The thought of studying online may be daunting if you have never done it before, especially if you’ve come from a background such as myself, where all your education was done in a classroom environment. Because I know you are considering studying online marketing to either start your own business, or promote a business you already own, I’d like to make sure you are aware of the advantages and disadvantages of both online study and traditional classroom study to enable you to make a more informed decision regarding whether or not online study is for you. So here are a few pros and cons of both forms of education.
The Pros of Classroom Education
Face to Face Teacher/Lecturer Support
Your teacher or lecturer is there to provide you with instant assistance as soon as you need it.
Face to Face Interaction with Fellow Students
The option to express ideas and options amongst each other to gain a better understanding of the topic in question is a great asset to your learning.
Attending college or Uni provides more of an opportunity to be sociable with other students. Opportunities exist to socialize during breaks, between lessons, and participating in extracurricular activities. Oh, and did I mention various party opportunities.
When you are physically around people the ability to network is so much easier. This is vital when starting and running an online business.
Obtain a Degree
Some careers require a degree.
The Pros of Online Education
Flexibility and Convenience
Studying online is great for those with family responsibilities, who are busy professionals or who lack a flexible schedule. Online studies generally involve 10-20 hours a week of work which can be completed at your own convenience and worked around a busy schedule. Did I mention the fact you can work from the comfort of your own home – wearing comfy P.J’s while I study online is pretty cool.
Not only with regards to the actual cost of the online marketing course but also the fact you are not commuting to classes means you save money involved with commuting such as fuel, car wear and tear, parking or public transport costs.
Online mentorship programs and boot camps now exist which provide students with the necessary skills required to obtain a job, or start their own business, in less time. No commuting is a massive time saver as well.
Study from Anywhere
A great bonus if you travel a lot
Digital Skill Specific
When you learn online marketing online, you also gain specific digital skills you need to perform online marketing – so you essentially kill 2 birds with one stone.
Understanding Search engine optimization (SEO), content marketing and social media are best done by “doing it”. Online marketing involves a lot of analysis. You need to “get in there and do it” so you can analyze your results to determine what to do next. Without taking a hands-on approach you can kiss your chances of being successful with online marketing goodbye. Most classroom online marketing courses do not involve the hands-on approach needed to gain a true understanding of what it takes to market online.
Up To Date
Colleges can take years to incorporate the latest up to date info in their curriculum’s. With online marketing constantly evolving, up to date information is essential.
Online courses are offered worldwide which means you can have conversations with other online students anytime, anywhere.
Provide You With The Personal Qualities You Need
Not having to answer to anyone, and a lack of specified schedule can lead to unproductively. Online marketing requires self-discipline and self-motivation. Studying online will develop these qualities.
The Cons of Classroom Education
You could say the cons are the pros of online education, however, a couple of stands out would include:
Uni costs can reach around 30-35K per year as compared to online study which may reach around 10-15K per year.
Degree’s Do Not Guarantee Jobs:
It’s quite common to find people with degrees working a completely unrelated job due to a lack of job opportunities within their field. When they do manage to find a job opening in their field, a lack of job experience may not be favoured by some employers.
The Cons of Online Education
Once again, the classroom pros would be the online cons. A couple of other cons I will point out are:
A Reliable Computer and Good Internet Access Are A Must
Without it, your study is a no-go zone.
Self Discipline and Self-Motivation is Vital
When you feel unmotivated, the most difficult part of attending a class may be just getting there, but, once you are there all is good. Being amongst other students can be motivating (although sometimes distracting too), and once you are there, you are there. However, when you study online you are completely on your own. You will have days when you do not feel like getting the computer out. If you do get your computer out on those days, you then need to be disciplined enough to stay behind it long enough to complete your work. There’s also social media to consider. Not being in a classroom environment means there will be heaps of distractions and reasons for you not to complete the task at hand. You are only accountable to yourself. Your success with your studies is completely in your hands. That is why you need to make sure you have a darned good reason for completing your studies because that is what will provide you drive to sit down pretty much every day to do the work required.
When you study online you are completely on your own. You will have days when you do not feel like getting the computer out. If you do get your computer out on those days, you then need to be disciplined enough to stay behind it long enough to complete your work. There’s also social media to consider. Not being in a classroom environment means there will be heaps of distractions and reasons for you not to complete the task at hand. You are only accountable to yourself. Your success with your studies is completely in your hands. That is why you need to make sure you have a darned good reason for completing your studies because that is what will provide you drive to sit down pretty much every day to do the work required.
Studying online means you are completely accountable to yourself. Your success with your studies is completely in your hands. That is why you need to make sure you have a darned good reason for completing your studies because that is what will provide you drive to sit down pretty much every day to do the work required.
At the end of the day, a course is as good as its content, structure and lecturer, something both classroom and online courses can provide for. Your decision to study online or within a classroom environment will really come down to the 2 significant differences:
- Classroom learning provides face to face interactions
- Online learning provides flexibility and convenience
On paper, it may seem as though it would be beneficial to learn online marketing online, however, the major benefit of classroom education is the face to face connection with both the lecturer and other students, not to mention the whole campus experience. A strong desire for this may out way the benefits of online marketing for many people.
The significant difference of online study, that being the fact it allows for more flexibility and convenience, may be the determining factor for many, even if having the face to face contact with the lecturer and other students is a top priority. Being able to fit study time around work, family or travel commitments may proceed the need for face to face contact when push comes to shove. These days, many online educators use live streaming and Skype. This may provide some ease for those who rate the need to connect with a lecture as highly important.