When it comes to the debate over in-person vs. online learning, the answer ultimately depends on what works best for the student. There are advantages to both approaches. Student preference typically depends on need, timing, access, available time, learning style, flexibility, employer support, ability to travel, etc.

The Kelley School of Business at Indiana University offers both options for its executive education business certificate programs.

In-Person Vs. Online Learning

Both online and in-person programs present advantages and challenges. Let’s examine both, to help you decide which format works best at this point in your career and personal life.

The Advantages of In-Person Learning

In-person programs offer students the chance to meet face-to-face with other students. Some of the pros of in-person programs include:

  • More intensive learning opportunities
  • Learning in a setting that allows you to focus and reflect on the impact of the learning
  • Getting to experience a beautiful college campus
  • Building connections with fellow students, faculty, and business leaders through informal conversations and interactions outside of formal class sessions

The Advantages of Online Learning

Online learning exploded during the height of the coronavirus pandemic, with many students enjoying the advantages it offers. However, its popularity was already steadily growing in the past two decades. For some adult learners such as single parents, military personnel, or full-time workers, online programs often present the only possibility for earning business certificates.

Some of the pros of online learning include:

  • Flexible, self-paced learning that gives students control over when they learn
  • Learning that is spread out over several weeks of months
  • Expanded content offerings that is not limited to schools nearby
  • Networking with classmates from every corner of the country and around the world
  • Professionals can put what they learn to work immediately on the job between class sessions
  • Prepares students for an evolving, increasingly remote workplace culture

Online Degree and Certificate Programs for Business Leaders

In designing its business certificate programs, the Kelley School of Business decided to offer them both online and on-campus, giving business professionals a choice on how they further their education.

The school designed these programs for working professionals. They deliver useful, practical knowledge, skills and tools that professionals can use to boost their career and focus on the current best practices in business. The faculty who designed the school’s award-winning degree programs also designed the business certificate programs.

The programs include business essentials, leadership and change, global cybersecurity, marketing strategy, professional sales, Lean Six Sigma, project management, women in leadership, and total integrity management.

The school offers the courses in substantially different ways. The on-campus programs provide an immersive in-person format that lasts for one week. Students attend class from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday through Thursday, and 8:30 a.m. to noon on Friday.

The online courses require about three to four hours of work per week. Each course in a certificate program begins the first full week of the month and runs for three consecutive weeks. The faculty-led instruction leverages over 20 years of virtual instruction experience and combines live, virtual sessions and self-paced coursework.

Both online and on-campus classes are excellent options. Deciding which is best depends on your work and home situation, available time, and preferred learning style. In the end, whatever path is taken, earning a business certificate provides a powerful boost to a business career.