General Education

Is Online Learning Right for Me?

Is Online Learning Right for Me?
Image from
Maria Nero profile
Maria Nero August 10, 2020

Let's take a look at some pros and cons.

Noodle Programs


Noodle Courses

Article continues here

Online learning has been the best option for me, personally. I love where I live and I do some freelance work on the side. I can set my schedule due to no class times, just deadlines. However, it takes discipline and time management skills to make sure that your learning does not slip. As this kind of learning environment is not suitable for everyone, let’s briefly take a look at some things you should consider before making the decision.


Flexible schedule.

It is not uncommon for people to have to work or take care of children while they are in school. Because the majority of online courses do not have class times to check into, you can always do your homework and participate in discussions when it works for you. This also allows you to have more time to focus on your interests and experiential opportunities to further your career.

Saves money.

While tuition cost is still the same for online and in-person courses, you can enjoy significant savings on commuting and housing. Some online masters programs are even 1-year long as opposed to the common 2-year track.

You are still able to interact with professors and classmates.

You will rarely see an online class that does not have a discussion component in the curriculum. This allows you to expand your knowledge, challenge viewpoints, and maintain connections with your peers. I find that assignments, where discussion is not required, tend to limit my understanding of the material because I only see my viewpoint.


Time management and discipline.

These two skills are essential if you not only want to finish the course but get something out of it, too. Although you gain more time for your studies with no commute, it is quite easy to lose track and realize you have less time to do readings and assignments than you thought. I certainly did not go into graduate school having mastered these skills, so I do not want to discourage anyone who currently struggles with this. However, it is important to be cognizant of how you plan to succeed in your coursework.

Minimal peer and professor interaction.

As mentioned above, you will see discussion-based assignments throughout online coursework, and sometimes this can be enough for students. It is important to address it as a challenge, however, because some people thrive in a classroom setting and study groups. If you have the opportunity to take an online course without having to commit to a fully online program, it would be a good opportunity to learn if it is something that can work for you.

You are completely reliant on the internet.

I know this sounds a little silly, as the internet is prevalent in in-person learning, too. Since I have started my graduate career, I have lost wifi, had a power outage for over 24 hours, and had issues with my laptop due to my cat walking on it. There is no option to physically hand in an assignment when things go wrong, so it is important to always be prepared.

While I do miss campus life and being around people, I need an environment that can adapt to changes. We all lead busy lives and want to make decisions that help guide the path to our most desired career. Online learning has become an incredible and convenient vessel to do just that while encouraging a quality work-life balance.

Want to become a Noodle contributor? Email:  


Noodle Courses


Noodle Programs