Insurance Broker Blog

CE Courses: Should you be Online or in a Classroom?

Everyone learns differently -- it’s just a fact. Being a business professional, you constantly have to refine and learn new skills in order to keep up with your competition. Improve your public speaking, become a better storyteller, market your services to millennials, gen z and more to stay ahead.

But with your busy schedule of maintaining clients and obtaining new leads, how can you possibly do it all? That’s where CE courses come into play. Continuing Education (CE) courses provide you with the opportunity to learn a variety of topics and earn credits for them. These credits show that you’re an expert in these subjects and that you’re continually improving your business practices in your field.

There are a two main options for taking these courses – online or in a classroom.

Online courses are for those who are constantly on the go. Your day-to-day schedule is never the same and you can’t plan to set aside a specific time to work. The benefits of online courses are:  

  • Set your own pace – Make your own class hours and time to do your assignments. Whether you have an hour or two after a meeting or as you’re sitting on the train ride home, you get to decide the right time for you.
  • Time management – Learn how to juggle your business, class time, networking and your personal life. 
  • Study multiple topics at a time – Since the curriculum is online, you can take as many courses across different subjects as you want (and are willing to pay for).

The drawbacks of online courses are:

  • All on your own – You might be able to ask a colleague or two to help you, but with online courses it’s your responsibility to finish the assignments and take your exams. If you prefer having other peers to work with, online courses may not be the right choice for you.
  • Time management – Some subjects may require a lot of extra time and work to complete. If you don’t make a study plan, get rid of any possible distractions, or complete your assignments on time as scheduled – taking an online course will be very challenging for you.
  • Setbacks – If you take too much time to do your assignments, you’ll be behind and have more work to do than if you had kept on-time with the curriculum. You might also forget about the course completely and have to redo it.

Classroom courses are for those who need structure, group work, and a space to share ideas and get feedback. The benefits of classroom courses are:

  • Consistency – There’s a specific time, place, and curriculum you have to follow every scheduled class period.
  • Immediate feedback – No need to waste hours checking your email -- in a classroom setting, you’re able to have your questions answered immediately from your peers and your professor.
  • Networking – Forget after work happy hours -- meeting every week with like-minded professionals trying to improve their business is the perfect place to network! It can help you form connections with people both inside and out of your industry as well as see new perspectives.

The drawbacks of classroom courses are:

  • Set number of class times and days to meet – The specific subject you are interested in pursuing may not be taught at a day or time that works for you. There also may not be a lot of options depending on how many professors they have teaching that subject.
  • One topic at a time – Since there’s a specific time and place to meet each week, it may be difficult to pursue more than one credit at a time.
  • Group work – While for the most part this is a benefit, sometimes group work doesn’t always benefit the individual members. If you have an assignment that requires group work to earn your credit, it depends on you and your partners to come together and deliver the assignment the instructor requires. This may involve meeting outside of class hours as well as work in order to complete it.

Learning is a different experience for everyone. There’s more than one way to advance your broker career and earn CE credits. Make sure to do your research before signing up for the first class you see. Remember, while there are many pros and cons between online courses and classroom courses, there’s no wrong way to earn an education. And as you take your credits and advance in your field, learn how to sell your skills with our guide!

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