There was a time when a young woman progressed from secondary school straight to university, teachers college, technical college or other training institute to get skills and knowledge needed for a specific type of employment. Once the course was completed she might never need to study again.
In modern times it is often necessary to do courses to update skills for a particular job or to get promoted. Women are likely to return to work after having children or work and have a family at the same time. They are more likely to change professions, maybe more than once in the course of their working life. This is likely to involve training or study. Sometimes it is not convenient to attend face to face classes if already employed. The course needed may not be available locally in an internal mode.
It is becoming more common to study externally. At one time external study meant receiving packages of printed material in the post. The student completed the assignments, posted them back and in due course received the marked work. Now there are many online courses available from all over the world.
Before starting an online course it is important to check the qualification is recognised in your state if the study is for employment purposes.
What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of external study?
• You can study at your own pace to suit your circumstances.
• It is possible to study at any time of day or night.
• Study can be fitted in around paid employment, raising children or caring responsibilities.
• A wide range of courses from all over the world can be accessed.
• This mode suits people who are uncomfortable sitting in a crowded lecture theatre.
• There is no travel involved so time and money are saved.
• External study is great for people who are self motivated.
• A bout of illness doesn’t mean you have missed lectures.
• You won’t be distracted by too much socialising with fellow students.
• It can be difficult to get motivated without the support of classmates.
• Starting the course and navigating around online technology alone can be a challenge.
• Tutors may be difficult to contact.
• There may be little/no face to face contact which can make building a rapport with the tutor difficult.
• Although online forums, chat etc may be built into courses there is less interaction with other students.
• There isn’t the frequent social interaction afforded by internal study. You don’t get the benefits of sharing study and non-study related conversation over coffee between lectures.
• You don’t have various social and community focussed clubs that internal study offers.
• It can be difficult to organise in the field experience.
External study can be great and certainly enables people to get qualification they couldn’t otherwise. It can be a boon for mature age students with commitments. However, it isn’t the ideal study option for everyone. It depends on your personality, learning style, life circumstances and personal motivation.