Whether you’re an IT student preparing for your first job or a seasoned IT professional looking to advance in your career, one thing is for sure: if you want to succeed in tech, you must continue to grow and expand your skill set.
The industry is evolving more rapidly than ever before, and those who fail to continue their education risk falling behind their peers. On the other hand, professionals who continually grow their knowledge base position themselves for higher-paying opportunities.
But when it comes to IT education, which method of learning is the best investment of your time: online learning or classroom learning? Here’s what you need to know.
What are the Benefits of Online Learning?
The demand for online learning has grown dramatically over the past decade. Today, more than 6.3 million students are currently enrolled in at least one online course, according to an annual study by the Babson Survey Research Group. And it’s easy to see why.
Here are the top three benefits of online learning:
- It’s flexible. Online education provides opportunities for students who may not otherwise be able to enroll in a course — such as those who are working full-time or don’t live within a commutable distance of a tech school campus. Being able to learn from anywhere at any time removes the barriers presented by traditional, on-campus courses.
- It’s self-paced. Many online courses allow you to move as quickly or slowly as you’d like. Instead of worrying about falling behind or skipping ahead, you can set your own pace depending on your availability and grasp of the material.
- It’s convenient. With online courses, you’ll never have to worry about traffic, car trouble, inclement weather or any of the other challenges you might face commuting to a traditional class. You can even study in your pajamas.
What are the Challenges of Online Learning?
Of course, eLearning isn’t without a few drawbacks.
Here are the top challenges you might experience taking courses online:
- You may face technical issues. From internet connectivity problems to failed servers, as an IT pro you know there’s no end to the number of technical concerns that can muddy your online learning experience.
- There’s no face-to-face interaction. Building a relationship with your instructor and having the opportunity to ask questions in real-time can make it easier to retain material, but this isn’t always an option when taking an eCourse.
- It requires tremendous self-discipline. Sitting down to study is often the last thing most people want to do at the end of a long workday. However, in a classroom environment, the instructor sets the pace and will hold you accountable for keeping up with the workload.
Hybrid Learning: A Happy Medium
There are multiple drawbacks to both online learning and classroom learning, which is why educators have created a third option. Hybrid learning, also called blended learning, combines the benefits from each learning type to ensure students enjoy the flexibility of self-study combined with the accountability and interactivity offered in the classroom. This allows students to engage with content in a variety of ways.
In other words, when it comes to which style of learning is most useful for growing your IT skillset and advancing your career — online learning or classroom learning — the answer is simple: both.
Skillup Online offers a hybrid learning approach that combines the best of both the online and classroom learning environments. If you’re looking to take your career to the next level visit us at Skillup online and keep moving your career forward.