To Study or Not to Study: Campus VS. Online Universities
Oh, it seems you've stumbled onto another fascinating edition of To Study or Not to Study. This series is designed to inform the reader about the various
study programs that exist and the pros and cons of each. The goal is to help people who struggle to pick a major or career – which can be a problem for many high school graduates and adults alike. Today we talk about the differences between on-campus classes vs. online classes.
There is no question that the idea of taking classes online appeals to almost everyone. Studying at home just seems simpler and much more comfortable. If that is the case though, why are the vast majority of students enrolled in classes on campus rather than pursing their degrees online? Why is not everyone going to online classes if it’s so much easier? Many people ask themselves that exact question, generally because they are skeptical about learning without being in an actual classroom. Some also wonder if an online degree holds the same weight with a degree earned on campus.
The simple answer is that online classes aren’t easier than campus classes. When an employer is looking at your resume, how you got your degree will not matter. What school you obtained it from is another matter, and can have an impact on an employer’s impression of your skills. Online and campus classes have the same programs, they just use different methods to complete them. Let’s take a structured look at the benefits of these two teaching methods.
There are definitely more colleges offering campus classes than online, this is the classic and traditional method of learning. So naturally, more people are enrolled in these types of programs. A group of students work in classroom together and are taught by a professor. Although home schooling exists as well, most people graduate from elementary and high school using this method.
The major advantage to campus learning is actual human contact. Many people think that nothing can replace a face to face discourse and interaction with a teacher. A teacher who is present physically can help with any problems you might have with your education. If you do not understand a topic, you discuss it and have it explained by different teachers in different ways until you do. Because of the inherent structure of traditional academic programs, college campuses attract the best professors. Many professors are motivated by the possibility of tenure, which virtually ensures them steady jobs throughout their careers.
Campus learning also offers the priceless benefit of a network of students attending class with you. You get the opportunity to socialize and learn from them; friends made in this environment can help you if you’re struggling with your class work, and even if you’re feeling disheartened. Graduates of campus-based degree programs spend hours working with their classmates in group exercises, discussions, and role-playing sessions. Most students even join colleges and universities for the fraternities, sororities and sporting events. This network in your field of study starts out social, but translates to a reliable contact list once you’re all on the job market.
Online or Distance Learning has grown tremendously over recent years. Studies now show that 1 out of 3 universities offer courses online. Of course, there are limitations to the courses offered. Most technical programs cannot be studied with this method. Programs in business, information technology, and healthcare management are popular choices for online degrees. Many online classes now use video learning, using an actual professor for teaching, as opposed to just reading the course material.
One of the greatest advantages of online schooling is that it’s cheaper than attending campus classes; studying online enables you to cut costs and save a lot of money. First of all, you don’t pay for transportation at all since you hardly have to leave the house. Second, since you don’t need to live on or near a college campus, you save on housing and other costs associated with living expenses. Third, you pay virtually nothing for textbooks and other studying tools. These costs do seem small on their own, but put together, they can add up considerably.
It accommodates your schedule; online education is very convenient. Since you're not confined to a classroom, YOU’RE the one who decides when and where YOU want to study. You can even schedule your studying around your work or social schedule, and you decide exactly at what speed you’d like to go over the material. You have 24/7 access, so even if you have forgotten about the spoken material in the classroom, you can read and re-read lectures, discussions, explanations and comments any time you need. Many online schools even offer live tutoring with experienced teachers whenever they need.
These different points will help you to choose the method that’s right for you. If you’re still unsure, let’s summarize. If you thrive in working with a group and need teacher attention, campus learning may be best for you. But, if you can see yourself budgeting your time and prioritizing your education with existing commitments, than you should really consider an online program in your future.