Online classes are now more respected than ever, and it has been a long time coming. They’ve enjoyed an unfairly bad reputation for years when they’re actually a great way to get your qualifications. They are a great option if you have a tough schedule and have to juggle many things at once. Online education and certificates aren’t for everyone, however, and you have to know what to expect before you start. So, what are the pros and cons of getting your certificate online and you should go for one?
Pro – Speed and Convenience
Should you earn a certificate online or on campus? Well, first, you have to assess your current situation. If you’re the sole breadwinner of the family, going to a traditional course might not only be unrealistic, but costly as well.
The biggest benefit of online certificates is how convenient they are. You can take one that will require that you sit for classes at specific times and others that you can take on your own time. Most online programs allow you to get your qualifications much faster than with a traditional program too.
Con – Demands More Self-Discipline
You have students who were already predisposed to distance learning. These are the people who have great self-discipline and no trouble staying focused. They can also keep a schedule and remember important assignments.
Studying alone will be tougher for some than others. There are some people that will absolutely need the interaction and camaraderie of other students. It all depends on your personality type and what you expect from your student experience.
Pro – Recognition
One of the biggest concerns people have when getting a degree online is recognition. But in reality, if you take your class from a school and program that is recognized, then your diploma will be recognized too. There is no difference between an online degree and a traditional one, so don’t expect employers to know, except if you went to a school that only offers online courses.
Con – Not all Programs Are Top Quality
With that being said, not all schools have learned how to properly give online courses. This is why you have to make sure that your school is properly accredited. You should also look for programmatic accreditation specific to the degree you’re taking. You won’t find these for all certificates, but it’s always good to have.
You also want to make sure that your school has regional accreditation from a respected body before national accreditation. This will ensure that you can transfer credits. This doesn’t mean that national accreditation is useless, however. For instance, being accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission in addition to a proper regional body is a definite plus.
These are just some of the pros and cons of online certificates. We suggest you look into them in more in detail and make sure that you get as much information as possible from previous students and schools to see if they’re the right option.