Whether home study is taken to complete high school, a college degree or a continuing education certificate, the many advantages often include convenience, cost and time saved. Along with the advantages, there can be disadvantages to a remote education for some people, such as the distance learning model not being considered as good as the traditional type and the individual failing to keep to a rigid enough schedule to achieve needed marks. Yet by planning ahead and being self-motivated to succeed, it's possible for such disadvantages to not be an issue in a home study education.
Looking for accredited distance education schools and checking with future employers or university administrators about whether credits from these institutions are acceptable is easy to do before registering. The student has to conduct simple informational interviews which also can be an advantage, as they can help build contacts in an academic or career networking situation. An informational interview needn't be formal and may be done on the telephone in a few minutes time by asking a few pertinent questions. Home study is mainly considered an advantage today by many employers and educational institutions as long as courses are taken from properly accredited sources.
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Many people appreciate the self-motivation that home study requires. For instance, distance education is often self-paced, yet has set exams, so if the student doesn't keep up in the course, he or she risks not passing due to failed examinations and assignments. Home learning is advantageous in that it can help students learn new study habits and take responsibility for getting work completed on time.
Studying at home is a strong advantage for people who have family, work or other responsibilities that make it impossible to attend school traditionally. Home study continuing education is also convenient for working professionals to earn needed certificates to advance in their careers without taking time off from work. Some people consider the lack of a classroom setting and social interaction a huge disadvantage of distance learning. An advantage can be online components that include discussion forums or group projects as part of the class.
The wide range of subject options is another advantage of home learning. Courses and degree programs accredited for home study include the arts and sciences and practically everything in between. A disadvantage of taking degree programs from home is that sometimes extra, in-person classes or credits are required. For example, not all regions and countries recognize a law degree earned completely through home study.
Cost can be a big advantage in studying at home. Schools save money on overhead costs and can pass the savings onto the students. Other advantages for the students include not having to pay for transportation to and from school and helping the environment through the saving of fuel. A disadvantage in some home study programs is that students still have to attend exams in person.