Is Online College Good?Here we look at the pros and cons of online college for mechanics. Mechanic school can be tough in person, is it better online?
Why Online College?
There are so many things that can keep us from attending a traditional school. Whether you are a full-time mom, share a car with your siblings, or simply need to work while attending college. All of these and so much more can stop us from enrolling into a ground-campus program. Only you know your exact situation, so think about what is holding you back.
Some situations demand a remote or online solution. Fortunately, we live in a time where we can learn almost anything from the comforts of our own homes. This is where online college can step-in to save the day and it is with thousands of students. With pros such as flexibility, price, furthering certain personal skills, and others, online college can be an attractive option. Keep in mind though, there are downsides like minimal social interaction, elongated program times, risk of scams, and more.
So, is online college good? Here we will look at all of the pros and cons of online college:
Types of Online College Programs
Before you begin comparing online and traditional programs, you should first see if being a mechanic is for you. Then, it is important to address differences between online programs. Here we will look at the two types of online college programs before looking at the pros and cons of college.
With fully online programs, you will not ever step foot on a ground campus. This does not mean these schools are only online. They may have ground campuses but the specific program you are in will only utilize a virtual campus.
A hybrid will mix between online courses and ground courses. Each school and even programs will structure these differently. Some may have strict online courses and ground courses while some may blend online and traditional within the same course.
Pros of Online College
Price of Online College
It is well known that online programs are often cheaper than traditional courses. This is because students often do not need to purchase as many materials or textbooks for online courses. Along with that, many ground campus courses have hidden fees for using the physical facilities. Always make sure this is the case. Some programs can be more expensive online so always do your research!
Although technology can benefit both online and traditional courses, it is a large pro for online courses. In the case of fully online programs, technology can truly enhance your learning and make your education more personal to you. For example, some online programs allow students to make their own schedules rather than sticking to traditional semesters. This means you can start a semester of work today and finish it tomorrow if you can complete all of the curriculum requirements!
Flexibility of Course Schedule
Perhaps one of the biggest draws to online college is the flexibility it provides to students. Whether you live far from the closest school, are often traveling, or work a full-time job, online courses are always there for you. So, you can do your classwork while you are at a coffee shop in the middle of nowhere or at 2:00am in the comfort of your home. Whatever your situation, online college is accommodating.
Something that can be taught in traditional college but is extremely prevalent in online college is learning self-discipline. Without self-discipline, your degree will get nowhere. For example, if you are in a program that allows you to go at your own pace, you could end up taking courses much longer than you would in a traditional program. This will not only cost you more money, but it will inhibit your learning. So, to be successful you have to have discipline.
Cons of Online College
No Social Interaction
One of the biggest downsides to online college is the lack of social interaction. Although for some this may seem nice, we all need some social interaction. One of the places many of us gain social interaction is in school. Take that out and we are often left without any avenues to interact. Along with that, apart from mental and physical health, social interaction improves our education!
Hard to Find a Quiet Space
Whether you are a parent going back to school or a student saving money by living at home, it can be quite hard to find a quite learning space. When in a traditional program, these are built all over the place in classrooms, libraries, study rooms, etc. Unfortunately, not all of our homes have a designated quiet space. Therefore, it can be extremely distracting trying to take classes from home. Most people learn best when they have an undisturbed, designated study spot and this can be tough to find.
Scams and Poor Education
Because of the lack of face-to-face interaction, there has been a significant increase in educational scams focusing on online students. Even if the school is legit, that does not mean their online program will be good. One major reason is because many college’s own faculty are not sure about online education. This puts immense pressure on you to find the right school. Feel free to reach out to us for help!
Lack of Focus on Degree
One reason many people decide to go into an online program is because they simply do not have enough time to attend traditional college. Unfortunately, this hinders the learning experience for them in an online program. Although online college fits to your schedule much better, this does not mean it won’t take more time out of your day. If you do not give it as much time as it requires, you will either float by not learning much or you will fail classes causing a higher cost in the program.
Things to Consider for Online College
- Accreditation, Accreditation, Accreditation. You must make sure that the school you are planning to attend online is accredited. Otherwise, you can waste years and thousands of dollars on an education that will get you nowhere.
- Beware of scams like diploma factories. There are countless schools on the web that are easy to get a degree if you pay the right price. These are not accredited schools and your diploma will simply be a piece of paper.
- Do not brush off reputation. Reputation is given to certain schools for a reason. Most reputation is legit so keep this in mind. If a school is solely an online school, they might not be super trustworthy. Make sure you do your research!
- Will you have access to actual humans? Something many do not consider when looking into online college is what interaction you’ll be able to have with real people. It is important for a school to have actual people available to you!
Should Mechanics take Online College?
So, our recommendation is to only take online college for mechanic school if it is accompanying an apprenticeship or some sort of hands-on training.
Without hands-on training, mechanic school online will be extremely difficult and you may not learn much. So, if you are starting an apprenticeship and wanting extra theoretical learning, online college may be for you. This will allow you to be an apprentice during the day and take classes from home at night. A great option for an aspiring mechanic!
Explore More Resources for Mechanics
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When starting out your automotive training, you will need a nice tool set to get you off the ground. These are the best beginner mechanic tools.