Learning financial model online or in the classroom?
-Six parameters that help you decide
The world has shrunk! Today our life revolves around screens and tablets. Facebook, Skype, Snapchat have replaced living rooms, coffee shops and canteens as meeting places. These meetings are not only restricted to informal or formal ones, these have also taken over the way education is imparted. Nowadays, it is not unusual to hear about E-learning, Online classes or Live Virtual Classrooms.
One of the most commonly heard ones these days are Online Financial Modelling courses. With increased awareness about the importance of Financial Modelling, students and working professionals both want to get skilled in this course. But in a world of multiple pursuits, it becomes practically difficult for a working professional or even a student to always go to the classroom for learning. Hence, the proliferation of online courses.
While this is a never ending debate whether the classroom financial modelling or online course is better, we can bring out certain points to discuss the pros and cons of both, so that you can make an informed choice. We have rated both the courses on a scale of 2 to 5 based on various parameters with 5 bring the highest rank and 2 being the lowest.
What drives online courses is the convenience factor. Students don’t have to rush through traffic, block time on weekends for the classes or sit through the lectures despite having other commitments. Online financial modelling courses work best for working professionals. These are the people who are clocking in a 9 hours shift on weekdays, so they need time for themselves, their family or for other interests. But does that mean, they have no chance to upskill themselves for professional growth? No. These virtual classrooms allow them the convenience and flexibility to complete the course in a self-paced mode. The lectures and materials are available 24/7 and they just need to access it anytime. In case more interaction with instructor is required, there is always an option of Live Virtual Classroom.
• Mode of Teaching
When it comes to interaction with instructor or fellow batch mates, Classroom courses score brownie points. Face-to-face interaction plays a very important role in better understanding of concepts. The tone of voice, facial expressions, body language etc. of the students and instructor goes a long way in better bonding and leads to a better comfort level for doubt solving. Also, many tricky concepts in Financial Modelling requires team project work for hands-on knowledge. However, in online courses, this level of interaction is not possible, only doubt solving is possible to some extent. In absence of physical presence, is even difficult for the instructor to make out if the student has understood the concepts well.
We live in a connected world and the importance of networking can’t be emphasized more. We have a lot to learn from each other’s experiences. In a classroom financial modelling courses, you get to meet and interact with like-minded people. There is an exchange of ideas and notions. You not only get to meet people from your profile, you also get to know a lot about their career path, aspirations and resources. This can help you to figure out where you are standing and how you can chalk your path ahead. Not to forget, classroom courses can also introduce you to batch mates who can prove to be sources of powerful contact going further.
In terms of cost, the online financial modelling courses are a lot pocket-friendly. Also, students can save a lot on travelling expenses. On the other hand, Classroom courses come at a slightly more premium rate because of the personal attention that the faculty provides to each student. Along with that, the detailed teaching, group activities as well as the learning space adds to the overall cost. Typically, the cost differential between the online and classroom modes offered by various institutes is around Rs 8000-Rs 10,000. So if cost is one of the main perspectives, online course will be a more suitable option.
Self-discipline is a very important factor when it comes to education. Online courses require a lot self-discipline and self-motivation. Unlike classroom courses, where you need to visit the institute on scheduled dates, Online courses demand that you follow a schedule on your own. With no one to monitor, it becomes very tempting to miss the class. However, a good institute will also have methods to monitor the attendance of students in the online class. They will also keep a regular check on the progress of the distance learners through mock online tests, quizzes etc.
• Stage of learner
Apart from this, there are various other factors also which influence the suitability of the online or classroom course, such as the stage a learner is in. If the learner is aware of the basics of financial modelling and just wants to refresh his skills, he will do pretty well with an online course. However, if the learner is completely new to the subject, it is advisable to attend the classroom course to strengthen his concepts and have an in depth learning.
Ultimately it’s the knowledge that matters
So, you see both modes of learning financial modelling have their own merits and demerits. After going through each of these factors, we are hopeful that you will be able to judge the suitability of an online or classroom course for yourself. In the end, whatever the mode, it is ultimately the knowledge that matters.