Author Profile Image

Nandini Parmeshwar

Blog Author

POSTS BY Nandini Parmeshwar

All Blogs
Is Offline College Necessary?
Is It Necessary to Join College After Class 12th?  Even before you have entered Class 12th, you are expected to decide about your next step. With a plethora of options available in every field, it is quite confusing to choose the appropriate path for yourself. While in the yesteryears, most students opted for the medical, engineering, or commerce stream, today, the choices extend to hundreds of different courses. However, do you really need to attend college after the 12th? According to a recent report, 47% of graduates in India are unemployable. In other words, these youngsters lack the industry-oriented skills needed to fulfil the present job roles.  Due to the limited number of seats in the top institutes, a majority of the youth end up wasting their resources in pursuing substandard education. But how do you determine the right route for yourself? For this, you need to ponder over a few important factors. Given below is a stepwise overview of these factors and the possible alternatives:  Step 1: Consider your Interests  The primary things to consider are your inclinations and preferences. Your ultimate success in any field relies upon what you are most passionate about. Students often tend to select courses under pressure and the influence of their friends and parents. While this may work out in the short term, it generally results in job dissatisfaction and setbacks later in your life.  The key is to pay attention to the activities you enjoy and revel in. Out of all your hobbies, there are some that can be turned productive and profitable. Hence, it is up to you to judge whether you are disposed to creative, technical, mechanical, or managerial tasks. Today, there are a variety of courses and career options available in almost every field.  Step 2: Review your Skill Set & Knowledge  No doubt, there are several things that you like to do. Yet you will be better at some of these more than the rest. Simply put, you have to look into your strengths and weaknesses. For instance, if you are great at sketching, you have definite potential to be an artist, an interior designer, an architect, etc. So, you need to gauge skills prior to shortlisting the corresponding educational opportunities.  Apart from your inherent aptitude in certain areas, it is your subject knowledge that will help you get into the desired course. For example, if you have studied commerce in your higher secondary, the fields of business, finance, and management would be most apt to you, yet your other options would also extend to disciplines like law, psychology, and even history. However, in order to take up education in the medical or engineering domain, it is mandatory to clear 12th in specific subjects such as mathematics/ biology, chemistry, and physics.  Step 3: Know the Scope of the Field  After listing out the feasible areas of study, mark the ones where the three parameters – interest, skills, & knowledge – align. Your expertise serves as an added advantage for the things you like. No doubt, you can learn everything for free from sites like YouTube, yet it takes well-structured recognized degrees to become employment-ready. So, the next step should be to find out about the scope of your preferred field. To learn about the prospects of any specialization, carry out the following research:  What degree/diploma/online programs are offered in that particular sector?  Is it relevant and competitive in the current professional world?  After the course, what kind of jobs will you be eligible for?  What are the salary packages associated with suitable job profiles?  What is the future scope of growth in the field?  The above-mentioned questions are critical in estimating the overall ROI of any course. It all boils down to knowing the professional worth of the field before opting for it, such as Chandigarh University’s Online Degree Programs facilitated by upGrad arms you with industry-oriented skills apart from delivering the essential knowledge. After these courses, you get to explore a variety of lucrative career avenues.  Step 4: Determine your Long-Term Goals  It is commonly seen that youngsters get swayed by the majority opinion and become indecisive about their long-term goals. However, the ideal approach to determining the best path for yourself is to set your goals first. So, where do you want to see yourself 5-10 years from now?  Subsequent to deciding your long-term ambitions, chart out your short-term plans. Your short-term objectives may include learning the required skills through a course or training program. Some more specific targets may be getting a high grade in exams, completing an internship project, etc. An important thing to remember is that your short-term goals must lead to your long-term aim within the effective time frame and other constraints.  Step 5: Evaluate the Available Options  There is more than one way to obtain the necessary know-how and skills for your dream profession. You will have to weigh different options as per your priorities, personal preferences, resources, and final goals. For instance, if you want to start a business or do a job alongside your studies, you will have to seek programs that extend sufficient flexibility. Likewise, if you cannot relocate yet wish to pursue a course offered in another city/country, you may seek enrolment in the distance/online format of the program. Glimpse through the viable choices you have after class 12th:  On-campus Programs 1. Regular Degree Programs Getting into a regular degree course seems like the most obvious route after passing your 12th exams. Admission to the full-time programs is carried out on the basis of your marks in 12th or an entrance test or both. In these programs, you will be required to spend 6-7 hours of the day in your respective college/university. But these courses do not cover training for specific professional goals like govt. Jobs test preparation, industrial mentoring, interview preparation, career guidance, etc. While there are thousands of institutes in India that provide degree programs, only some of them maintain a good placement record. So, the favourable odds for getting placed depend upon your own proactivity. If you can spare adequate time for attending regular classes in college and stay in the league of top-performing students, this might turn out to be a good investment for you. Alternatively, you can go for the online format of full-time programs like the ones offered by popular universities like CU.  2. Vocational Courses  Vocational courses are designed to impart practical skills to the students. These focus less on theoretical knowledge and more on hands-on training. Unlike professional degree courses, which are of 2-4 years, the vocational courses can be completed in 6 months to 3 years. Most vocational programs include diplomas or certifications in specialized fields.  Similar to standard degree programs, vocational courses follow daylong schedules. However, these courses suffice only for decent job profiles. So, if you want to gain knowledge in a certain domain yet do not have long-term goals for it, this option will work well for you. Besides, vocational courses are more affordable than degree programs.  Remote Learning Options 1. Distance/Open Learning Programs  The degree programs, diploma, and certificate courses can also be pursued in distance learning mode. These are specifically devised for people who want to study at their own pace and convenience. During these courses, you will be equipped with all the study notes in the printed or downloadable form. Yet, due to the lack of active student-teacher interaction, your learning process may not be really effective or fruitful.  As there is no real career-related support provided in distance learning programs, you will need to take up additional skill-based training for finding suitable jobs. Nevertheless, these courses suffice to add a reliable qualification to your profile.  2. Online Degree Programs  The latest addition to the field of education is the online mode of learning. In these programs, you can interact with teachers and peers on virtual platforms. Several top universities have collaborated with online portals to deliver their degree programs and diploma courses. In addition, you can also enrol in online internship programs and avail of the customized career-oriented assistance. For instance, in CU’s online programs powered by upGrad, you can opt for personalized learning tracks and receive career counselling for your chosen professional goals. During these programs, you will be mentored by industry leaders and experts with considerable experience in the field. Besides, you get to earn free additional certifications and job-specific coaching as well as access to facilities like on-campus libraries.  While the online degree programs cost more than distance learning courses, online programs are developed with greater emphasis on application-based skills and industry requirements. However, in comparison to the regular programs, the online courses are much more cost-efficient as they incorporate both the subject knowledge as well as career support.  Conclusion  Hence, with plenty of flexible options available for acquiring the requisite knowledge, it is not really necessary to take up a full-time program in college. Modern technology has enabled innumerable students to complete their education at home. Eventually, the path you choose must be the one that matches your career aspirations.
Read More

by Nandini Parmeshwar

03 Mar 2021

Are Online Degree Programs Better than Distance Education?
‘Distance education’ and ‘Online education’ are often confused since both are delivered remotely. However, there is a significant difference between the two concerning certain essential aspects. While distance education has existed long before the advent of the internet, online education ultimately owes its existence to advanced internet technology. Both forms of learning are designed to lend flexibility to the students. But distance learning provides a much lesser scope of active student participation and accountability than an online one. In its initial stages, online teaching methods were used along with regular classroom sessions. Yet today, you can pursue complete courses and obtain a degree through online platforms at the comfort of your home.  Further pushed by the COVID-19 scenario, the government authorities are encouraging greater digitisation of education. Online education is expected to grow as the digital gap reduces, and internet penetration rises across the country. But how are online courses overcoming these limitations posed by distance learning? Given below is an overview of the prominent differences between distance education and online education: Regulatory Framework The online/distance courses that fulfil these rules are considered equivalent to the corresponding full-time programs. This recent step has paved the way for a new advanced model of learning in addition to regular and distance modes. While most approval rules are the same for both the learning modes, they vary relative to the medium of teaching and assessments. For instance, the institutes offering online courses have to opt for a platform like SWAYAM or any other approved by an appropriate statutory authority. Course Content and Delivery Mode The study material in distance learning courses is either sent to the students by postal or electronic correspondence. It may be in hard copy or soft copy or both. Students are not bound to attend any scheduled classes in distance education. They can go through the course material at their own pace and convenience. However, they may participate in a few contact sessions conducted at study centres close to their homes. Besides, they may also communicate with the teacher using digital means.  On the other hand, the educational content of online courses is entirely delivered in electronic format. The curriculum of online classes is usually developed in consultation with popular recruiters and hiring managers. It allows for a high degree of flexibility in the learning curve. For instance, in Chandigarh University (CU) online degree programs powered by upGrad, students can choose their personalised learning tracks as per their professional goals. The course material is available as video lectures, presentations, eBooks, website articles, etc. Students are required to attend live sessions as per their preferred choice of batch timings. Further, the digital content is cost-efficient and easy to update, making it more reliable than the printed hard copy material. While there may be delays in the delivery of distance learning course content, these issues don’t generally occur in online programs. Learner Engagement There is a marked difference in the level of student support offered by distance education and online education. In distance education, it is wholly upon the student to monitor and track his/her learning progress throughout the course. Due to the absence of standardised channels for student-student and student-teacher interactions, learners tend to feel isolated. On the contrary, online courses include a wide range of methods to boost and maintain student engagement. Apart from living classes, teachers can hold quizzes, discussion forums, question-answer rounds, and doubts sessions using online tools. The virtual model of education comes with opportunities to personalise teaching techniques according to students’ learning styles. Nowadays, online educational portals organise virtual training and mentorship sessions for students. In these workshops, learners can connect with industry experts, experienced professionals, and peers from different parts of the world.  This two-way communication of online education makes it much more feedback-oriented than distance education. Assessments and Evaluations Assessments are conducted periodically in both distance learning and online learning programs. In distance education, students usually have to appear at a designated regional centre for their examinations. While in online education, the learners can take the quiz in virtual mode at any place. Both kinds of courses include assignments, MCQ-based tests, and projects at regular intervals. Yet, these are generally required to be submitted at specific centres in distance learning programs. Except for the final examinations, the frequency of assessments is arbitrary in distance education. On the other hand, the entire series of tests, assignments, case studies, and projects are pre-decided and well-planned for the online courses. The virtual platforms let the teachers conduct live group activities, discussions, feedback sessions, and one-on-one meetings. Apart from the overall final assessment, online programs are equipped with evaluations at every step of the course. Hence, the online learning structure allows for more versatility and creativity in gauging students’ progress compared to the distance learning methodology. Quality of Education and Learning Of course, either type’s quality of education depends upon its course content, delivery, teachers, instructors, and evaluations. Since distance education is more of a self-directed individual effort, the learning process suffers in the long-run. Even though the course material in distance education meets the quality standards set by regulatory authorities, it may not fulfil the application-based industry requirements. This is mainly because the distance learning programs are formulated to confer the requisite degree or qualification.  In online courses, the learning goes beyond the theoretical concepts and bookish knowledge. Here, the program curriculum is devised by leading faculty in alliance with the industry leaders. Both the course syllabus and teaching methodology is disposed to inculcating practical abilities and proficiencies in the students. So, whether you want to prepare for a government job, study abroad, start a business or get into the corporate world, you can customise your learning path accordingly. The online student mentors embrace a facilitatory role to encourage the potential skills of the learners. Hence, online education’s curricular structure is better placed in preparing students for their future than distance education. Career Prospects Although distance learning courses provide necessary qualifications to pursue a career in the relevant field, they generally lack job-seeking support and placement assistance. Besides, if a student wishes to work in a reputed organisation, he/she will probably have to take up a skill-based course after obtaining a distance education degree. But such job-seeking struggles are rarely encountered after online education. From its very conception, the online learning system has inclined to develop the learners’ professional acumen. Not surprisingly, the last few years have witnessed an enormous rise in the number of students taking the online route for job test preparation. The virtual world of learning offers a vast variety of specialised courses and training programs, tailored to meet the learner needs. For example, in CU’s Online Programs extended by upGrad, you get to avail career counselling and interview preparation modules for your desired job. Which affirms the job-focused and outcome-driven features of online courses relative to the distance learning programs. Course Fee and ROI It is well-known that both distance education and online education are more affordable than regular programs. However, the cost range of remote learning courses varies widely depending upon the institute, time, credibility, and curricular structure. In India, the top institutes for small education are IGNOU, Symbiosis Centre for Distance Learning, Amity University, NMIMS, Chandigarh University, Bharati Vidyapeeth, etc. The annual fee for distance learning degree courses lies anywhere between Rs. 3500 to 1.65 lakh. On the corresponding scale, the cost of regulated online courses is slightly on the higher side. For instance, the total fee for CU’s upGrad-enabled online graduate and postgraduate programs ranges from Rs. 1-3 lakh. The apparent reason behind the fee difference is the valuable support offered in online courses. The students also get to work on live industry-sponsored projects and intern with renowned organisations in these programs. Moreover, the platform maintains a good placement record and propels learners onto better job promotions and career advancement opportunities. Hence, online programs lend a much more ROI (Return on Investment) than distance learning courses despite the higher fee range. Conclusion In this era of digitalisation, online education holds more importance and relevance than ever before. While distance education works well for people looking for affordable options without premium offerings, online education fares better in terms of tangible career outcomes. Programs such as CU’s online degree programs facilitated by upGrad are most suited to the ones with high career aspirations. Backed by the revised governmental regulations and related initiatives, online courses have the full potential to replace the traditional classrooms in most of the education domains.
Read More

by Nandini Parmeshwar

18 Feb 2021

Explore Free Courses

Schedule 1:1 free counsellingTalk to Career Expert
footer sticky close icon