Online education comes with comfort and flexibility, thus, these days many students prefer to take classes via the internet instead of the traditional school program. According to the BLS, the employment level of occupational therapists is projected to grow by 27 percent between 2014 and 2024. So, there are great career opportunities in this field for the aspirants in the United States of America. Numerous occupational therapy programs are available all over the country, be it online or regular. But sometimes, the brick and mortar programs often don’t go with the time schedules of the aspirants, and that’s when the online occupational therapy programs come into the picture.
Pros and Cons of Online Occupational Therapy Programs
No doubt, online programs offer great advantages to the would-be occupational therapists, but they also bring some disadvantages along with them. Although, some Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) approved colleges offer a few courses or the parts of the courses as distance learning programs on the internet. Thus, we can say that the options to get an online degree in this field are very limited.
If you own an online degree in occupational therapy from an accredited center, it may prove equally beneficial to you like a traditional school program degree. You may get paid akin to a brick mortar college’s student. As a whole, a focused mind, integrated thought process, and awareness can lead you to achieve success as an occupational therapist even after being an online learner. Read on to know about the pros and cons of these online programs.
Advantages of Online Occupational Therapy Program
Most of the benefits of online programs are quite obvious, and they are as follows –
- The online OT courses are quite suitable for the aspirants who are busy in fulfilling their family or job responsibilities, as they don’t need to give their whole day at the institute.
- In the case of online occupational therapy programs, you don’t have to travel regularly to a specific location, and you can continue your studies wherever you are. In a nutshell, you can complete your education even while sitting at home.
- You get flexibility and comfort when it comes to online programs as you can complete your assignments whenever it is convenient for you.
- Distance learning programs via the internet are quite cost-effective as compared to the classroom programs of occupational therapy.
Disadvantages of Online Occupational Therapy Program
Despite having so many pros, online programs of occupational therapy has some cons as well, they are –
- Everyone wants to practice their degrees and courses legally, as it is essential to get a license and job. Most of these online programs are not accredited. This is one of the major disadvantages of online OT programs. You have to check for their accreditation properly before opting for one.
- In comparison to a brick and mortar program, online courses might take a longer time to complete. So, it is a must for you to be aware of the duration of the program you are enrolling in.
- Lack of direct communication with professors/experts is another disadvantage of online programs. Also, you get fewer chances to join campus activities and the extra-curricular activities.
- You are always required to have a reliable internet connection and a laptop to take your online lessons. Lack of internet facility would not fulfill your wish of completing the course online.
- Online courses cover only theoretical part. For clinical practice, you will have to look for a clinical setting nearby and enroll in it.
Make the Right Choice
After analyzing both the pros and cons of the online occupational therapy courses, we can’t come up to a specific conclusion on whether brick and mortar program is better or the distance learning ones. It depends on the residence, responsibilities, and several other conditions of the applicants. So, we believe that the best decision of opting the mode of education to gain your occupational therapy degree totally depends upon you. Just make sure to have a look at the above-described pros and cons while making up your mind.