Are you an adult (or try your best to be one) thinking about taking online classes? Today’s guest blogger gives her refreshing take on the pros and cons of eLearning.
What I like about E-Learning is the freedom. You’re free to choose from colleges and programs everywhere, and not just the ones in your neighborhood. You’re free to take classes even when your life is crazy. You don’t have to go to class at scheduled times, you just work whenever it fits. It might be when the kids are napping, or while everyone else is watching The Lion King for the millionth time. Or it might be at midnight. You don’t have to be gone for big blocks of time. You really can use those weird pieces of time in your day to further your education.
But Is It Any Good?
You have to wonder though, are online classes as good as the ones at your local university or community college? Anyone can put up a website and claim to be a school. How do you know you can trust them? Everyone knows that to go to school you have to actually go to the school. You have to walk in the door and take a seat and participate… Right? Now they’re telling you that all you have to do is sit in front of your computer? Is that really the same thing?
You also have to worry about security – with all your work and social security numbers flying back and forth across the schools networks. And then in the end, is anyone going to hire you when you show them your newly minted diploma? Or did you just waste a bunch of time and money taking all these online classes?
Ways to Find Out
If you’re thinking about taking online classes do your homework first. It’s backwards, I know. But trust me, it’ll pay off. There are some really good programs out there, but there are also some really lousy ones. So you need to research them and make sure you’re getting into something good.
One thing you can check is the school’s accreditation. If a school is accredited you know they’re legit. Employers will also look at this to make sure your school isn’t just one of those places where you pay them money and they send you a diploma. Yes, it matters.
You can also look around the web and see what people are saying about the school and the program you’re thinking of. Get nosy and see what kinds of jobs their graduates are getting. Any school should be happy to show you placement results for past students. Find out who’s on the faculty and what their reputations are. Read reviews from former students.
As far as security goes, you should definitely ask about what protection the institution has in place. But seriously, even your land-based universities have all kinds of info on their networks. And you’ll turn in a lot of assignments online either way. Not to scare you away from taking classes at any university, but the big issue is whether their networks are secure, not whether you have information on them. That concern is going to exist no matter where you go.
I’m stating the obvious when I say that every program will be different, and what’s good for one student may not be for someone else. You have to be willing to work hard and keep yourself motivated. If you can do that, there a lot of students out there saying that their online degrees really prepared them to get the jobs they wanted. eLearning isn’t just about playing computer games. The good schools expect you to work hard just like anyplace else. So if you’re serious about school, eLearning is definitely an option to consider.
This post was sponsored by accounting degree online.