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Jane McGuire

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Why study an online course

First published date March 10 2016 Amended date March 14 2016

As the world moves online, the classroom is too. Here at Hotcourses the ‘internet explorer has stopped working’ pop up spreads a wave of fear throughout the office. As we spend our days surfing the endless World Wide Web, we believe the courses we list should be as easy to access.


Don’t learn online, it’s not as well regarded

First things first, for a long time there has been a stigma surrounding online courses, often thought to be second rate to those studied in the classroom. Yet as we all become more technologically savvy, recent advances suggest this is no longer the case and it is common place for employers to accept online qualifications. 

Online courses are an option many students forget. A great way to boost skills for your CV, or study for a further qualification, the beauty of being online means the course fits around you. With competition for jobs at an all time high, employers often look for those extra skills you can pick up online; foreign languages, Photoshop and InDesign and programming and coding being the top of the wanted list.

Without the ability to press pause, for many working full time and studying is not an option. Many students agree the beauty of learning online means you can study at your own pace as and when is best for you. With no strict timetables and classes, online courses allow you to study from a distance and even complete your exams in your favourite pyjamas if you want to!

In most cases, being an online student is less of a blow to your bank balance (so no pot noodle dinners). Often coming with a cheaper price tag, studying online also means the money you would spend travelling to college or uni is yours to keep.


Stop and think!

However, before enrolling you must ask yourself a few questions. Emails are easier to avoid than a seminar tutor or group meeting and with Facebook just a tab away it is easy to get distracted, so determination is a must. If you are more procrastinator than pro active then maybe think twice.

As somewhat of a technology calamity, I have successfully broken five un-breakable apple laptops in my time. An online course is not the best option for the technophobe as your laptop will become your best friend for the foreseeable future.  Be warned - ‘my laptop wasn’t working’ will be up there with ‘my dog ate my homework’ when it comes to valid excuses. 

For many students, the temptation to stop and chat about last night’s Made in Chelsea is too much after hours of studying. Yet although learning online is indeed distraction free, other students find they work better bouncing ideas off each other. We recommend thinking about how you learn best before signing up, but remember you are not alone – with tutors and students at the click of a button. 

Jane McGuire

Jane McGuire received her BA (English) from the University of Loughborough. A yoga enthusiast with a sweet tooth, in her spare time you will probably find Jane in the gym or online shopping.