Pros and Cons of Distance Learning

Nitin Rao updated on : 20 Jul 2017

Distance learning is becoming a popular option for students these days, owing to its flexibility. Find out the advantages and disadvantages of distance learning

Pros and Cons of Distance Learning

Pros and Cons of Distance LearningDistance learning has become a very popular option among students nowadays, because of its flexibility of time, place and study schedule. Distance learning comes as a blessing to students who want to study further while continuing with jobs or who might not be able to attend a full-time course for various reasons.

The most frequent query from students regarding distance learning is related to the confusion over the value of a distance learning programme. The answer to this totally depends on the student. Some students can make the most of a distance learning programme, but there are also others who are not comfortable with this pattern. Let's discuss the pros and cons of distance learning/ distance education programmes and help you decide if you should go for it:

Top Distance Learning Universities in India:




Indira Gandhi National Open University


Symbiosis Centre for Distance Learning


IMT Distance and Open Learning Institute


Sikkim Manipal University


University of Mumbai

Pros of Distance Learning

  • Allows you to pursue studies along with a job:
    Many students, who opt for distance learning programmes, do so because they also wish to pursue their jobs. Distance learning allows the flexibility of keeping a job and also getting a degree, simultaneously. Students can study over the weekends or dedicate few hours of the day, while also managing their professional lives.
  • Distance Learning is more affordable:
    Distance learning programmes cost way less than a full-time, regular programme. This is a very economically viable option, easy on the pockets.
  • Time and place as per your comfort:
    You are the master of your studies. You get to decide how much time you want to dedicate to studies, at what pace, where and when.
  • More acceptances by employers:
    Distance learning programme degrees are gaining more recognition among the employers. In India, all distance learning programmes should be accredited by the Distance Education Council (DEC). Employers of different sectors are more open to a distance learning degree and even encourage students to learn while they earn because it adds more to their set of skills and expertise.

Click Here for Top 20 Distance Learning Universities in India

Cons of Distance Learning

  • No Direct Contact with Faculty:
    There isn’t any fun if you don’t have a teacher you can make fun of, is there? On a serious note, lack of personal interaction with teachers often affects the learning curve for some students. This is one major disadvantage of distance learning. Flipping through voluminous books with no mentor to guide you can be a little overwhelming for some students.
  • Dependence on Technology:
    Some distance learning programmes, especially online courses, require access to the internet. Unless you are comfortable with this medium, you will find studying and interacting with your faculty, online, difficult.
  • Lack of Discipline:
    Since you don’t have a teacher standing on top of your head, reminding you of deadlines, asking for your assignments, there are chances that you will not take a distance learning programme seriously. You need to be mature and disciplined to take full advantage of a distance learning programme.
  • It can get Lonely:
    Even if you’re in a virtual classroom that is full of students, the lack of personal interaction might make you feel detached and lonely. This can be solved as you get more comfortable with using the internet.
  • Not All Courses are Available/ Taught:
    Another major disadvantage of distance learning is that not all courses can be taught online. For example, subjects like Medicine and Engineering can’t be taught online or through distance learning since practical classes, experiments etc. can’t possibly be conducted over the internet! Some things, you’ve got to do yourself!
  • Not Valued by all Employers:
    No matter how good the university/college from where you pursued your distance learning programme, some employers will always prefer a candidate who has pursued a regular programme over you. 

So keeping in mind all the advantages and disadvantages, you can choose whether to pursue a degree with distance learning or not. A lot also depends on the kind of professional field you wish to enter and pursue.

Good luck!

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