Education is useless

“Bad and Useless”: Debunking Myths About Online Education

Professions, skills and knowledge that were in demand a few years ago may be irrelevant today.

Constant self-development, additional training and the improvement of your skills help to stay on the same wavelength with what is happening: All of this is necessary to keep up with the dynamic pace of life and not to appear out of date on the job market. However, education in the classic sense cannot always fulfill this wish due to its long duration: some professions may only exist for a few years, just as long as an educational program at a university.

Online courses offer an affordable solution and a way out of this situation. Unfortunately, as is so often the case, the new comes into conflict with the familiar, which is why online education has a considerable number of myths attached to it. In general, these are quite harmless, but the very fact that they exist affects people's confidence in online training and, as a result, their success rate.

Myth 1. Online education = distance learning

Without further information, people tend to believe that online education is the newly named distance learning and out of this ignorance attribute the same shortcomings to it. The most common criticism is the lack of effective communication between learners and teachers, a poor set of educational tools and little participation in the learning process.

However, the reality is very different. Indeed, distance learning largely rests on the learner's shoulders, while online education usually combines independent work and regular feedback from faculty and fellow students. Skype, Zoom, Instant Messenger, and other programs help keep in touch with the teacher and other students, and the development of information technology enables the diversification of interactive learning tools. Due to the high (and growing) demand for online education, a large amount of funds are invested in this market sector, so innovative methods and tools appear here on a regular basis.

Myth 2. Classical lessons are more effective than online lessons

Some global studies confirm that online education may be inferior to full-time education in terms of efficiency, but not all researchers have reached such conclusions. For example, the results of other studies show that there is no difference in efficiency (for example, in 2017 the HSE conducted a study that found that the educational format - on-site or online - did not affect student performance) or in the On the contrary, it is even higher ...

Why are there such discrepancies in the results? The key point is that the format itself doesn't matter. The effectiveness of the education depends on other factors: Personal motivation and interest play an important role here. Learners with less self-discipline benefit less from online training because there is no additional motivator nearby. However, those who focus on the results will definitely succeed, and in online format too.

Myth 3. Online education is poor quality

Some time ago one-day schools were in bloom on the internet: some unscrupulous entrepreneurs saw online education as an opportunity to make money quickly and didn't really care about the content and form. Unfortunately, the mass of disgruntled customers who encountered poor quality content has deteriorated the reputation of online education. As the industry developed, it began to regulate itself: the expert community and high-profile names among the organizers of online courses became guarantors of quality.

For example, everyone knows big platforms like Coursera, Skillshare, Netology, Lectorium. It's almost impossible to come across bad content there. However, smaller companies are now also offering high-quality courses. As in any other case, it is important to do preliminary work, namely reading the ratings, expert recommendations and detailed descriptions before starting the training.

Myth 4. Online course certificates are not recognized in the job market

When employers are considering multiple applicants for a position, they are unlikely to pick that particular specialist just because they have a college education. The decision is usually made based on other factors, and your certificates of completion are evidence of your dedication to the job. In the eyes of the employer, you come across as an employee who is interested in success and focused on results and self-development. These are important traits of a modern person that make them more competitive.

After all, major online education sites offer long-standing, accredited courses with a license or partnered with universities (like Netology, Skillbox, and GeekBrains). A certificate of completion for such courses is definitely a convincing argument for your competence.

Myth 5. Online courses do not impart in-depth knowledge

One of the most common arguments in favor of traditional education is depth of knowledge. Classical study programs seem to be rich in content and therefore able to prepare learners in the best possible way, while online courses supposedly work superficially.

Indeed, this is not entirely true: online courses may seem short, but only when compared to the more popular multi-level university programs. The online format is structured this way for a reason: the world is changing very quickly and training over two or more years runs the risk of becoming irrelevant by the time it is completed. Classic training does not keep pace with the rapidly changing market requirements, and this is exactly the problem that is solved by online training with its more flexible approach.

Creating most courses is a long and arduous process, separating practical knowledge from unnecessary theory. Therefore, courses cannot be considered superficial because of their short duration, but on the contrary: they collect and focus on useful and modern content. In courses that correspond to the concept of Fast Education, information is systematically presented in short and concise blocks and immediately converted into skills and abilities. With this format of study, there is no need to spend years in university to get an education that may no longer be useful or require further retraining.

Upon closer inspection, it becomes clear that most of the myths about online education do not hold up and can be classified as annoying misunderstandings. Choose your training location carefully and good luck on your personal development path.

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