What You Need to Know Before You Start an Online Program

online student
online student

What You Need to Know Before You Start an Online Program

If you’ve never taken online classes, you may be a little nervous about remote learning. You’re used to a traditional classroom setting, teachers and students all in the same room. But even before COVID, times were changing. Are you ready to learn online? All you need is good organization, a can-do attitude, and a little hard work. But here’s what you should know:

Online Learning Is Convenient

Its convenience is probably why you’re considering an online program, right? The good news is that online learning gives you the opportunity to learn new career skills but in a time and place that fits your life. You’ll be able to log in to your student portal, tackle assignments, work on group projects, and even take tests when it’s best for you. Just remember, there will still be due dates and deadlines.

Online Programs Aren’t Easier

One of the most common misconceptions of online classes is that the work is going to be way easier than a face-to-face program. That’s definitely not true. The work in an online class is often the same work you would do in a traditional class. The format is just presented a little differently. For example, those class discussions you remember when you were sitting at a desk may now take place in a forum with written posts rather than oral responses. It’s still important for you to do your work and participate.

You Need to Be Motivated as an Online Student

Online classes may require more motivation and effort on your part. Since you won’t have a set time or place to complete your work, you’ll need to create them. A good way to stay motivated is to set small goals for yourself every day. Your first goals could be to enter the forum and introduce yourself, or to read through the syllabus. As the class goes on, you may set daily goals to complete your readings, do assignments, or to study for a test. Another good way to stay motivated is to break your larger assignments into smaller tasks. For example, if you have a written assignment that’s due in one week, chunk it out into pieces so you won’t be overwhelmed with doing it all at once.

You Need to Be Well Organized to Succeed in Online Classes

One of your first goals should be to create a schedule. A major benefit of online classes is that you can complete them on your time, wherever you need to. If you work three days a week, for example, you may want to schedule study sessions in the evenings on those days and complete your classwork on your days off. You can use a calendar, day planner, or scheduling app to help you stay on top of your deadlines and daily goals.

Your Online Instructors Are Pros

Although you will learn in a digital environment, your instructor is definitely not a robot or a chatbot. You’ll learn from qualified instructors who are also professionals in the industry. They have years of experience and knowledge that you can benefit from. Take advantage and build a positive relationship with your instructors. Ask for help when you need it, and don’t hesitate to ask them about their career or what advice they could share with someone who wants to follow in their footsteps.

You Are Not Alone in an Online Program

Remember that you are not alone in your online program. You have a whole class full of peers who are working right alongside you, even if only virtually. Take the time to connect with them. Create a study group or a Facebook group for the class. Ask each other questions and talk about your career goals. You’ll feel more engaged in the class, and you can support and motivate each other throughout the program.


The world of online learning may be new to you, but that doesn’t mean you won’t succeed! At YTI Career Institute in Pennsylvania, our faculty and staff are dedicated to helping you achieve your goals. We offer programs in Business, Medical, Computer, Criminal Justice, Culinary Arts, and the Trades. Fill out the form today to learn more.