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We all love free, but as the saying goes, “you get what you pay for.” This is often true for online training as well. 

There are certainly pros and cons to paid vs. free online training. You need to ask yourself what are your goals, what is your commitment, and what do you hope to do with the training going forward? 

Here are a few points to consider when deciding between paid vs. free online training.

Quality Education

Paid courses offer a well-structured and easy to follow course map. This gives the learner a clear direction, with a start, and an end, so that you can track your progress along the way. Additionally, paid courses have the resources and budget to develop intuitive learning interfaces, immersive videos, and easy-to-follow workbooks. 

There are many excellent free courses available today, but often they only skim the surface, are less structured and not always from a reliable source.

Student Support

Paid courses are able to offer individual attention to each student. Having access to a qualified instructor to answer your questions and provide feedback is an invaluable resource when trying to understand difficult subjects. This piece of learning is often missing in free online training.

Personal Commitment

It is a natural human behavior that when we financially invest in something, we are more committed to seeing it through. A great analogy is those who pay for a gym membership or personal training are often more committed to the program than those who are on their own.

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Verified Certification

Most paid courses offer a certification once you have completed the course. You can use this to promote yourself on LinkedIn, your resume or when looking for a job or new clients. Free courses sometimes offer certificates, but they usually are not recognized.

Greater Depth of Focus

Paid courses generally offer in-depth information that will align with industry best practices. For those looking to progress their career, a course that gives you expert knowledge at a higher level is what is often required. Free courses usually offer beginner information that can be useful but does not help you in becoming an expert in your professional industry. 

Qualified Instructors

Industry professionals with years of experience are the ones developing paid courses. You can trust the material being covered is relevant, accurate, and easy to understand.

While free courses can be great for gaining basic knowledge, in the end, a paid course in the classroom or taken virtually is the way to go if you’re serious about learning the subject and want to pursue a professional career in the field.

Try testing out a free course to learn some basics, and if you find you are passionate about the subject, then consider a paid course. Keep in mind your goals for the training and evaluate your options before committing valuable time and effort into a free or paid training program. Ready to commit to learning something new? ONLC offers a variety of courses in computer technology, programming and processing, security, and desktop applications.

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