Choosing the correct trading school is arguably the most important decision you can make in your early trading career. If you don’t get the foundations of trading right, you’ll have a hard time mastering more difficult concepts down the road.
However, there’s much more to choosing the right trading school than just the aspect of quality. One of the first questions to ask is whether to enrol in an online school and enjoy all the benefits of online learning, or taking a more traditional approach with an offline school.
That’s why I’ve compiled a detailed list of all major pros and cons of both online and offline trading schools.
Pros of Online Trading Schools
Online trading schools are efficient, comfortable, and come with a relatively low price tag. Here are our main advantages of taking an online trading school.
The fun of online learning
One of the most obvious advantages of online trading schools is that you can learn whenever and wherever you want. All you need is a laptop with internet access, and you’re ready to go.
This accessibility is what attracts thousands of students to enrol in one of the numerous online trading courses. Whether you’re on the go, on vacation, are going to bed. You have access to your online material whenever you want.
The fact that you can enrol in any online trading school you wish, no matter your location, is also an important advantage of learning online.
Whereas with offline schools you’re restricted with the offerings of your city or region, you can easily subscribe to any online trading school, whether you live in the US, UK, or anywhere else in the world.
Access lessons whenever you want
Closely related to the easy accessibility of online learning are on-demand lessons. With online trading schools, you can switch between lessons, stream earlier lessons, or speed up your learning by opening future pre-recorded lessons.
Forgot what a head and shoulders pattern looked like? Don’t remember where to place stop-losses in breakout trades? No worries, finding a lesson you want to go through again is as easy as a mouse-click.
Enforce important skills with live workshops
Learning to trade online isn’t only about listening to pre-recorded lessons. A number of online trading courses are offering live workshops, where you get almost the same live experience as going to an offline course.
The Trading for Beginners course at My Trading Skills offers such live workshops as one of its perks. Hosted on Zoom and run every week, the live workshop reinforces key trading topics by using live charts. Also, students are able to ask questions that are answered live by our expert traders and mentors, including myself.
Get expert support
Many online trading courses come without live expert support. You get your pre-recorded lessons, and that’s it. Fortunately, there is a number of courses and mentors who take trading seriously and provide expert support to all of their students.
It’s your job to find the courses where you can chat with your mentor, attend live workshops, and get valuable expert support. (Hint: My Trading Skills offers all of that).
Learn to use interactive trading tools
Learning to trade isn’t only about theory. You need to practice to become your best trader version of yourself. When enrolling in an online trading school, you’re free to arrange your learning and trading workspace as you like. For example, you may watch trading lessons on a separate screen, and immediately apply your newly-learned skills on your trading platform.
This interactivity of online learning is unmatched: Since you’re learning from your laptop, tablet, or smartphone, there are numerous ways to immediately apply your new skills or reinforce them by using interactive trading tools. This simply can’t be done efficiently when learning offline or by reading trading books.
Online learning is less expensive
Last but not least, the majority of online trading courses have a price-tag that is multiple times lower compared to offline trading schools. Online courses are simply more cost-efficient: There are no physical classrooms, no rents to be paid by the host, and no transport costs when taking an online trading course from home.
Instead of paying thousands for an offline course, you can use that money in better ways (such as funding your first trading account).
Pros of Offline Trading Schools
Now, let’s cover some advantages of offline trading schools. Here’re the most important ones you need to consider:
The classroom experience
Some students learn better in a traditional classroom. If it doesn’t bother you to take a ride to attend offline lessons, and if you feel you don’t need immediate access to all past and future lessons, you could enrol in an offline trading school. You know what works best for you and your learning style.
Although online trading courses also offer engagement through live chats and webinars, some students may prefer the live engagement provided by traditional classrooms. Offline trading schools can be lively and interactive as students are able to ask questions and receive immediate feedback.
However, as mentioned earlier, some online courses are able to replicate that experience through live chats and regular webinars, so I would say it’s a tie here.
Offline trading schools can also provide a sense of being part of a community. When you enter a classroom, there are dozens of other students who have the same goals as you. You have the chance to chitchat about trading and make new friendships along the way.
However, most online courses offer live chats as well, where you can chat with other fellow students and learn together – but on your own schedule. We even have our own thriving online community at My Trading Skills. You can analyse the markets in real time, use in built analytics tools and chat about market moves with fellow like-minded traders.
Cons of Online Trading Schools
Learning to trade online doesn’t come without drawbacks either. Here’re the few points you need to consider.
Perseverance is key when learning online
While this is also true for offline trading schools, some students simply don’t know how to learn on their own. They need the obligation to attend a live classroom and mentors who tell them what, when, and how to learn. If you’re one of those students who can’t focus on online lessons, then offline schools may be a better choice for you.
However, bear in mind that students who want to become successful traders don’t look for excuses. You can always mute any incoming notifications and close that YouTube tab when you’re in learning mode.
You need to be dedicated
Dedication, patience, and discipline are traits of successful traders. If you want to become a trader, then dedication is a prerequisite – whether you’re taking an online or offline trading course. This is not only true during your learning phase, but even more so once you become a standalone and independent trader.
Cons of Offline Trading Schools
Here’re the main disadvantages of offline trading schools.
You get less bang for your buck
Compared to online trading schools, enrolling in an offline school is usually more expensive for obvious reasons. Offline schools need to pay for rent, marketing, paper materials, and live lectures.
Compare this with online schools where lectures are pre-recorded and available over the internet. Even so, students can ask live questions through chats and follow live markets via webinars.
You can’t learn on your own schedule
Another major disadvantage of offline trading schools is that they don’t allow you to learn on your own schedule. This is a major drawback in today’s busy world as students need to commute to the physical venue of an offline trading school, losing valuable time they could spend learning and trading. With online courses, you can learn whenever you feel comfortable.
Does your city offer quality trading schools?
Last but not least, offline trading schools often lack the quality of online trading schools for practical reasons. If you aren’t located in major global cities, like London, New York, or Sydney, chances are your local trading schools are of inferior quality.
On the other hand, there are no such problems if you decide to learn online since you can choose from hundreds of reputable online schools and pick the one you like the most.
Credit: My Trading Skills