Once upon a time when you wanted to take a course the classroom was pretty much your only option.

But those days are gone.

While some people are still dubious about online education, it seems pretty clear that the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. Here are some of the biggest advantages of online study.

Time.

Higher education is more and more a part-time pursuit—and that means commuting to class. But with online study, you don’t have to lose time on public transportation or driving. And it’s not just about saving time. When you take an online class, you can go over the lessons as many times as you like. Everybody learns differently, and with online study there’s no need to worry if you need a little more time.

Money.

This one seems pretty obvious—with online classes, the cost of gas or bus fare stays in your pocket. And tuition is often lower for online education, but it’s a good idea to shop around.

Geography.

There are so many options for online study right now that there’s no need to think locally. It’s not unusual to get an online degree from an institution on the other side of the world—or even in another country!

Learning outcomes.

This one is a little controversial, but it seems fair to say that in many instances students retain what they learn equally well, whether they’re in the classroom or studying online.

Access to instructors.

This may seem counter intuitive. But think about all the friends you never see that you interact with on social media all the time. The fact is that online learning provides tons of ways for you to get individual attention from your teachers.

Networking.

This one may also seem a little counter intuitive, but online study is a great way to create a network of colleagues. It’s very common these days for people to create valuable business relationships online. And it’s quite common for these relationships to lead to interviews or actual jobs.

Online study isn’t for everybody. For some people, nothing can replace the classroom. But for most of us—especially those strapped for money and time—the benefits of online classes are numerous and now, hopefully, obvious.


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