With university fees set to rise again and the loss of maintenance grants, getting a degree is an expensive business, but with a little self-motivation you could still get the qualification you want without spending as much money – and all from the comfort of your own home – with distance learning.
It is fair to say that distance learning was once seen as the poor relation to going to university to get your degree, but technology has changed that while the cost of traditional university has served as the impetus for many young people to seek out an alternative.
Universities are wising up to the need to provide distance learning options as students and their parents express concerns over the cost of full-time, traditional university study. As a result, the quality of distance learning has been on the rise, while technology has revolutionised distance learning when compared to what your parents may have known.
With course materials being available online, students don’t need to physically ‘go to uni’ in order to get a degree, instead being able to complete assignments and activities as you work towards your degree. Tutors are on hand to offer support, while you can even chat with fellow students using online conferencing systems, forums, tutorials and study groups. While you may not get the full ‘student lifestyle,’ distance learning no longer needs to be a lonely way to learn, while also offering some clear advantages over traditional courses.
- Study When (and Where) You Want
Rather than having to head out of the house for lectures and seminars, you can study in your own time, at your own pace and wherever you want. This flexibility is great if you don’t like getting up in the mornings (especially now winter is on the way), or if you have other commitments such as caring for someone which may make it difficult for you to go to a traditional university.
- Save Money
While there are still tuition fees to pay, you will certainly save money by opting for distance learning. With fees generally being lower there is also no need to pay the living costs associated with moving away from home. While the savings may not equal the money-saving option of taking a sponsored degree, it should definitely prove cheaper than regular university.
- Less Like School!
Studying from home means that you can avoid a classroom environment, meaning that it feels a lot less like school (if you have had enough of that by now!).
- International Learning!
A traditional university is limited by its location – you have access to the tutors and resources are actually physically there, but with distance learning you can access courses anywhere in the world as well as getting to interact with students from around the globe – all without getting out of bed!
- Quality Study
Distance learning is no longer a second-best option as quality controls mean that standards are in line with any regular university. With individual support should you need it you can get on with earning a quality degree, just as if you had taken the traditional university route.
- Choice Of Courses
Whether it is an undergraduate or postgraduate qualification that you are after, or even an MBA, there is plenty of choice with distance learning. While the choice may not be quite as large just yet, many of the courses you can find at a traditional university are available via distance learning.
Distance learning is a great option for those who feel other commitments mean they cannot take the traditional ‘going to university’ route, while also offering an alternative to the money-minded student or those who feel that they would rather stay home and study. However, there is a word of warning needed, as distance learning will require you to keep motivated.
There won’t be any tutors getting on your case and chasing up your assignments so you will need to make sure you are disciplined enough to get the work done under your own steam. Plus, if you are all about the social life, or want the steady support of having fellow students with you, then distance learning may not be the best option for you. It is always worth checking exactly where your distance learning course will take you as some courses may require a practical aspect that simply cannot be taught to you via home study. If this is the case, you might want to see if your chosen career can be reached via an apprenticeship.
Distance learning isn’t for everyone, but as an option it Is certainly worth thinking about – why not check out the range of distance learning courses that are available right now?