6 incorrect expectations that shape online courses

1. “Studying will be easy”.

We don’t expect easy paths when we apply to university or full-time courses. You must spend a lot of time and effort going to class, doing homework, and so on.

Online courses often give the misleading impression that it will be easy. This is also due to the efforts of marketers who promote them under the guise of “learning a new profession in just…”. To be trained is like going out to buy bread. It is understandable: if you write that the average is not easy or even outright tricky, fewer people will be willing to pay for training.

However, it is worth remembering that any training requires effort, time, and a lot of involvement. You need to have that to get results.

2. “Online, you can study when it’s convenient for you”.

This expectation is partially correct. If you buy an online course without feedback, you can orient yourself to your free time. But this will affect the outcome.

Learning will be more effective if you study regularly, do your homework which the teacher checks, get feedback, and be in contact with your classmates. Otherwise, there is a risk of dropping out because you need help understanding, have yet to have time, have forgotten everything, and have to start again. Therefore some schedule has to be adhered to, although online courses give a little more flexibility than face-to-face ones. You can also use websites that write essays for you free of charge, which facilitates your homework at university so that you have enough time to devote to the courses.

3. “I will be able to combine my studies with other things”.

Before the pandemic, many people romanticized telecommuting. They thought it was so convenient: sitting at the computer, soup simmering on the cooker, children having fun under the table, the grace. But if you do not sit at the computer and work, you have to forget about everything else the rest of the time.

It’s the same with learning. You have to make time for it. This means that you have to give up some other activities, explain to your family that some hours you are available only in case of force majeure, and in general, rearrange your day.

4. “Now they’ll tell and show me everything.”

As good as courses are, more is needed to become a sought-after professional. They can provide a good base. But you have to spend about as much time on self-development. (Universities, by the way, usually apply the same principle.)

This also applies to IT and sewing courses. For example, the latter will teach students how to model standard patterns. But to fit them on different figures, refine the smoothness of seams, and assess whether a particular fabric is suitable for the product, the person must do it himself because some actions must be done many times before the result is close to decent.

So, a good course will tell and show you a lot. There needs to be more than the study.

5. “I will immediately make a lot of money”.

Much depends on where a person has worked before. Say, an entry-level IT specialist can earn more than a doctor in a district hospital. But if your current salary is good, be prepared for a temporary dip in income and status when you change industries.

6. “It will change my whole life.”

Maybe it will, and perhaps it won’t. It is unpredictable and depends on something other than the course or its quality. Usually, life becomes different through either sudden circumstances or personal effort. Online learning itself does not guarantee anything at all.