One of the most important decisions you can make in your life is deciding to continue your education. High school graduates make considerably more money than their drop-out peers, and those who go on to complete college classes make even more.
Life can be complicated, though, and getting your high school diploma in a traditional setting may not be an option for you. Below are some benefits and draw-backs to pursuing a high school education online.
Pro: Online Education Works around your Schedule
The biggest perk of getting your high school diploma online is that you can schedule your coursework around your schedule, rather than trying to attend classes at certain times. This mean more than just avoiding those 8 am classes, it also means you can graduate even if your life requires other time commitments, like parenting or having a full-time job.
Con: Time Management
The flip-side of being able to work on your own schedule is that it becomes absolutely critical for you to develop time-management skills. You’ll be faced with a due date and a bunch of material you need to cover on your own, and that can spell disaster for those who put things off until the last minute.
Pro: You Can Focus on your Studies
Attending high school online also means you won’t be faced with all the drama, social awkwardness and bullying that can be present in a traditional school setting. This allows you to focus on your coursework, rather than your peer group, and can be a real benefit if you want to excel in school.
Con: You’ll Miss Out on Social Events
At the same time, online courses usually don’t come with a very strong social component at all, meaning you won’t get to hang with your school friends, go to prom, or attend the Friday night games. This kind of isolation can be really difficult, particularly for young adults who are in the process of developing their social identities.
Pro: Preparation for College
Because online education is, for the most part, more flexible than traditional high school coursework, you can work ahead and pursue interests that will be valuable for your college career. It’s even possible to complete freshman coursework online before transferring to a brick-and-mortar college or university.
Not all online education is the same, however, and if you choose a program without accreditation you could be doing all your work for nothing. Online high school courses from a school without accreditation won’t count for transferring to college or another school. For this reason, it’s essential to choose an established, legitimate online school before your begin. Some accredited online programs are more expensive than others, though, so make sure you look at all your options before you commit.
Your high school diploma is a critical step in furthering your education, getting a good job, and becoming financially independent. Whether you choose to work toward this educational milestone in a traditional setting or through an online program, the most important thing is that you make your time worthwhile, and come away having gained some indispensable knowledge in addition to that certificate of graduation.