Online courses are booming. But are they right for you?

Is an online course sufficient, or would you rather do further training? In this article you will get an insight into the topic and an answer to the question of what is more suitable for you.


At least since the COVID-19 pandemic, online courses have been widely popular. Be it for learning a language, for additional qualifications or for a certificate, there is a suitable course online. But is an online course sufficient? And what can you actually expect from such a course?

In the following you will read what is special about online courses, why they are booming and what exactly they offer. We will go into whether online courses can replace a higher technical school (HF), which variant is better for you and how you can recognize good online courses. This is how you make the right decision for your education.

Learning online – how does it work?

There are more and more learning platforms online. Famous names include Udemy, Mind Valley, Domestika, and Coursera. There you can either take a course for free or for a fee and receive a certificate for it. From personality development to pottery and piano playing to technical know-how in various industries – the choice is large.

The pandemic has fueled this development. An increase in learning platforms and new online courses from educational institutions bear witness to this. Numerous institutes now not only offer seminars and courses, but also carry out their teaching in some cases in a completely hybrid way.

The following formats are important for online learning:

• Online video course: These courses make you flexible in terms of time and location. They consist of video lessons that have been pre-recorded. Communication with the teachers and other students takes place online, for example via discussion forums.

• Webinar: These are live seminars held live on the Internet by teachers. All listeners are in the same webinar room and are discussing with each other in real time. This variant is therefore less flexible in terms of time, but more interactive.

• Correspondence course: With this format, the learning materials are sent to you and you can work through them. This can include face-to-face seminars or recorded instructional videos.

What can I expect from online courses?

With an online course, you learn from the comfort of your own home. Videos are mostly used for this. Both recorded lectures and live webinars are part of the courses. In hybrid models, presence is necessary for some events.

Similar to classic courses, there is also a community among the students in online courses. Depending on the provider, this is more or less pronounced. However, digital collaboration cannot replace exchanges in “real life”.

In addition to flexibility in terms of space and time, online courses offer the advantage that you can organize your own time well. This is suitable for learners who are disciplined. You should also be able to organize yourself well. You usually receive a lot of course documents that need to be managed.

Not every online course offers a certificate. In particular, very cheap or free providers are often less serious and do without a certificate. In some cases, you have to pay a surprisingly high price to get the certificate. It is therefore important to read the terms and conditions of the provider carefully in good time before the start of the course.