Online Training vs. Traditional Training for Electricians

online schoolThere is a rising demand for more electricians to replace the baby boomer generation electricians who are now retiring and to fill in the burgeoning need for electricians. Now, as the country steps up its goal of building better and more advanced infrastructures, training institutes have also stepped up to the plate by offering online courses for those who are interested in becoming electricians.

It seems that so far, there does not seem to be enough numbers of the younger generation to fill in the projected thousands of electrician jobs in the next coming years. Whatever the reasons for these, whether it is disinterest, lack of opportunity to seek training or simple unfamiliarity with the opportunity, bringing electrician training online seeks to address some of these challenges to encourage more people to step up and be the electricians of the coming generations.

online school 1Regarding learning advantages and disadvantages, nobody, especially not any of those who were products of traditional schooling experiences, can reasonably argue that online schooling is better than traditional schooling – particularly for online courses that require some form of hands-on experience in the students, such as in electrician courses. These things simply cannot be done as effectively online as when a teacher is right there watching you install an electrical system all by yourself. In certain respects, at least, traditional schooling should always be the preferred method of gaining a degree or a course. There are social and educational advantages of being in a physical classroom with a teacher and other students, and where interactions, conversations, and questions and answers are face to face. Not even the best video conferencing technology will be able to match the old-fashioned impact of this kind of learning environment.

And yet, the changes in the past few years alone have been incredibly immense, that schools, learning, and training institutes have had to adapt to keep up. With the proliferation of gadgets, the growing use of the Internet, and real-time interaction through video and audio chat, a person can arguably get as much done in a day as he would if he physical went to school. Without leaving home, a person can go to class, study his lessons, submit assignments, take quizzes, interact with both teachers and fellow students. Doing things this way does make things more efficient as one does not have to worry about commuting to and from work and the time and energy that he would spend for that. He no longer needs to brave hostile weather conditions outside just to get to class, and otherwise be present for all his classes – something that he might never have the incentive to do if it involved going to a classroom.

Of course, there are the usual advantages and disadvantages of e-learning and education within a school environment, but perhaps the greatest argument for it is that offering electrician classes, courses and degrees online might bring in interested students who might never otherwise have considered taking up a course to be an electrician. Because everything is now made more convenient for people, everybody can take courses that interest them easily without having to factor in the challenges of going to an actual school. Online learning would certainly help to increase the turnout of people who gain their certification or degree as electricians, and this state of affairs is certainly a good thing considering the projected increase in the demand for electricians in the next coming years.

But one disadvantage of online learning, especially for those taking electrician courses, is that students are not afforded the opportunity to gain hands-on experience. This is a particularly crucial part of the learning and training process for electricians, as in fact one of the reasons why states require an apprenticeship training program is so that future electricians are taught how things are done, outside of the classroom, outside of books and theories. If something should go wrong, then the person is expected to figure out how best to handle everything – and he does so safely because he is under the supervision of an experienced electrician who serves as his mentor. Online learning does not offer this necessary learning process to electrician course students. Even if there are “mentors and apprentices” one cannot learn how to deal with damaged wiring, or how to locate hidden wiring behind walls, or how to detect a busted fuse or potential fire hazards by the burning smell in the air.

The good news is that even with the proliferation of online courses and classes for electricians, states still have not changed their licensing requirements, which do still mandate a specific number of hours in a registered and approved apprenticeship program. So students have the benefit of learning from home, of fitting their work within their schedule, and otherwise earning a certification or degree without going through the hassle of commuting to a physical class. But if they wish to earn their license, these same students will still have to go through the requisite training and apprenticeship period, which means going out into the field, and learning from those who have been doing this a lot longer than they have.