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Pros and Cons of Studying Online

Updated on December 14, 2017

The concept of distance learning for on-line diplomas and degrees is a laudable way of getting an education today. With the addition of more courses, and the attainment of higher qualifications possible, the doors of home study are open to more and more students from all over the world.

From a diploma to a master’s degree program, a home study has gained so many grounds that many who can’t find the time to attend an on-campus college or those with limited funds have embraced the idea of studying at their own pace, wherever they may reside.

This is great. But is it for everyone?

Though this innovative concept of learning has been around for a while and can be said to be "time tested", it seems to have suddenly led to a shift from the attendance of conventional on-campus classes to the enrolment for distance learning online programs.

Home study has many advantages, but it does have its disadvantages as well. But do the cons outweigh the pros of attending distance learning colleges?

Distance Education
Distance Education | Source

Advantages of Studying Online

Distance education has many advantages and that's the reason for its growing popularity. Its pros include:

  1. Great savings on time and money because distance education requires no commuting.
  2. The self-paced study allows students to work at their own chosen pace and classes can be 'attended' without the usual class work pressure that obtains with an on-campus study.
  3. The ability to study from any corner of the world, meaning you can live in Timbuktu and study in Iceland, at the click of a mouse.
  4. The computer and internet skills gained whilst undergoing study can be used and further applied to other facets of living.
  5. Whether a student is a slow learner or a fast one, a self-paced tuition process is a great advantage. A slow learner can take his or her time to assimilate lessons without pressure, and the fast learning student can virtually 'zip' through the online undergraduate course.
  6. Home study affords easy accessibility to education for physically challenged students with mobility issues that are often encountered in traditional on-campus classes.

Hear what Bill Gates has to say....


ICS: Learn From Home Through International Correspondence Schools.

Not unlike today’s form of distance education, ICS home study courses is the pioneer of what we now know as online study, which is somewhat fashioned after distance correspondence courses.

Is studying from home for you?

Disadvantages of Home Study

It’s good for students planning to attend on-line colleges to know the disadvantages of studying for an undergraduate course because we can't make it seem all "rosy" without mention of disadvantages of distance learning.

  1. Attending colleges on-line doesn't offer prompt and immediate feedback that is the norm with the traditional class setting. On campus, student's performance can be assessed on the spot, unlike with distance education colleges where students have to wait for the tutor’s feedback while their works are being reviewed.
  2. Distance education doesn't offer all courses on the web, so students pursuing certain degrees may not find their courses available. Understandably so, because not all educational programs are suited for an on-line study, a good example being the medical courses.

Online Education - Thanks to IT

The reason for this great opportunity today stems from the advent of advanced computers and IT technologies, and because of this sole factor, the educational system itself has become revolutionized.

Technological innovations have changed the complete scenario of the learning system with the introduction of the concept of distance education.

Students perspectives on distance learning...

One significant factor that drives the success of home study is that this type of learning is done through the electronic media, and it is the means of educational interaction between tutors and their on-line students.

Tutoring through distance education colleges is achieved with the use of:

  • Voicemails
  • Fax
  • Emails
  • On-line video conferencing
  • On-line storyboards
  • Help and guides on-line.

With all these tutoring means and tools employed by distant learning schools, students will also begin to have a better understanding of the technological advancements in education, and those of them who are not really aware of computer applications will gain a good knowledge of its awesome uses.

Plan Ahead Before Deciding

Obtaining an on-line undergraduate degree requires that good planning must be made and adhered to.

The students and the tutors often times need to make sacrifices whilst scheduling the time needed to get works done. But once this can be worked out in an acceptable and comfortable way to both parties, everything should work out fine.

Even if you are employed at a day or night job, if you need to 'better yourself' educationally, you can still earn an on-line undergraduate degree whilst doing whatever it is you may be doing.

Be aware of possible added costs that may be incurred if, for example, you live out at sea and need to receive physical study materials. And ensuring that an internet connection is available is an aspect of distance education. Depending on where a student resides, the required technology may be complex and/or costly.

However, these issues can be surmounted with a determination to achieve a set goal of getting an on-line undergraduate degree.

Do you think more people from all over the world will benefit from attending distance education colleges?

See results

Online Courses is the Way of Future Education

Distance learning may not be acknowledged by all employers, but the good news is that most employers do acknowledge and recognize on-line education just like on-campus programs.

Going by today's observations, this attitude won't last for long.

It is now a well-known fact that in the not too distant future, attending distance learning colleges will be the norm rather than the exception, and every student will have the opportunity to get an on-line diploma and/or degree from any college of their choice anywhere in the world.

© 2010 viryabo


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    • viryabo profile image

      viryabo 4 years ago

      I'm sure you can cmellon86. I really do.

      Thanks for the nice comments and best of luck if you decide to go for a home study course.

    • cmellon86 profile image

      cmellon86 6 years ago

      Thank you for putting both the pros and cons! Will an old fart like me be able to keep up with online classes?

    • mbaker2012 profile image

      mbaker2012 6 years ago

      Learning online isn't for the faint of heart. There's a lot of time and effort that it requires.

    • viryabo profile image

      viryabo 6 years ago

      Thanks Mariline.

    • marilnelanoon233 profile image

      marilnelanoon233 6 years ago

      I never knew interior design was offered as an online course. Great and detailed hub btw!

    • profile image

      Torres 6 years ago

      Online learning has become very popular because of its advantages which includes setting own time for studying. We may be looking for career advancement or may be interested in a career change and all this may require an additional qualification or simply you want to learn something new and innovative. But due to busy and stressful lives it may be difficult to take out time for attending regular classes at a particular time.

    • viryabo profile image

      viryabo 6 years ago

      @ Computer technician.

      Thank you for your appreciation and for visiting. Cheers.

      @007, thank you. And thanks for finding time to leave a nice comment. Cheers.

      @Alyssa, thanks for the compliment. I appreciate your visit and kind comments.

      Distance education has really come to stay, and i believe in the not too distant future, getting an on-line degree will become the norm rather than the exception, for most who desire further education. Godbless.

    • agent007 profile image

      agent007 6 years ago from Florida

      This was a very informative article! It's good to see people provide all the facts for those who are still on the fence!

    • profile image

      Computer technician online 6 years ago

      Thank you Viryabo, I think we have all seen this coming, and it obviously is getting to be more prevalent in today's world. Thank you for expounding on it and sharing with us.

    • viryabo profile image

      viryabo 7 years ago

      I'm so glad you have a good experience with distance education colleges Aslanlight. The good thing about it? You can create your own pace and study at your reasonable convenience.

      Thanks for your nice comments & best of luck with your on line study.


    • aslanlight profile image

      aslanlight 7 years ago from England

      I'm studying for an online degree with the Open University and it's excellent! I find that motivating myself to study's sometimes difficult because of not having certain times to attend, but so far my modules have been so fascinating that I push on with it.

      Your article's insightful and comprehensive.

    • viryabo profile image

      viryabo 7 years ago

      Thanks adjunct.

      And thank you for the visit. Pursuing online undergraduate degree programs will be the way of future education, by the way its gaining so much popularity.


    • adjunct profile image

      adjunct 7 years ago from The Big Easy

      You make a very strong case for earning a degree online. Well done!

    • viryabo profile image

      viryabo 7 years ago

      Thanks wooded, and thank you for visiting.


    • profile image

      Wooded 7 years ago

      This is wonderful information on distance learning. Great hub!

    • viryabo profile image

      viryabo 7 years ago

      Thanks D.A.V.E.

      Glad you enjoyed this article. Its a great thing that distance education is becoming highly popular and this is the indication of a great future trend. Where everyone anywhere can have a good education from good and reputable colleges.

      Thanks for visiting and for leaving a nice comment.


    • D.A.V.E. profile image

      D.A.V.E. 7 years ago

      I really enjoyed your article. I am also attending a lond distance school for my undergraduate degree. Your article is a reasurance that this is what the future holds for education.

    • viryabo profile image

      viryabo 7 years ago

      That's fantastic Becky. Its good to know that attending college today is so easy, and distance education colleges has afforded everyone a convenient and unique way to obtain a degree.

      Goodluck with your studies at DeVry. A great university to attend online i hear. All the best.


    • profile image

      BeckyA 7 years ago

      I never got to go to college and live in a small town where opportunities are limited. I am going to DeVry University online - and I love it!!

    • viryabo profile image

      viryabo 7 years ago

      Thank you for your nice comments cwarden. It is true that before deciding to attend distance education colleges, it's good to know all the options and what to expect.

      Thanks for visiting.


    • cwarden profile image

      cwarden 7 years ago from USA

      This is really good information for anyone considering an online education. Thanks for the honest pros and cons, I'm sure many potential students will find this helpful when making their choice.