Insurance Continuing Education: Classroom vs. Online Learning

There are plenty of reasons why online insurance continuing education is the perfect solution for busy insurance agents and brokers. However, it’s not for everyone—and there are still reasons some prefer traditional classroom instruction. Here’s a look at the pros and cons of each.

Classroom Instruction: Why it’s Great For Some

Networking opportunities. All insurance agents have to keep their license going by attending insurance CE classes. And for many agents, it can be valuable to build a network in the industry. Getting to know your peers can provide you with new business opportunities as well as new ideas to keep your individual insurance business thriving. Going to traditional insurance continuing education classes can help you meet a diverse group of people within your industry.

In-person discussion and help. Some online insurance continuing education courses allow you to email or video-chat with the instructor. However, for some, there’s no replacement for in-person instruction. Being face-to-face allows you to interact with your instructor and your fellow students in a way that facilitates learning. In-classroom discussions with peers and in-person chats with your professor can all lead to a deeper understanding of the course material.

In-person motivation. For some people, it’s tough to stay motivated if they don’t have to leave the house—or see anyone—to go to class. Having a specific place to be and people to see can help you stay on-task and motivated to learn. Online education is largely self-directed; you have to be disciplined about setting aside sufficient time to study. If procrastination and a lack of focus tend to be problems for you, an in-class environment may be better for you than an online course.

Why Some Insurance Agents Prefer Online Education

Flexible scheduling. The great thing about online insurance CE is that you can study on your own time. You don’t have to go to class at a specific time—whether it’s inconvenient or not. You can study during lunch breaks, in the mornings before work, at night after the kids are in bed—or even during your commute. This is probably the biggest reason why so many full-time insurance agents choose online insurance continuing education.

No transportation costs. It’s not free to get to in-person classes. Gas costs money. Bus and subway fares cost money. And if you have kids, child care can be expensive. There are plenty of costs associated with going to in-person classes that aren’t applicable with online education. With an online insurance continuing education course, all you have to do is settle down in your office or living room with your laptop at a convenient time—no driving, taking public transportation, or arranging child care required.

No time off work. For some, taking classes the traditional way means taking time off work. This can be difficult to arrange—and could cut into the time you need to spend marketing your business, talking to customers, administering paperwork, and other key business tasks. Online education allows you to study on your own time, without cutting into busy work schedules—and without losing time that could translate into earnings.

Instant results.With online classes, you can often get instant access to all course materials—and immediate results once you take the test. This isn’t always the case with traditional classroom instruction.

It’s not easy to fit continuing education requirements into a busy professional schedule. Online education makes this easier—and its flexibility and convenience are ideal for some. However, there are plenty of reasons why traditional classroom instruction is good as well. If you’re not sure which is the best for you, try a combination of both—and see which is the best fit for your learning style and schedule.

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