Online business courses are becoming more and more popular. Few people have the financial resources to sacrifice their employment to get an education. Studying online means that you can have the best of both worlds – you can still work and meet your financial commitments, and you can study on the side and get the qualification that you need. Although there are many pros to taking an online business course, there are some cons too. Ultimately it is up to you to look at both sides, and make the decision about what is right for you. First of all let’s take a look at the benefits:
- You can study from anywhere. As long as you have an internet connection you can work from the comfort of your own home, at the library, in your office, at your local cafe or even when travelling. There is Wi-Fi nearly everywhere you go these days so you are not limited to where you can study.
- You can usually enroll at any time of the year. This may depend on the course – some have 2-3 different enrollment dates during the year, others you can start any time. There is a lot more flexibility than when studying for a traditional course where you must enroll by a particular date and attend classes on the day.
- You will save money. Tuition rates for online business courses will always be lower than those at a university where there are many other fees to take into consideration. Coursework available online means you may not have to buy as many books (business books can be very expensive for a student). Also because you can work from home, your travel expenses will be lower.
- There may be an opportunity for an online scholarship. This will depend on the school or college you intend to study with.
- There is a lot more time flexibility and you can study part time without having to renege on your other commitments. So whether you are already in a job, looking after your kids, or other – you can still fit in some study time and get your qualification.
- Not everyone is a self-starter. You really need to look at yourself and decide whether or not you have the motivation and the self-discipline to complete the course work and study when necessary. Are you willing to set aside enough time to do the course or will you be distracted and find excuses?
- You don’t have the same opportunity to network in person with fellow business professionals doing the same course, as you as you would in a traditional classroom set course. That doesn’t mean there aren’t opportunities to network though – there are many opportunities provided by online social networking sites such as Facebook that can help to make up for this.
- Not all online business courses are accredited – it is very important to do your research before choosing one and find out if it is professional, accredited and nationally recognized.
Kathryn Thorn is a librarian and advocate of continuous education. She writes for the local paper and is currently taking up a business course in Sydney.