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Are Online Courses Worth It? 4 Questions To Help You Decide

Before taking an online course, you have to think, what is it for and why you want to take an online course.

Online courses are worth it when you achieve the results you were seeking from the online course you took. If the results are not attained, then it’s questionable whether the online course was worth it or not. Always weight the pros and cons of taking an online course before you enroll in one.

In this post we will dive in what to look for from an online course and why taking an online course would be worth it and when it wouldn’t

Taking an online course is always somewhat risky, in the sense of can you get the results that are “promised” in the online course.

So many online course sales pages promise you massive results and huge transformations. And most of the sites even show you a proof of how the online course has changed someones’ lives and all.

However, if you base your purchase decision solely on the results of others, you might get into trouble. And the reason for this is that the results that someone else got might be because the person had a different situation in life than you have.

So thinking of whether online courses are worth it, comes to the fact of whether you are in such a situation where it makes sense to sign up for an online course or not. 

Completion rates for online courses are low. As low as 90% of online course takers, won’t finish the online course, let alone get results from it.

So from a data perspective, online courses might not be worth it, but then again, my personal experience is that doing the work needed (guided in the online course) and completing the course in full has given me results and transformation.

So it all comes down to whether you do the work or not. 

Next, we will check what parts of the online course you should look for when you think if the online course is worth it or not.

Think about these when you are deciding whether an online course is worth it or not.

  1. Are the cost and the benefits in balance?
  2. Who is the teacher, and what kind of learning experience is expected?
  3. How will you use the information you learn?
  4. What kind of transformation is promised?

1. Are the cost and the benefits in balance?

Is the price you pay for an online course and the benefits you from it are those in balance.

You start by first checking the price of the online course and then you see what the online course has to offer.

What are the benefits you will get by taking that course? Is the price worth paying, for those benefits?

Many times you see an online course that teaches a specific topic, but by searching a bit more, you might find another course that teaches the same thing.

Compare the courses and the prices and see which offers more and which seems to be a better fit for you.

High priced courses ($1997) usually offer quite a transformation for you. They typically show tremendous results and list all the benefits for you to get hooked.

What should be realized in these cases is that it’s a lot of money and are you in a position where you can actually achieve what is offered in the online course. 

Paying a massive amount of money and not getting the results you were after could be devastating. So if you are new to online courses, you should be careful before you shell out that sum of money.

Medium priced courses ($497) usually have some proof-of-concept, meaning that people do get results, but the results might not be massive, or there might not be many of them. 

So yet again, weight the pros and cons of what you get and for what price. Low-cost online courses are priced at $97, just to give you a scale to measure for.

Price and benefits should be in balance. If you pay high dollars for an online course, be ready to do the work and make sure you are in a position where you can immerse yourself in the course and its teachings.

2. Who is the teacher, and what kind of learning experience is expected?

As important as is the price and the benefits, so is the teacher. Before embarking on to buy an online course from someone or some company, you should know a bit about the teacher. 

If the teacher does not have the expertise or the knowledge required to teach you the subject they claim to teach. You might get the wrong information and the wrong knowledge altogether.

So it’s important to see if the teacher has done the thing he/she is teaching. This is the first level of proof that has to be present on the sales page of an online course. 

You can also check if you can find some YouTube videos from the teacher or a blog post of some kind, to get familiar with the style of person the teacher is.

If for some reason, the teaching method or the way of talking does not suit you. You might not get the best learning experience with the online course.

Do get familiar with the teacher and see if you and he/she could work together. Even though online courses are more than usually self-paced and you might not even see the teacher. The way someone speaks and everything, all influence the way you will learn. Or at least in the will to learn.

3. How will you use the information you learn?

This is crucial. If you decide to take an online course and have seen that the online course is worth your money and your time, and you have also seen that the teacher is someone you would like to learn more from. 

Then you have to think about HOW will you use the information you learn.

Just taking an online course is easy. You pay the price and enroll in the course. But if you don’t do anything with the course, obviously it won’t be worth the money you paid for. Right?

Online courses usually pack a ton of information in a distilled format. It’s an epitome of information that has been collected over the years of either doing or learning a specific topic.

Online courses in that sense are heavy on information as it only has the most important things you need to learn. But the question is, how will you use the information?

How do you apply it to your life and when?

Just by enrolling in an online course, won’t do you any good. You have to do the work too. You learn new things, and then you have to do something with that new information.

You have to apply the knowledge you just got and make the best of it.

Online courses do provide excellent information but sometimes the information and the one consuming it, doesn’t match. So you have to be careful before you take an online course because it usually requires you to do the work too.

Online courses are fun, sure. But the key to being successful with those is to do the work thought to you.

4. What kind of transformation is promised?

As I already briefly mentioned about the sales page and the promises before. This part right here is possibly the reason you either will or won’t buy an online course and consider the worthiness of an online course.

Promises, transformation, filling the gap, getting results, all of these things mean the same thing. 

You are looking to get yourself from point A to point B. You also want to get to it fast and without pain.

You have a gap between your current self and your desired self a.k.a your future self.

An online course is worth every penny IF you get to point B. The question is, will that online course provide you the tools, resources, and knowledge for you to get to point B without pain.

The answer is NO.

What you won’t see in (close to never) online course sales pages is the amount of work needed from you to get to point B. To get the results and transformation, you are looking for.

If you think about an online course on weight loss. Do you believe that the course will make you lose weight? Or is it the knowledge from the online course combined with the hard work that gives you those results?

The answer is the latter, obviously.

So what is promised to you and what amount of work is needed from you, should be one deciding factor for you, before enrolling in an online course.

An online course is worth everything if you get the results you were looking for.

Are online courses good or bad?

It all depends on whether you get results with the online course or not. If you got the results you were looking for, then the course probably was good. If you didn’t, then perhaps the course wasn’t so good.

As we have discussed before, the worthiness of a course is based on whether you got results or not.

What should be remembered is that you don’t get any results just by enrolling in a course and not doing anything.

You have to follow the course with the mindset of learning by doing, doing by learning.

I’ve personally have bought courses worth $5,000 and have got immense value from them. But it’s only because I’ve done the work that was assigned to me via the course.

From one of the courses I took, I learned an email sequence that gave me a way to earn my first passive income from my digital products.

One of the benefits of completing an online course and doing the work needed

So the online course was worth the money I paid for it. I think it was $297 at the time I purchased the course. Since then, I’ve been able to have a passive income stream for my family. So it was totally worth it.

An online course can be perfect if you approach it with the right mindset. If you give your time, thoughts, and energy on completing the course doing and doing the assignments pointed to you.

A course could be awful for you if the material wasn’t what you expected and if the content, in general, is low on quality.

But all that can be avoided if you check what the course is all about and better yet if you can get a free trial to check the content before you make a purchase decision. 

Unfortunately not too many course creators offer you a free trial but if they do. See how the course looks like and if it’s a good fit for you.

Online courses offer immense value, but you have to do some work to see which courses are full of fluff and which offer the transformation that you are after.

Juha Ekman

Hi there, I’m Juha Ekman. A few years ago, I started my online business selling online courses and digital products. Ever since then, I’ve been obsessed with learning, especially learning marketing, sales, and everything about passive income. It’s been quite a ride, and there has been a lot of ups and downs along the way. This is the site where I share everything I’ve learned.