Improve yourself with distance learning

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It might have been a long time since you left university (longer than you tell people, anyway), but there are plenty of good reasons for hitting the books again and taking a new learning course. It could add an extra string to your career bow, it could lead to a change in job role or it could simply be for self-improvement, to satisfy an interest and enjoy that sense of achievement. The only problem is fitting it into your busy schedule, but this is where distance learning could be of help. It’s not for everyone, but you could find it is entirely suited to your needs, so look through our list of advantages and disadvantages and see if anything clicks…


Work around your life – because you are not tied to a specific class at a specific time and place, it is easier to fit a course into your busy lifestyle using distance learning. You can fit in the work as and when you have time, and if something major comes up you can simply put it to one side and pick it up again later.

Go at your own speed – Again, because you are not attending fixed classes and can work when you want, you don’t have to worry about things moving too quickly for you. If you’ve not done structured learning in a while and need to take some time to go over things and cement new ideas in your head, you can do so.

Save time – You probably think that enough of your precious time is wasted sitting on trains and in traffic, so the idea of having to commute to a classroom again in rush hour might put you off. Distance learning means you never have to leave the house!

Save money – along with the money you’ll save on commuting, distance learning courses are typically cheaper than classroom-based learning.


No teacher – With distance learning you will have a tutor you can ask questions, but it is self-directed study. Some people simply don’t like learning this way, and prefer to be taught things by an expert rather than discovering the answers for themselves.

Lack of structure – Classroom-based learning means you have to be in a certain place at a certain time, forcing you to engage with the course. Some people find that without this structure they don’t pursue the course with as much enthusiasm under their own steam.

Not all subjects can be taught – Distance learning is not possible with some subjects, such as those in the sciences, which require hands-on tuition.

So does distance learning seem like something which would fit your lifestyle? If you’re still unsure, look for testimonials like the ones in this Independent article, but also keep your eye out for those who had bad experiences; gripes should be of course taken with a pinch of salt, but there may be some truth in there.

If you do decide to give distance learning a go, you’ll be surprised at the amount of courses on offer from the likes of OOL, but makes sure you look at what’s on offer with a few distance learning providers before you part with any cash.

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