Physical Colleges vs Virtual Education for Military Spouses - MedCerts

Is Short-Term Online Career Training Right for You?

ATTN Military Spouses: For a limited time, the Department of Defense has expanded eligibility for My Career Advancement Account (MyCAA) to the first 1,250 approved applicants in the ranks of E-6 and O-3. MedCerts is an approved school for the MyCAA scholarship.

School isn't what it used to be. When the pandemic started in 2020, the number of students taking classes online more than doubled. In a 2021 study of college students, 73% said they wanted to keep those options available.

Online learning trends have transformed education for military spouses. But how do you decide if they're right for you? This article will break it down and help you consider the pros and cons of each option.

In-Person Learning Pros and Cons

At a physical college, students learn in brick-and-mortar classrooms, side by side with classmates. It was the default way of learning for hundreds of years, but now it's just one option. Like any option, it's important to understand the advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages of In-Person Learning

Hands-on learning: In-person learning makes it easier to do hands-on skills practice and other participatory exercises.

More community: Being part of a physical school community can be more satisfying and motivate you to keep going.

Face-to-face interaction: Sometimes, staying focused on a course is easier when you check in with your instructor in person.

Disadvantages of In-Person Learning

More expensive: Completing your training at an in-person community college can cost you up to $20,000, plus the cost of books and materials. That's more than four times the average cost of an online program. You’ll also have to consider transportation costs, including gas, public transportation fees, and time spent commuting.

Fewer options: Your location limits where you can study in person. If you want to study medical billing, but your local community college doesn't offer that program, you're out of luck. With virtual colleges, you can pursue almost any path.

Virtual Learning Pros and Cons

When considering education for military spouses, it's hard to beat the flexibility of virtual learning. Let's take a look and find out whether it measures up.

Pros of Online Learning

Flexible scheduling options: With so many courses available, it's easy to find one that meets your scheduling needs. With schools like MedCerts, you don't even need to take classes at a particular time.

More course options: Virtual education lets you take courses that align with your goals, no matter where you live. Even if you move mid-course, you can keep taking your virtual class.

More accessible: With online learning, you don't have to worry about getting to a physical building for class. It's also more adaptable to learning differences since you progress at your own speed.

Cons of Online Learning

Higher risk of distraction: Virtual students have to battle the distractions of home to get work done. MedCerts makes it easier by letting you complete the program on your own schedule, so you can study when and where you’ll be least distracted.

Requires tech skills and access to tools: It can be harder to complete virtual coursework if you're not internet-savvy or can't afford a computer. MedCerts helps students overcome tech roadblocks with a team of IT professionals and a virtual knowledgebase. Between the two, students have 24/7 tech support for help anytime, anywhere.

Less in-person accountability: With on-demand learning, you don't have teachers and classmates holding you accountable for your progress. That's why programs like MedCerts make sure you’re assigned a personal education consultant, student success advisor, and career coach who all check in regularly and keep you accountable.

Making the Decision

It's tough to beat virtual education for military spouses. Your courses and programs move with you if you relocate, and you don't have to change your family's busy schedule to attend class.

As a military-friendly school and a MyCAA-approved educator, MedCerts is here to help you get started. We'll help you choose the right program and can discuss funding options, reach out today to learn more.

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Written by MedCerts Team
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Published on December 8, 2022


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