woman on couch looking at laptop

Online education is becoming more and more popular amongst people around the world. Although many people consider an online degree to be a lesser form of education, they would be surprised to learn that a recent study undertaken by SRI International concluded that “on average, students in online learning conditions performed better than those receiving face-to-face instruction.” Not only that, it opens up many pathways and doors for those who may not have previously considered learning again due to ease of access and generally lower cost.


  • You can work remotely and work around your other commitments.
  • The cost of courses online can often be more affordable and require less materials.
  • It is an opportunity to keep your skills up to date.
  • If you haven’t studied in a long time, it’s an easy way to transition back to a learning environment.
  • Reduced social interaction – this point may be considered a pro and con. For those who find socialising and interacting in group situations highly stressful or uncomfortable, studying online can reduce this anxiety as you can choose where you want to work from.


  • You will need access to a computer, internet and potentially other learning materials.
  • Attendance at times may still be required (mostly at university or TAFE online courses).
  • You don’t have a teacher pushing you and may not be as motivated or driven.
  • The reputation and recognition of online courses may not be comparable to physical institutes.
  • Lack of social interaction - It’s likely with an online course, you will lose the social and face-to-face collaboration that often comes with physical courses. It may reduce your confidence to work in teams.
  • Fewer courses – sometimes, online courses are limited in comparison to face to face learning, although this is becoming less the case in recent times of technology development.