Although there are many advantages of an online education, there are also some disadvantages. The fact that you are working on your own could very well be one of the major disadvantages of taking online educational classes.
Consider the busy lifestyle of most people. Between work and family responsibilities, the average person has little time to dedicate to outside pursuits even when those pursuits could mean a better job, more money and better benefits. Simply finding the time to attend regular classes may be impossible so an online education becomes a viable option. But the same reason that online education is a great option - lack of time - is the very reason that online education is often difficult.
When you're attending a traditional class, you go to school at a prearranged times. You are expected to be in class and you are forced to keep up with your instructor's assignment schedule or risk failing the course. With an online education, there is probably no one checking your progress on a regular basis. You may be given some guidance along the way, but you and you alone are usually responsible for working your way through the course. Since you can work at your own pace, some people find themselves putting the work off until they don't have enough time to finish the requirements.
If there are no time requirements, the opportunities to put off working on the material is even greater. You can literally go for weeks or months (or even years) without finishing the material to get credit for the course. You've paid for the opportunity to learn, but a lack of motivation is often the downfall of those who seek out online education.
Another major disadvantage is the lack of interaction. You aren't in a classroom and don't have the opportunity to hear questions and discussion from other students. This isn't always an issue, depending on the subject of the online education course you are taking, but it could be an important factor in deciding whether an online education is the best option when seeking out opportunities for learning new skills or gaining new training.
Matt Norman is the founder of Easy Distance Learning a website providing information on learning online.