If you’re looking for a degree to enhance your market knowledge, you’ve probably considered an online degree. Perhaps you’ve heard of massive open online courses, or know someone who’s completed them. With almost infinite courses available online, the ability to learn at one’s own pace and in one’s own home, the convenience of taking a class when you want and how you want, the flexibility of an online degree—all these are attractive propositions.
But what about the quality of education? Is it worth it, to learn marketing online vs. face-to-face? Let’s take a look.
Quality And Flexibility
When comparing the quality and flexibility of online vs. traditional learning, one must consider the significant difference in the two environments. While it’s certainly possible to learn just as much (and perhaps even more) from an online degree as you can from a face-to-face degree, there is a lot to consider before making the switch.
Traditional learning entails student-teacher interaction and a community-based environment. In most cases, students will log on to a course website each week and engage with the teacher via a messaging system or via a virtual classroom. Forums and assignments will be posted by the teacher, and students will generally need to communicate with each other in order to complete the assignments.
In contrast, an online degree is delivered completely independently of face-to-face interaction. Students generally interact with the instructor via a messaging system or via a virtual learning environment where they can engage in real-time discussions with peers and seek help when needed. Course websites will usually contain some sort of virtual learning environment which offers all the content that the student will need in order to complete their degree and which also provides a forum for students to engage with each other and with the instructor. While some courses do exist in a completely online format, the majority of classes are still organized around discussions with a live instructor who will often guide the students through problem-solving and offer help when needed.
Peer-to-peer vs. Instructor-led Learning
Another significant difference between online and traditional learning is the instructor-led vs. peer-to-peer learning. In a traditional setting, students will generally be interacting with the teacher and other students in a collaborative learning environment where both students and teachers will be contributing to the overall learning process. While some courses allow for much more independent study and even allow for group work, courses usually include regular meetings with the instructor where students can get answers to questions and engage in problem-solving activities. In many cases, assignments and projects will be due at the end of each week and will be marked by the instructor. The student will then have to turn in their work online or via email.
In an online degree, learning is more independent and largely based on the ability of the student. While the teacher certainly has the ability to provide additional support and guidance, the vast majority of learning in an online degree is conducted via self-guided study. In many cases, students can become a little bit (or a lot) overloaded with study materials and may require some additional support in order to ensure that they are properly prepared for class. However, as long as they maintain good grades, students can generally move along at their own pace without any hindrance. In most cases, teachers are available via email or a private messaging system to provide support and guidance when needed.
One of the primary reasons why many individuals and institutions are turning to online degrees is due to the cost-effective nature of the learning. While tuition fees for a traditional degree may not be significantly lower than that of an online degree, the continued decline of the pound and the rising costs of living make expensive travel to and from campus as well as day-to-day living costs all but necessary. Online degrees also make it possible for people and institutions that cannot otherwise afford to send students to campus for instruction. In many cases, online degrees provide an economically viable alternative for people who want to increase their market knowledge but who cannot otherwise afford to do so.
Another significant benefit of studying online is that it can dramatically reduce your overall costs of education. While the savings may not seem significant at first blush, if you’re regularly skipping meals and accommodation out of state, the ability to save a significant sum of money is quite noticeable. In many cases, individuals and institutions can secure in-state tuition fees for their loved ones and save thousands of pounds per year. In the long term, the potential to save thousands of pounds each year outweighs the increased cost of an online degree and can make an already good investment quite the wise one.
With more and more individuals pursuing online degrees each year, many employers will be looking for qualified candidates who have undertaken this type of learning. Having an online degree will certainly give you a distinct advantage when it comes to getting a job and being considered for higher-level positions. In many cases, employers are likely to see online study as a sign of dedication and drive, as well as a willingness to learn new things and adapt to changed circumstances. In the right circumstances, an employer may even provide additional support and incentives for prospective students pursuing an online degree.
Individuals who graduate with a marketing degree will be in high demand, and for good reason. From a purely economic perspective, a degree in marketing can be a sound investment, especially if you’re looking to advance your career. In many cases, a marketing degree will give you the basic skills needed to start your own business or to pursue a career in corporate marketing, advertising, or public relations. Depending on your interests, you may find that a marketing degree is the perfect stepping stone to start your own agency or business.
For those who want to increase their market knowledge but who do not necessarily want to study economics or business, a degree in marketing can offer a reduced feeling of loneliness. By understanding others’ needs and desires, you will be able to identify problems and provide solutions. In many cases, people who study marketing will find that the course materials are easily applicable to their daily lives. They may even find that they enjoy the learning, particularly if they’re looking to better understand their own needs and wants. In most cases, students will enjoy the flexibility of completing their studies online because it allows them to fit around their work and social schedules.
In summary, while there are significant advantages to studying marketing online, you should not necessarily view this learning format as a replacement for a traditional face-to-face degree. Instead, it should be viewed as an additional option that may appeal to certain students or certain situations. As long as you’re making the right decision for you, your family, and your future, you can’t go wrong.