Home Student & Career Tips The Pros and Cons of Online Courses

The Pros and Cons of Online Courses

This article contains detailed information on the pros and cons of online courses.

How To Get the University Experience as a Distance Learning Student

With technology, studying have been made easy through online courses but then again have you taken time to consider the pros and cons? Going by the name, I believe we all know what online courses are? Few years back, online courses were not as rampant and recognized as they are today. Everybody wanted to have a feel of University experience regardless of the cost and so, online courses were not so common.

Asides having that University experience, most people looked down on the authenticity of getting a degree through such means but as time went on, due to different challenges hindering people from getting a university degree, online courses have become the solution for such Individuals.

With online courses on the increase, “I don’t have money to get an Admission, there’s nobody to take care of my children, I can’t be working and going to school simultaneously, I’m too old to sit in class with my younger ones” etc, is no more an excuse for not getting a degree. All thanks to technology, all that excuse has been curbed by the availability of online courses.

While it is a good avenue to get a degree, it also has its advantages and disadvantages over the traditional classroom experience.

While there are some individuals who haven’t come to accept the idea of online courses, there are others who find that idea invaluable and are ever grateful for its existence. Well, human wants differ.

Are you considering going for an online course but not yet convinced? I’m certain that reading this article will help you make a final decision on whether or not to go for it.

Below are the Pros and cons of Online Courses.


1. Learning Is Flexible

Online course

The very interesting thing about online courses is its flexibility. In a world filled with choking schedules, online courses give you the opportunity to fit your daily life activities and schedules into learning as well.

It gives you the opportunity to study at your own pace and time without fear of missing lectures but you must have it in mind that you’re expected to meet up with deadlines.

2. Lower Cost

The cost of being a campus student can be very discouraging, especially for those who are not financially capable. You think of spending on accommodation, feeding, transportation etc, but with an online course, it’s a different ball game.

You need not to worry over much spending because whatever you may spend can not be compared to the cost of being a campus student. So, this is an advantage of online courses

3. No need to Commute

Another advantage of online courses is that it saves one the stress of travelling and moving from house to school.

With online courses, no need rushing to beat traffic on the road, no need to panic ongoing late for lectures. You take your lectures from any location. This saves cost.

4. Ease of Access

Unlike studying in campus settings, online courses can be assessed from any location. All that is required is a PC and sometimes an internet-connected phone. The course materials, assignments, lectures are very accessible online. Some are sent via email.

5. Shorter Duration

Online courses take a shorter time to complete. For individuals who dread the idea of being tied in University for 4 years or more, online courses are your best bet.

6. It is open to all Ages

One good thing about online courses is that it accommodates all age ranges. There are individuals who detest the idea or better still, not proud of sitting in the same classroom with younger counterparts, without courses, you don’t have to worry about that.

All thanks to online courses, the excuse of “I’m too old to go to school” is nothing to worry about.


1. Lack of One-on-One Interactions

Online courses do not give room for one on one interaction between students are lecturers.

Unlike the traditional setting where students have the opportunity to interact with lecturers and their peers, ask questions when necessary, have a discussion or group study class, online students do not have this privilege.

As a result of this, some online students are left to use their discretion to carry out tasks when instructions are not clearly understood. Sometimes, the only way out is to create an online group chat, which is not always reliable as answers to urgent questions may not be timely.

If you are a student who learns faster through one on one interaction, being an online student may not be a good choice.

2. Time Management Issues

No doubt that online courses are flexible in nature but the flexibility is also a disadvantage for students who can not manage time properly.

As an online student, it is pertinent to have time management skills, learn to schedule and meet up with lectures, assignments etc, else you may just have issues with your courses. However, coping with online courses require personal discipline.

3. It doesn’t cover some Professional COurses

Not all courses are covered online. Online programs are restricted to some courses, requiring less practicals.

As a student with the Intention of studying Medicine and Surgery, Nursing Science, Marine Engineering and the likes, these courses and more, are not offered online.

4. Lack of Traditional School Experience

Speaking of traditional school settings, we are referring to any school setting that’s not online related.

There is this common statement “Passing through school and school through a person”. Oftentimes, students are advised not to only pass through school but also allow school pass through them.

Breaking down this statement, there are experiences that campus students are expected to have outside the normal academic curriculum. There are real-life experiences a campus setting should instil in a student in preparation for the outside world.

For instance, there are things I only got to learn and experience while in school. For those that stay off-campus, the experience is enormous.

Online students do not have such experiences. The campus life experience is the major reason most students consider online courses a disadvantage. Everyone, especially youths, want to have a feel of campus life.

5. Lack of Social Interactions

Going to school gives one the opportunity to socialize and connect with others. Many individuals have made wonderful friends from school days. Some got connected by some of these friends they met from way back in school.

While the normal campus setting creates room for social interaction, as an online student, there is little or no room for this. This is another reason students find online programs to be very boring.

6. Reputation

The society we’re in barely recognizes and values online education and certifications. This is the reason why many firms and institutions do not give much recognition to online degree holders.

In most cases, when a University graduate and an online graduate are seeking a job in the same organization, the employer tends to go for the University graduate.

Until society accepts and begins to see online education just as other conventional schools, online students will continue to be disregarded as against their University contemporaries.

7. Chances of enrolling into an unaccredited program is high

There are numerous online programs available these days. While some are regionally accredited, there are others that are not and as a result, people tend to fall victim of such unaccredited programs.

It is important to make background research before enrolling for online programs.

8. It contributes little or nothing to the character of the student

Have you ever taken the time to go through the degree certificate of a university graduate? In it, you will see a remark like “Found worthy in both character and learning”.

This is so because University is supposed to shape her students not only academically but character-wise too. There are students that entered school as very uncultured and mannerless and upon graduation, they became better individuals.

While I was in the University, I had lots of disciplined lecturers in my department. This idea of “a student is free to do whatever they like”doesn’t work for them. I had lecturers who students dare not dress irresponsibly to their lectures, countless times, such untamed students were walked out from lectures, some missed tests because of one misconduct or the other.

Online students do not pass through this character refining process because of the nature of the program. Lecturers do not have personal encounters with the students and as such have no influence over the character of the students.

Online courses are certainly not meant for everyone, but it gives everyone equal opportunity to upgrade educationally except for those that are not interested in school.


In Conclusion, having stated the Pros and Cons of online courses, you have no reason to remain confused on whether or not to go for online courses.

This article is a simple guide to help you make informed decisions to either study through the traditional means or online.

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