Online Courses vs Traditional Courses

Online Courses vs Traditional Courses

Online Courses vs Traditional Courses

When it comes to education, we usually think of traditional courses at a college. But what about online courses? Let’s find out how traditional courses compare to online courses.

Online courses are generally more affordable and are more widely available that traditional courses. Traditional courses typically come with a big price tag, and require that you learn in the classroom. Online courses are internet based, while traditional courses are typically classroom based.

History Of Courses

Traditional courses have certainly been around much longer than online courses. In more recent years, traditional education has become the most mainstream form of education. Many jobs are requiring that you have a “college degree” to be considered for a position at their company.

However, since roughly 2017, online courses have begun making an appearance in the education space. These courses are internet based and available to anyone who wants to enroll. These online courses are typically found on websites like Udemy and Skillshare, who started their rise in roughly 2009.

What Is An Online Course?

Online courses are classes taught through the internet, and often are forms of distance learning. As the rise of the internet has begun, this type of course is becoming more and more common.

Because these courses are internet based, they are taught (and uploaded to the internet) once and then students can enroll and consume the class content indefinitely. This allows online courses to avoid the typical cost of compensating a professor each time the class is taught, and the cost associated with renting a classroom.

With online courses, students can enroll from anywhere in the world, consume the class content at their own pace and from the convenience of their home or anywhere with internet.

What Is A Traditional Course?

Traditional courses are classroom based classes taught by an accredited university. Some universities are beginning to offer their typical in-person classes as online courses.

Because these courses are taught by an accredited university, they come with a high price tag. Upon completing the universities pre-set curriculum of courses, students receive a universally recognized “degree”.

These “degrees” are often required by employers for prospective employees to be considered for a position at the company.

Advantages Of Online Courses

Online courses have some very large advantages when compared to traditional courses.

Cost Effective. Low cost online courses are only about $10, which make them very affordable when compared to the alternatives.

Convenient. Online courses are internet based, and can be watched anytime and anywhere with an internet connection.

Money Back Guarantee. Most online courses come with a risk free money back guarantee, making it a completely risk free investment.

Precise Information. When browsing online courses, you can see the course curriculum and what will be taught in that course. This allows you to purchase a course that covers exactly what you are interested in learning.

Fact Checked. On learning platforms like Udemy and Skillshare (and all the courses recommended on all courses are fact checked and reviewed for quality before ever being available for sale.

Student Reviews. Being able to see the reviews of the online course you are considering enrolling in from previous students, proves to be very helpful in finding a great online course.

Disadvantages Of Online Courses

No Grade. When you go to college, you have to “pass” the class to get credit. When you take an online course, there is no grading, so it’s up to you to pay attention and learn the information presented! There will be no professor to hold you accountable, this is definitely a pro and a con.

Bad Quality. Some online courses don’t pack a lot of value in them. The good news is that most online courses come with a 30 day money back guarantee so you can get a full refund if you find yourself in a lacking online course. This is where we come in: at we review and recommend the top online courses for each learning category.

No Degree. Upon completion of a traditional college curriculum, you receive a formal “degree” that is universally recognized. However, upon completing online courses, you typically receive a “certificate of completion” but it is not universally recognized like a college degree. With that said, you may learn far more with online courses than a traditional college education (for employers, you may look like the more appealing candidate if you have more skills and experience, even without a formal “degree”).

Advantages Of Traditional Courses

Traditional courses also come with a few big advantages when compared to online courses.

Accreditation. Traditional courses offer a “degree” upon the completion of the universities pre-set course curriculum. This “degree” is universally recognized, and often required by employers to be considered for a position at their company.

Networking. Being able to converse, in-person, with other students who are learning the same information can often lead to beneficial long-term business connections.

Disadvantages Of Traditional Courses

Cost. The biggest disadvantage of traditional courses is the high price tag that comes along with them. The reason for the high cost is because of the universally recognized “degree” that follows completion of the course curriculum. However, with more companies moving towards hiring skill rather than degree, this could be changing in the future!

In-Person. For traditional courses that do not offer online courses, this is inconvenient because it requires you be in a classroom at a specific time each week. Things to consider are commute time, opportunity cost, and missed hours at work or with family.

Time. Traditional courses are set on a timeline, typically 16 weeks, meeting 1, 2, or 3 times per week. It is typically 3 hours of meeting time per week (if meeting 1 time per week, the class is 3 hours long, if meeting 3 times per week, the classes are 2 hour each). Because traditional courses are spread over a specified timeline, it will take longer to learn the information as opposed to learning at your own pace with online courses.

The Bottom Line: Online Courses vs Traditional Courses

Overall, online courses and traditional courses both have their benefits and drawbacks. As technology continues to advance, it’s likely that online courses will become more common than traditional courses.

With online courses being more affordable, and more convenient, they are the better option for learning. However, traditional courses offer the universally recognized “degree” that online courses do not.

The trend is showing that traditional universities are moving more towards turning their in-person courses into online courses. These will offer the best of both worlds (convenient and a degree) but will still come with the high price tag associated with traditional education.

Browse the most recommended online courses and learn valuable information on a budget (and a 30 day money back guarantee).