How Has Online Schooling Changed Our College Experience?

Image by CollegeDegrees360 on Flickr

Image by CollegeDegrees360 on Flickr

Online classes, or massive open online courses (MOOCs), have opened up opportunities for millions of students looking to take courses in their spare time. Especially with tuition at brick-and-mortar colleges spiralling out of control, the chance to affordably take only the classes you need from home is truly unprecedented. Let’s explore some of the reasons that online schooling is here to stay and why it could be right for your goals.

Variety, Affordability and Comfort

In all fairness, e-learning isn’t mutually exclusive with today’s university education: many top universities around the country host MOOCs of their own. It’s pretty amazing to think that you can audit a course from Harvard for free or earn a resume-bolstering credential for a few hundred dollars by taking an online class in your field.

Online education has truly been streamlined over the last decade and now is almost synonymous with flexibility. You can get a four-year bachelor’s degree entirely online or get licensure to enter the workplace. With thousands of courses ranging from engineering to nursing, you’ll never run out of subjects to take on as well. Taking an online course can also be a supplement to your education at a brick-and-mortar college or university. You might, for instance, take a summer course online to avoid a long commute to university while you have a part-time summer job or other responsibilities to handle first.

Practicality of an Online Degree

When a lot of people think about taking an online course, their first thought is brushing up on some esoteric topic (e.g., physics) or learning a second language. In fact, you can take online courses on practical topics (e.g., criminal law) in your spare time and earn a bachelor’s degree that actually pays off in the real world. An online bachelor in criminology offers you the option of taking the experience into graduate school or using the degree to land a job in an increasingly competitive working world.

Online Degree: Best Option?

Some people want to know if auditing an online course is intrinsically a better option than getting a four-year diploma at a brick-and-mortar institution. The answer is, it depends. While an online course can allow you to save a ton of money and time, there’s still a time and place for face-to-face personalized instruction. Fortunately, though, online courses are catching up in this area as well since many professors and teaching assistants are willing to respond to emails and Skype calls to address course-related questions.

With new innovations making online course more and more accessible, you can be sure that a university will have the course you are looking for. The gap is truly closing and beginning to favor online education.

This article was contributed by guest author Meghan Belnap.