The rapid increase in online education courses has enabled many to achieve their dream jobs. Others, however, prefer to study in a traditional classroom setting. So if you want to upskill and further your career, how will you choose between these two different learning environments?

 Your answers to the following questions will help you decide which option is best for you.

Do you have a flexible lifestyle?

Are you time, poor? Do you race around after everyone all day long? Driving the kids to school and picking them up? Taking them to after school activities, then home for dinner and another late night? Do you race from one meeting to another at work, always focusing on deadlines with hardly a minute to yourself? Are you looking after an elderly relative at home and can’t leave them alone for long?

online education

There are many reasons why you are time-poor, but when you want to upskill, it often means that a traditional classroom setting is beyond your reach. Trying to be physically present in a classroom at the same time every week might not be achievable, given your lifestyle. An inflexible lifestyle is one of the biggest reasons why students enroll in online education courses.

Are face-to-face interactions essential for your career?

Many courses can be studied online quite easily, requiring no face-to-face contact with lecturers or tutors. Lectures and course materials can be accessed online at any time, night or day, and if online education courses suit your lifestyle, there is no benefit in a classroom setting. 

Do you enjoy learning in a social environment?

Some people are social butterflies, needing the stimulation of others to enhance their learning. The ability to interact with your lecturer, tutor, and other students face-to-face may be what you need to succeed in your studies. Other people, however, don’t require this type of stimulation and can happily study at home with just their computer and a cup of coffee!

Another consideration at this point, however, is that in a classroom setting, students can be at different skill levels, requiring additional time on specific topics. You may feel that this can hold you back and prefer to study at your own pace in the comfort of your home.

Are you self-motivated?

For some students, the biggest challenge with studying online is keeping themselves motivated. By definition, online education courses are undertaken at home (or in the coffee shop!), so you don’t have lecturers, tutors or peers reminding you of deadlines. If you can’t organise your day and fit your studies into your life consistently, then you might be better in a classroom setting.

So online education courses or a traditional learning environment? Which will help you achieve your career goals?