Overall, having the option to earn a college education online offers aspiring college students the opportunity to improve or enhance their career and possibly further their future. These days, taking online college courses is part of a student’s regular curriculum. Whether you chose to enroll in college and earn your college degree part time or 100% online, there are some pros and cons to online studying. The administrative team at Florida National University (FNU) wants you to be well aware of all the pros and cons that are related to pursuing an online college education.
The Pros of Taking Online College Classes
- Online classes offer more flexibility.
Because classes are offered online, depending on the course, there is no set time to sit down and take a lesson. Most online courses are already prescheduled. The syllabus is uploaded and it’s up to the student to manage his or her time. For many students, especially non-traditional ones, this is a convenient way to juggle personal, professional, and academic responsibilities. Online students will have the flexibility to schedule class time in a way that works around their lifestyle, not the other way around.
- Work while earning a college degree.
One of the main reasons many students might delay earning a college degree is because they still have to generate income. Not everyone has the option of quitting his or her job and jumping into full-time academia. With the option of online courses, it has now become much easier for professionals to earn a college education. Professionals can take their laptop to work and use their lunch hours to work on a class in the cafeteria or local coffee shop with Wi-Fi services. Many spend a considerable amount of time commuting to work. Those who use public transportation have been known to sneak in some coursework during such downtimes. Even while you’re on vacation, you can take time to invest in some online coursework!
- Play a college sport while taking online courses.
Student athletes can certainly benefit from taking online courses. Sports are very demanding and require hours of training leaving it to be quite a challenge to complete any quality coursework. The flexibility that online courses offer is a perfect learning vehicle for student athletes. Each student can arrange class time around practice and game time.
- Study anywhere you want.
You don’t necessarily have to be a working professional or student athlete to take advantage of the flexibility that that online courses offer. If you don’t prefer to sit in a traditional classroom setting, then go anywhere you want! Furthermore, these days, you don’t necessarily have to go to an establishment with Wi-Fi. Many mobile carriers provide a personal hotspot service that allows you secure Wi-Fi service.
- Eliminate commute time!
Students can spend anywhere between 5-12 hours a week commuting. With online classes, all or most of that time can be dedicated toward academia. Think about how much coursework you could get done!
Are You Ready for Online Learning?
The Cons of Taking Online College Classes
- No virtual class setting.
With online studying, you’re working independently. You won’t have the camaraderie of fellow students to chat with or help you work through certain assignments that you may have trouble with. Of course, you’ll be able to conduct online chats with some students, but it kind of takes out the personal approach that you’d get through a traditional classroom setting. Furthermore with independent studying, the likelihood of participating in group projects is slim. Being able to approach issues through teamwork is a strong skillset to have as it is imperative to almost any work environment. Also, while you have the advantage to contact your professor at the stroke of a key, you eliminate the option of having personal face time with him or her.
- There will be limited to access good technology.
For some online courses, it is left up to you to provide your own technology and it must be updated so that you can download the coursework. This might be a huge issue for some students. If you plan on investing in a college education, especially online, then make sure that you budget for the necessary tools to help you succeed. FNU has an online training center for our students who could use the right technological tools.
- You might be enrolling in a non-accredited program.
There are hundreds of online degree programs that are not accredited. This is something you need to be aware of. While you may certainly learn the tools and tricks of the trade with some online programs, the credits that you earn might not be transferrable to other universities. This is because it may not be accredited, and accredited educational institutions will not accept credits from colleges that aren’t. What that means for students is that they may have to start their academic career from scratch—and end up paying more money for an education.
As an FNU student, you won’t have to worry about that. Our university is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award master, bachelor, and associate degrees.
- You’ll miss out on the campus experience.
College life isn’t all about academic work—well, a large majority of it is, but it’s actually the campus environment, college clubs, and the camaraderie of school pride that’s developed over the years between students, professors, administrators, and staff that create memorable college experience. Taking online classes can distance you from such things.
- You might not be able to earn your degree 100% online.
Depending on what kind of degree you want to pursue, it’s possible that you’ll not be able to earn your college degree 100% online. Some classes will require lab courses and work that must be fulfilled outside of the classroom like our nursing degree programs that require a certain credit hours of clinical work.
So now that you have a better understanding of what the pros and cons are to taking online classes, view our online curriculum to see what kind of degree programs might interest you. Then contact an FNU advisor to get the enrollment process started today!