Online v classroom learning

If you're searching for a cyber security training course, one key consideration will be the format of the teaching. Some courses offer in-person, classroom-based learning, while others are conducted online. What's more, while some have a fixed timescale, others may allow individuals to learn at their own pace. So, which is right for you?

What courses are available online?

Almost all cyber security training courses now have some form of online learning option available. This includes both recognised industry certifications and academic courses such as an MSC in cyber security.

When searching for courses, you should be able to see easily whether it takes place online, in a classroom or is offered as some combination of the two.

There remains a misconception among some people that in-person courses - especially at degree level - are looked upon more favourably, but this is not the case. In fact, the vast majority of employers now recognise online courses as equal to classroom-based alternatives. This may be especially true in digital-based roles like cyber security.

Benefits of online learning

There are a range of advantages to choosing an online course, chief among which is the flexibility this provides. Many online courses can be undertaken at any time and followed at your own pace, while others will often have a wider range of start dates than classroom learning. 

The fact they can be done from your office or even at home is often advantageous, especially if you're trying to fit your studies around other tasks. Another factor is you can often get much quicker feedback on your progress than would be possible in other environments.

Many online courses are also cheaper than in-person learning. This may be particularly pertinent if your employer is covering all or some of the cost of the training, as it can make businesses more likely to support such professional development. In addition to this, there are no additional expenses such as travel, food or accommodation to consider.

The advantages of an in-person approach

Despite the benefits online learning can provide in today's environment, there may still be compelling reasons to opt for an in-person approach for both short- and long-term cyber security courses.

For starters, having a direct face-to-face connection with both trainers and fellow students can help ensure you maintain engagement throughout the process, as well as making it easy to clarify any issues you may be unsure of. 

This also facilitates roundtable discussions or workshopping tasks where collaboration will be important. It can also help you build up a network of colleagues and peers that may well stand you in good stead for long after the course ends.

Which is right for you?

Making this choice will largely depend on personal factors, such as which will be more convenient for you? For example, if you're fitting your training course around a full-time role, online courses may offer better flexibility and cause the minimum amount of disruption to your day-to-day work. 

If you're just starting out in your career or are looking to make a shift from another discipline into cyber security, you may be able to benefit from the personal connections an in-person course can offer.

Whichever route you choose, you shouldn't see any compromise in the quality of teaching or the doors that your eventual qualification can open for you. To get started and find an option that's right for you, check out our range of online and classroom cyber training courses.