Nowadays if you want to learn a new skill, there are hundreds upon thousands of online courses you can take, so that you can learn that skill in your own time and around your other commitments. Some are paid, and some are free. Some offer legitimate qualifications at the end while others are just to increase knowledge.
While there are undeniable advantages to online training courses, the hard skills and interpersonal experiences gained from in-person training cannot be beaten. With an in-person training course, you benefit from learning directly from an expert in the field and get to know exactly how they do it.
When considering taking on a new qualification, should you choose an online course or in-person training? In this guide, we discuss the benefits and drawbacks of both, and give a considered conclusion at the end.
What Skill Do You Want to Learn?
Sometimes, online training is a simple quick-fix that you can indeed learn a full new trade through and with the online education system growing, many skills can be self-taught via tutorials. However, this tends to be in fields that are internet-based in the first place. It’s perfectly acceptable to learn, say, coding or SEO purely online, without another person there to physically coach you.
Another skill you could potentially learn online is a new language. There are hundreds of websites, computer programs and apps out there that allow you to learn a language from the comfort of your home, or even anywhere with the help of a portable, Wi-Fi-enabled device. However, your new language skills will never be perfect unless you test them out in conversation with a real native speaker!
Health and Safety
For some skills, it’s absolutely vital that you learn in-person and NOT online. This includes any kind of medical training, driving, or anything that could be dangerous in real life. Yes, medical students now have access to ‘virtual surgery’ to help them train – but it doesn’t come close to performing physical surgery on a patient in an emergency situation.
The same goes for driving – whether that’s your own personal vehicle, or for work. For instance, there are now forklift train the trainer courses for teaching people to teach others to drive forklifts. In this case, there’s no question that the training would need to be done by an experienced professional and not a computer program. Driving a vehicle in real life has no comparison to driving one virtually. The safety ramifications of not practicing driving skills in person would be devastating and is why we still need physical training under the watchful eye of a trained instructor.
When all is considered, it seems to us that it’s only logical for in-person training to be the best bet for most skills. Even though it may be more expensive, and you need to set aside more time for it, you will end up far more experienced and qualified if you’ve learned from a real human than from a computer screen.
What’s more is that the qualifications and certifications you gain from in-person training are likely to be much more well-respected than ones you gained online. An in-person training certificate shows that you were dedicated to the task, showed up, and completed your work with the help of others, which says great things about your character. Employers and educational establishments are far more likely to consider applications from people who have undertaken training from reputable real-world agencies.
So, if you’ve decided it’s time to diversify your skillset, take a look at training courses in your local area – you could look at adult college courses, charitable organizations, or night courses to fit around running your business and spending time with family. It is smart to also budget for training employees to improve their development in various areas. Whatever it is that you want to do to grow your business, always research the in-person route before settling for an online course.