Colleges, 2 Aug. 2018, oedb.org/ilibrarian/10-advantages-to-taking-online-classes/.