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Traditional Vs. Online Learning: Is one better than the other?

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The Internet made knowledge more easily accessible to everyone in the past decade. But in the past two years, it has grown even more in popularity. On one hand, because of the pandemic, online learning was the only option, but on the other hand, it is easily accessible and cheaper.

Some say that online learning is just a front, that it doesn’t get to the depth of the learning subject matter. They state that it doesn’t prepare the students well enough for the working environment and that it sells false confidence. Supporters of online learning point out that traditional learning puts a massive price tag on learning, it lures unsuspected youths into excessive debt with little to show for it.

So, which one is best then?

Whether you learn online or traditionally it depends on your specific needs. The main focus is, how much money are you willing to spend for your education?

Yes, traditional learning comes with a high price tag but for some titles and jobs, you need that close and in-depth learning experience. For professions that are highly specific, you need an environment that is focused solely on that topic, and which will provide you with the right books, equipment, and teachers. And also having a B.A., M.A., or Ph.D. next to your name on your resume when applying for a job doesn’t hurt.

But for a majority of professions having that traditional school type of learning is not necessary and you can do it through online courses, at your own pace and time.

You can moderate your learning experience depending on your skill level (beginner, intermediate, and advanced), what kind of learner are you (visual, auditory, kinesthetic, or reading), how motivated you are to learn a certain topic, and how much time you have (full-time or part-time, only on weekends), what materials you need and how to get them, and so on.

Learning online has many perks, not just the money side because some online courses even online can be quite pricy as well. But the flexibility of a certain online course is the one thing that lures you in, in the first place. You have the say when, how much, and for how long you’ll be learning and studying. In a traditional setting, there is no such option, you get a schedule of classes that you must attend if you wish to pass. When learning online you decide all that.

There is one crucial thing that online learning lacks still. Not all the classes and not all the programs are recognized when applying for a specific job. You can have an M.A. from a certain online school but if that school is not recognized it’s not valid and you might not get the job solely based on where you got your education from.

As a graphic designer, I didn’t acquire my education traditionally mostly because I can’t afford it. I learned it on my own, created learning schedules and websites to learn from, and have gotten a few certificates from verified online schools, but when it comes to applying for jobs in that department in my own country just because I don’t have a B.A. or M.A. from a traditional college I don’t get picked. They don’t even look at my portfolio just because my resume states what schooling I have, which is just a finished high school.

Technically it shouldn’t matter, what should matter is if you can do the job and not what school you went to.

In my opinion, it shouldn’t matter which fancy school you went to but what you’ve learned from it and if you can use that in real life. Also, having finished education in one field doesn’t matter you’re done learning about it. Even if you’ve done all your traditional schooling the learning process of the field you entered should never stop because the world constantly changes and evolves, and so should you.

“The ones that succeed are the ones that constantly learn something new each day.”

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