Online vs Offline Finance Courses

Long gone is the stigma associated with online courses. In the past, web-based education was deemed as inferior to traditional face-to-face learning methods, but this is no longer the case. In fact, online courses require a high level of self-discipline and dedication from the students who choose this approach to study. And what better way to demonstrate these admirablecharacteristics to potential employers than an online qualification on your CV?

So, what are the differences between online learning and the more conventional classroom based offline finance courses?

Communicating with tutors and students

One of the key elements of a positive learning experience is the relationship that is developed between teachers and students, as well as amongst the students themselves. The amount and depth of information retained in the classroom is determined through several factors, including body language, tone and volume of voice, as well as mannerisms and gestures. Face-to-face teaching enables the whole experience to be seen and felt, as well as just heard. Also, the responses, questions and reactions of students during lessons can enrich in-person training, which is often lost in financial distance learning.

However, it’s a common misconception that students who choose to study remotely do not have any interaction with their fellow learners, or even their course tutors. In fact, in this digital age, it’s never been so easy to develop relationships whilst studying. Text, email, WhatsApp, messenger, Skype, facetime and student forums are all great ways to make sure that you don’t miss out on the social side of education.

Timetable flexibility

When you enrol on a course, you’ll be given a timetable of lectures to attend. These will be scheduled at set times and days and require your attendance. With a bachelor’s degree in finance taking 3 – 4 years, this is a big commitment if babysitting, or alternative work plans, need to be made to make the classes.

With online courses comes the flexibility to access learning in your own time to fit in with other responsibilities. And if time pressures are a factor in deciding whether a particular course can be undertaken, then it’s worth bearing in mind that online courses can often be completed quicker than classroom based alternatives.


Investing in further education can be a huge decision to make, depending on individual circumstances, so it’s natural to want the best value for your money. For some, this may mean having a structured programme with face-to-face tuition to reduce distractions and give the best chance of a pass rate. For others though, this may mean benefiting from both the affordability and flexibility that online courses can bring. Generally speaking,online learning is more reasonably priced than traditional courses so can be attended by individuals with varying size budgets.


Bricks and mortar establishments will have needed to meet all the necessary requirements to offer a quality curriculum to its students. This provides the college or university with an accreditation which ultimately makes your qualification valid and recognised by future employers. When you’re researching online courses make sure that the learning institution is properly accredited or you could invest both time and money into a course that is not credible.

There’s clearly advantages and disadvantages to both online and offline finance courses, so whatever you choose, make sure that it’s the right method for you. But where do you go to find the best finance courses available. If it’s a bachelor’s degree you’re after, then The Complete University Guide has provided rankings for the top accounting and finance based courses in the UK.



University Name








London School of Economics










Queen’s, Belfast




But if you’ve concluded that online is the best route for you, there are a wealth of finance courses available from several different providers like The Open University which enables you to study whenever and wherever you choose. With a range of both undergraduate and postgraduate finance courses being offered, there’s bound to be a subject for you.

The popularity of online courses is growing quickly and due to this, the quality of the courses available is now comparable to traditional courses. But distance learning is not foreveryone. For those choosing to study online, the key to success is self-discipline as a great deal of study is still needed. Don’t mistake online with simpler or requiring less effort. And even online financecoursesare likely to be much more writing based than discussion based, so if you’re not a fan of writing then a traditional education environment may be a better option for you.

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