Online Education Versus Campus Education
When trying to decide between receiving a degree, certificate or diploma online or at a campus, how do you know which is right for you? When deciding between getting an online or traditional education, here are some areas and points to consider:
1. School expenses
When you are receiving an academic degree online, you will still need to pay the standard fees for the coursework and materials, but you may also be charged a technology fee. This may cause those looking for an online education to be discouraged at first glance, but you do not need to worry.
If you are dealing with a campus environment, you will also be required to pay for transportation, room and board, and food, along with your coursework fees and materials. In this respect, a campus education is a lot more expensive than its online counterpart. It can also tend to be more expensive because you will often spend money on socializing with peers or keeping up with trends to ensure that you fit in with a particular group. Those that earn a traditional education may find themselves more in debt if they do not budget accordingly.
If you are receiving an online education, you may expect to pay more in transportation than someone who is taking a traditional campus course. If you live far from the school, you will spend extra money on bus tickets or taxis. If you own a vehicle, you will also spend more on general maintenance, gas and insurance.
For those living on campus, the key areas that you have to reach are typically within walking distance. This will allow for you to save a little more money and experience less stress when navigating the area. You may also miss less class time due to traffic or weather conditions.
3. Schedule flexibility
When it comes to having a flexible schedule, those that are earning an online education may experience the most freedom. This is especially beneficial to those that are raising a family, have existing jobs or are very active in the community. Because the schedule will be set at your own personal pace, you can work on your education whenever you have free time. However, if you encounter technical issues or do not have access to a computer for whatever reason, you will lose valuable time and your academic scores may suffer because of it.
If you are earning a traditional education, your schedule will not be as flexible. You may find it difficult to keep a job outside of studying and any other social commitments may also suffer. If you are looking for jobs that can be done in your spare time that does not require you to be at a physical location, you can try doing freelance work online. However, those enrolling into traditional programs are better off being in a position where they can focus entirely on their education.
Some of the best networking you can do involves being face-to-face with others. It often allows for much stronger impressions and bonds to be made, which can potentially give a student the edge over any future competition. Because of this, those earning a traditional education may have an advantage over those receiving one online.
However, online students can also form networks of their own through various means of communication, including e-mail, live chat, message boards and video/audio conferences. Although it may be better to meet individuals in person, using these methods to your advantage can still help you make a lasting impression on those in your field and beyond.
Some people are especially drawn to the idea of receiving further education because it can give them a chance to meet new people and try new things. If you are in a campus environment, there will almost always be something that you can be involved in to fulfil this desire.
Not to be outdone, online students can still use the technical methods of communication described above to create their own sense of community. For those that are more shy in many social situations, it is an excellent opportunity to still feel like being a part of a greater community.
However, if students are looking for volunteering opportunities, those that are earning a degree in a campus setting will have the advantage. Students can often find volunteering opportunities by attending any volunteer fairs on campus or by seeing what is available around school. These students will be able to make a reputation for themselves, gain valuable experience towards their resumé and also potentially find placement for a work term if required by their program.
6. Impressing future employers or clients
Just like with anything else, you will need to research the schools you are most interested in to see which one will get you furthest ahead in your professional and academic career. The worth of your education often depends mostly upon the academic institution that has awarded it to you in the eyes of many future employers and clients. Because of this, it is important that you do not end up getting an education that is worth very little in the workforce.
Many employers are often more familiar with degrees, diplomas or certificates awarded by brick and mortar academic institutions. You may find that a traditional education from a well-known and respected academic institution may take you farther in the academic and professional field.
When you are trying to present your online education to employers and clients, you may find it a bit more difficult to be viewed with credibility. If you are concerned about your credibility, do all that you can to ensure that the online organization you are earning your education from is an accredited institution. It is also recommend to try and take a program or courses from a reputable school that offers both a campus and online degree.
So whether you decide between receiving an education online or at a campus, considering all these points and more very carefully will allow you to make the decision most befitting for your future.