Along with many other areas of life, the internet has drastically changed the face of education and it has made actually going to school, college or university, something that is not necessarily required. Distance learning is nothing new but the internet has made it more effective, more accessible and faster than it has ever been and this has helped it to see a huge rise in the amount of people choosing this form of education. The question remains however, which is the best route to take if you are looking to boost your education or to replace it entirely.
As far as stigmas go, distance learning has always been less respected by employers than someone who has been to a brick learning institute and this is largely because of how distance learning was in the past. Opinions are changing on this front but as it stands, those who have studied at a physical learning institute, are more likely to have their degrees or qualifications valued than those who have studied online.
Despite the stigma that distance learning has, the qualifications which you receive are exactly the same as those which you could gain in a ‘real study’ environment. Degrees, diplomas and certificates are ratified by the board of education and if you are studying for the same course, it is irrelevant whether you have studied online, in a school or in a university.
The internet has enabled people to connect from all over the world and this has lead to far better and higher quality educational material existing online. Take something like the Khan Academy for instance, a free online learning tool which uses information and study materials from the world’s finest universities. In terms of the quality of the education that you will receive, there is very little difference between studying online, and actually going to an educational institute.
There are actually ore challenges for people who wish to study online as opposed to those who do not and this is because of the discipline which is required. Without the need to attend lectures and have someone constantly managing and checking your work, one must be incredibly self-disciplined to earn an education online. When you study online you will still receive a tutor and someone who is on hand to help , but it is far less hands-on than at a brick educational facility and for many, the prospect of doing it all themselves is not something which they’d like to do.
In terms of how the education is viewed by prospective employers, a brick education is still the best way to go and those who have studied online will be considered second best until opinions change. In terms of the actual education that you can receive, online methods seem to be winning in those stakes given that they use information from a wider range of sources. The answer to the question therefore is that there is not much different at all in the two methods of education.