Are Online Courses Worth It? Know the Pros And Cons

By | March 31, 2020
Are Online Courses Worth It?

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Yes, online courses are learning portals where the education is imparted through digital means and improves the knowledge on a particular topic or subject of the student. These can be accessed through the internet and are treated as a revolution.

As it is changing the traditional education system of learning and bringing out new ways of imparting knowledge to everyone without limits and boundaries.

What does the world economic forum suggest?

The online learning is basically for certification in skills one wants to learn at home or at their institution. The survey done by the World Economic Forum has studied that students mostly prefer online courses than advanced degrees and traditional education. But in their survey, they have noticed that many people still don’t think online courses would be a replacement for or substitute for regular formal learning.

Apart from this, the forum has declared that online courses are very helpful for learners to study from a varied perspective. It is different and digitised and advanced.

This type of learning is meant for all and will help the poor to learn through online courses. And their major focus being quality education through sustainable development has drawn attention towards enhancing online courses to reach their goal.[1]

Will it be helpful for teachers too?

A teacher here is meant to be one who teaches any particular subject or topic or field of study. It is studied by “The Education World Forum”. Will online courses or virtual learning help the teachers anyway? Yes, they have studied that there is a shortage of teachers worldwide, and it might be due to whatever reasons, and the only way to meet that shortage was to study through online course learning.

Virtual learning is the way to connect to the best teachers around the world and the learning imparted through such teachers holds a higher value. Thus, the online course studying or learning is helpful for teachers as well as learners.[2]

Advantages of online course learning

Many students nowadays follow the craze of learning through online courses. Is it actually reliable or not? Let us see what are the advantages of the online course learnings-

1. Get a boost to your CV or Resume

So, when you want to apply for an internship or for a job, the first and foremost thing you do is to make your CV or resume impressive. And the online courses are such additions which will give it a boost. This shows that you have a broader learning scope and interests which will make it look fancy.

2. Impress the job offeror/ HR

So, as I said earlier when you have applied for many online courses there can be two results – one it might display your interests and make your job prospects know you better and the other one, your enthusiasm to learn apart from what is taught in your classroom and this will impress the job offeror. This is definitely a plus point for you in terms of career prospects.

3. Enhances your image in social media platforms

So, the social media platforms which are being discussed must be business-focused like the one “LinkedIn”. For those who have already got their job or well settled, it is useful for them to enhance their LinkedIn profiles and develop your personality, learning skills etc. This will also help you when you are aiming at promotion or for higher rank.

4. Beyond What Is Taught Within Four Walls of Institution

Yes, so students who prefer to learn it through online courses are definitely such students who are willing to go a step ahead. Online courses learning is beyond what you learn in your colleges, university etc. It is different from traditional learning mode and advances digital learning skills in students.

5. Online learning is comfortable and easy

The people who are facing problems to go and enrol for learning a course can now do so by studying these online courses.

It is helpful for those who are unable to go to an institution and learn. Students who are pursuing a degree in one stream but have interests in other fields can also learn their subjects of interest through online courses at the institution where they are and need not sacrifice one for another.

Simultaneously these courses can be pursued along with what is being taught at your institution. So, one can learn whatever they want and whenever they want.

6. Costs are cheaper when compared to the traditional education system

The traditional education systems charge a lot for each specified courses and are of course limited. But whereas online courses are various in number, they have no limits to subjects and are also available at rates which are cheaper than what is charged at a traditional education system institute.

Thus, it is easier for those who cannot spend a lot on their subjects of interest and can learn through online courses at a lower cost. Education has no barrier and the one which was the financial requirement is also brushed out by the provision of online course learning facilities.

Drawbacks of Online Courses: What must be Improved?

There are many pros to online course learning but are also having a few disadvantages. Online courses are truly a potential to make you ready and confident to learn anything new and different but what can become a disadvantage and how it can be changed, is discussed below-

1. It cannot be a substitute to a regular degree: fault of the traditional education system?

Although there are many benefits if we learn online courses, they are always seen as any other curricular activities but cannot replace the value of a regular degree. This is due to our traditional education system, where the technology is lacking.

The world is technologically growing and so needs the education system to be. There must be a development of learning methods so that the students can bring out their new skills and learning shall be made easy.

Further, the students must prefer reliable sources for procuring online courses as not all websites provide for good courses. Some may be a fraud and some may be too basic at imparting knowledge on that topic. So it is required to choose a good and reliable source for online courses.

2. Lack of Practical Knowledge

The courses provided online will give one immense information about a topic or a field but may not be able to help in the practical application of that knowledge. So the student or anyone learning through online courses must know the practical application of the same for a better grip on that subject.

Further, this practical knowledge is tested out by your job offerors, because merely reading materials and passing a test will not be able to replace the value of a regular degree. And this kind of experience is what adds on to your skillset.

Thus, there is no harm in investing for online course learning if the courses are provided by authentic sources. The worldwide view has chosen an online method of learning for diversifying their scope of learning.

Contributed By- Harika Tejavath


[1] Jiyuan Yu & Zi Hu, ‘Is online learning the future of education?’ (World Economic Forum, 2 Sept, 2016) <https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/09/is-online-learning-the-future-of-education/> accessed 30 March 2020

[2] Gavin McLean, ‘How can virtual schooling help with tackling teacher shortages in order to achieve sustainable development goal 4?’ (The Education World Forum, 6 Dec 2019) <https://www.theewf.org/research/2019/how-can-virtual-schooling-help-with-tackling-teacher-shortages-in-order-to-achieve-sustainable-development-goal-4> accessed 30 March 2020


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Author: Mayank Shekhar

Mayank is a student at Faculty of Law, Delhi University. Under his leadership, Legal Bites has been researching and developing resources through blogging, educational resources, competitions, and seminars.