Not too long ago, online education offered no competition to traditional education. Today, online education competes with traditional education on every level. Most traditional education experiences now have an online component that enhances the program while competing with up-and-coming online schools. With the surge in Internet usage, online schools continue to grow in their offerings and quality.

Type of Learners

Traditional education offers a face-to-face encounter; online education does not. Both options can be beneficial, depending on your preference. If you're a self-paced, independent learner, online education may be a better option for you. Self-paced, independent learners have the ability to work at their own pace within a schedule that they set for themselves. Additionally, self-paced, independent learners are usually more disciplined in terms of preparation and time management. However, if you need more direction in learning and you need to be able to ask questions as you learn, traditional education would serve you better.

Student's Knowledge of Subject

Your knowledge of the subject is an important factor in whether you choose online education vs. traditional education. If you're an expert or at least have a working knowledge about the subject, taking an online class in that subject could be beneficial. On the other hand, if you don't know anything about the subject and you have little or no background knowledge, a traditional course might be a better option for you. Many schools offer online and traditional courses that may give you the best of both worlds, or at leas the opportunity to experience both.

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Student's Personality

Your personality type can also be significant in choosing whether to pursue an online education as opposed to traditional education. Are you an introvert or an extrovert? By nature, an introvert may feel more comfortable in an online education environment because she won't have to interact in-person. She can learn in the comfort of her home, independent of others. An extrovert, on the other hand, may prefer a more social education experience and enjoy regular in-person interaction with others.

Cost Considerations

The cost of online education may cost slightly less than traditional education, but this isn't the case with all programs. Typically, online schools don't have to deal with the costs of classrooms or the upkeep of classrooms the way traditional education does, cutting operation. Housing costs for students is another expense that online education students don't have to contend with. Unless students enrolled in a traditional degree program plan on living at home, they will deal with housing costs. Additionally, online programs usually cut the transportation costs of traveling to and from school that those in online programs do not face.

Potential in Job Market

Online education is considered a viable option in education. At one time, online education wasn't considered very professional in the job market. Employers are less apprehensive about hire employees from online schools. Today, many employers hire employees with online-only degrees. Traditional education has a longer history of being acceptable by employers.

About the Author

Brenda Sanders is an educator who has taught in many capacities for over 15 years. She recently completed her doctorate in education from George Fox University. Brenda received her MAT from Pacific University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from California State University, Long Beach. She has also worked as a proofreader, editor and writer.