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Which One Should You Choose: Free Or Paid Course?

Which One Should You Choose: Free Or Paid Course?

The world has evolved and changed the way we see things. There is no doubt that technology and its progress have brought a number of opportunities in various areas of our lives that have made us use it to facilitate and improve the process. 

One area where technology has a major impact is education because what previously required payment for registration, graduation and physical presence in class, today can be simplified into clicks and, perhaps, online payment. 

Online education, or as it is known today, e-learning, has grown by 900% since 2000 and more companies or institutions are joining this practice, creating virtual courses with valuable content and easy access to those who want to gain new knowledge.

E-learning got so advanced that various learning methods were introduced for students, making their learning process more efficient and fun. For example, If you want to learn digital programming, you might use a learning path that will give you the tools you need, including a roadmap of learning digital development. 

Better retention of knowledge

The Research Institute of America has stated that e-learning increases knowledge retention rates by up to 60%, while face-to-face retention rates average 8% to 10%. Thanks to the virtual course, you can see, listen to or read as much lesson material as needed. This will allow you to better understand the content provided, in addition, if you have chosen the right time and place to do your virtual course, your brain will be more willing to store information. Today, you have a lot of choices in taking virtual courses, and broadly speaking, they are divided into two: free courses and the paid ones. But which ones should you choose from? Here are some considerations:

Free Courses vs. Paid Courses

Free Courses Pros:

Lower costs: This is probably one of the most prominent benefits. Unlike paid virtual courses, with free courses, you don’t need to pay for registration.

Faster access: Thanks to free virtual courses you can access your classes faster and easier because you don’t need to make payments and/or wait for confirmation.

Free Courses Cons:

Certification: Most free virtual courses do not provide certificates or documents that validate that you have completed your studies, therefore, it will be very difficult to include them in your resume.

Lack of recognition: Although there are recognized institutions and entities that bet on virtual education and offer free courses to users, the reality is that most free online courses are made by companies and/or people who do not have enough authority to share knowledge.

Paid Courses Pros:

Greater prestige and validity: Virtual courses, for the most part, are carried out by companies or organizations that have prestige at the education level or authority in the region, for this reason, they are considered to have capability in providing quality content that will be recognized by the company when applying for a new position.

International Certification: Most paid virtual courses give you certificates with international applications and validity on LinkedIn. This will undoubtedly make your professional profile far more attractive to companies and recruiters. Imagine your online education certificates are considered valuable by most recruiters!

It’s easier to find the course you want: Many free courses don’t really teach specific materials that are really needed. Instead, paid courses usually present specific materials. If you only receive “general materials” why pay a high price?

Ease of learning: The point is that most paid courses provide a learning system that allows you to study comfortably and structured. If you are a free education provider why should you go to the trouble of providing a structured learning system?

Recommendations: Some paid courses actually recommend each student to their recruiters in collaboration. In other words, your chances are getting bigger.

Paid Courses Cons:

Fees: Paid virtual courses, as the name implies, require fees for registration or certification. In many cases, this expenditure can be the same or even greater than the face-to-face program at the university. Therefore, you need to analyze the benefits it offers and if it really is worth investing.

But when compared to the benefits you might get; these costs can be considered cheap. Why? Paid virtual courses, in large part, offer 24/7 online chat where you can resolve any doubts you have about a particular topic, job, workshop, or anything related to your online course. And once again, forget the costs of gasoline, congestion, paper costs and so on that might require you to spend a lot of money.

So which one should you choose? Both have their own strengths and weaknesses, but if you are really serious and want to use your knowledge in the real field, the paid course is the best choice. You get what you pay for!

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