Today there is a multitude of online education and training courses and resources available, so whether you want to improve your career prospects or simply expand your mind, you are spoilt for choice.
Of course, it’s still possible to study at bricks and mortar seats of learning, and it remains a popular option for those seeking postgraduate qualifications after completing their undergraduate degrees.
If you know that you want to complete a postgraduate program, but you’re torn as to whether it’s worth making the leap to online learning over the more traditional approach, here’s an overview of the key advantages that could sway you.
1. Study from any location
One of the major selling points of the courses and programs offered by providers like RMIT Online is that you don’t have to journey to a particular place to attend seminars, access resources, take tests, or anything else that’s part and parcel of the postgraduate experience.
Instead, web-based courses truly live up to expectations in terms of making the further study available from anywhere in the world. There is a multitude of sub-benefits associated with this, including:
No need to commute
When studying online, your commute will take as long as your laptop takes to warm up. This does away with the necessity of visiting a physical college or university building, saving you hundreds of hours a year as well as cutting costs significantly.
No need to spend more on rent & other essentials
Lots of the top universities are based in big cities where the cost of living is higher than average, and so postgraduate students have to stomach the steeper rents and overall higher prices they’ll pay in this context.
With a program that’s provided purely digitally, you can stay where you are or even move to a place that’s cheaper and still get all the benefits of the program, just like any other participant.
No need to disrupt your life
Whether you commute to complete your studies or move permanently to accommodation close to the institute in question, it means making major life changes. If you’ve got a firm friendship circle or a family, this might be tricky or almost impossible to justify.
Taking classes and courses online means you can get the best of both worlds, studying hard while still being close to the people that mean the most to you.
2. Save on tuition fees
The next most relevant perk of picking a postgraduate online program is that you can expect to pay less for your tuition than you would at a land-based university or college.
While there are variations in how much you’ll be charged from place to place, the savings are still sizable in many cases, compared with the equivalent in-house course.
This all comes down to how providers are able to minimize their own expenses when offering programs via the web. Furthermore, this is a competitive market, so they can’t afford to overcharge students when it’s easy to compare tuition fees across a multitude of online courses.
Obviously, it’s not just a case of picking the cheapest course that you can find in a subject that interests you; it’s important to look at the reputation of the institution, as well as the features and inclusions that come as part of your program.
Not all online packages are created equally, so do your research and don’t rush into anything before you’re sure it matches your needs, your ambitions, and your budget.
3. Enjoy total flexibility
We already talked about how being able to study online rather than in-person is better for reducing disruption to your family and social life, but it goes deeper than just allowing you to learn from any location.
For most programs, you’ll have the option to fit your studies around the rest of your schedule, rather than having to cope with a more rigid approach than you might be expecting.
This is why plenty of people who have full-time jobs also choose to take postgraduate courses online since they can earn a living while using their free time to study.
Another positive aspect of this flexibility is that it means you can fit in different courses and programs alongside one another, without having to encompass clashes between classes.
4. Take control
Scheduling is not the only part of studying a postgraduate program online that you can control completely. Another is the option of tailoring the subjects you study and the way you absorb the information to what gels with your preferences.
In short, you are the master of your own destiny, and you don’t have to follow a narrow path that’s been set for you, but can carve your own as you see fit.
That is not to say that online studying is a completely solitary and isolating pursuit. In most cases, you’ll have classmates who are completing the same program and who are involved in the classes, seminars, discussions, and debates that are part of the process.
You’ll also have access to faculty members who are stewarding the program, and who can be called upon to answer questions, give you guidance and provide feedback.
5. Avoid compromise
Unless you get lucky, taking a postgraduate course involves some element of compromise. We have gone through many of the downsides already, including the costs and the disruption to your daily life that are inevitable.
With an online program, most if not all of these sacrifices are mitigated or eliminated altogether. From what you study to how, where and when you study it, all of these decisions are in your hands, and you don’t have to face tough choices to get where you want to go.
Arguably the hardest part of participating in online programs of study for postgraduate qualifications is actually choosing which one to pursue.
The volume of choice available is intimidating, so carrying out a lot of research and looking into your own needs first and foremost will make this less of an obstacle.