By Published On: September 19, 2014

The learning process is complicated and choosing a program can be difficult when you’re not aware of the pros and cons of different types of programs. Whether you prefer in-person or, online courses, they each have their respective benefits and challenges.

Hands-On Courses


  • Face time with instructors
  • Collaboration with peers
  • Discussions are more impromptu
  • Follows a more structured routine
  • Retaining a message is easier when multiple senses are tapped
  • Typically smaller class sizes


  • Working around a schedule and outside responsibilities
  • Typically higher cost
  • Large amount of time to invest
  • Geographic limitations
  • Social anxiety for a portion of people

Online Courses


  • Convenient when there are responsibilities outside the class
  • Cost is typically lower (especially when transportation and room and board are taken into consideration)
  • Less anxiety for individuals when writing a comment in a forum
  • Some courses are free (see MOOC for details)


  • Since online courses are still relatively new – instructors are still working on an effective way to deliver curriculums
  • Perceived value is lower
  • Discerning important content in the course for tests is more difficult
  • Harder to get one-on-one time with the instructor

If you are interested in the subject it probably doesn’t matter what route you take. You will have fun learning about something you care about and come out of the course with a perspective or piece of knowledge that you didn’t have before. The best part about learning is that we can always keep learning.

About the Author: Tim Swenson

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