When pursuing an education in fashion, students are challenged with many decisions. One of the biggest decisions has to do with the study format that best fits your life and schedule.
In this post, with no intention of picking sides, we’ll look into the pros and cons that come with studying fashion online or onsite.
We spent some time rounding up some of the reasons why to choose an online class, and we’ve written down a summary for you.
With no further ado, let’s take a look!
Pros of Studying Online
Here are 4 reasons why studying fashion online could be a great option for you.
#1 There are many valuable online classes.
First of all, we need to take into account that the number and quality of online classes has dramatically increased over the last few years. As many jobs have moved to remote, the quality of distance learning options has skyrocketed.
In this sense, a good online class can be profile-building and an element of merit to your resume.
You may need to take some time to find the right course, the right instructor, or the right area of focus, but many acclaimed websites (and universities) are now offering very valuable options for you, that - in terms of content - have nothing to envy to more established fashion institutions.
#2 You can learn at your own pace. (Thinking about a career change?)
After clarifying that content quality is not an element of differentiation anymore, what can make online learning stand out is the flexibility it provides.
Let’s say that you are in a stage of a career change, but are taking some time to understand where to focus your next professional efforts. In this case, for a working professional, it can be hard to take a one-year break, to explore options.
If you are dealing with a busy schedule, and you want to keep your career in check, online study is a great solution. The flexibility that an online course can provide, is unparalleled and this is a benefit that should not be missed.
#3 They are reasonably priced.
Another element that should be taken into account is pricing. Tuition (and relocation) costs can be demanding if you’re thinking about enrolling in an onsite fashion school. These costs are in many cases justified by the fact that the institutions provide a wide variety of services, but these services, obviously come with a more expensive price tag.
In this sense, an online class will be much more inexpensive, and of course, if costs play an important role in your decision, this is certainly something to consider.
#4 They provide content, without an experiential dimension.
The last argument relates to the quantity of information available. If you detach the information you want to absorb from the experiential dimension of being immersed in a fashion school, the decision should be easy.
The breadth and depth of online classes are so wide and deep that it could take you years to consume even just the 10% of online courses being offered. In this sense, the experience of attending a fashion school might seem like a costly extra, that may look as unnecessary.
But is it really? Out of fairness, in the next section, we’ll look into the limitations of taking your fashion classes online.
Cons of Studying Online
Here are 4 things you may be missing out on, by not attending a fashion school onsite.
#1 Studying fashion has to do with being with, like-minded individuals.
Studying fashion to pursue a career in the industry is not an obvious choice. The fashion industry is diverse and inclusive and as such, many people are drawn to a career in fashion for many different types of reasons.
A fashion school is cross-disciplinary, as you’ll study (among other topics) fashion, business, art, sociology, and culture.
To work in fashion you’ll need a polyhedric and imaginative mind, and be around other students who are also challenging themselves with the complexities of the fashion industry. Sharing the journey can make the experience very rewarding on so many levels.
#2 You get to “normalize” your dreams by spending time with other students.
In this sense, attending a fashion school can be a way to connect with other like-minded individuals that share the same inspirations and ambitions.
Do you want to create an innovative streetwear brand? Do you want to plan a great fashion show? Do you want to be a trendsetter?
These could be ambitious dreams, but by attending a school with people that share your same goals, you can normalize these dreams and find the skills and opportunities to turn them into reality.
#3 You expose yourself to new energy and influences.
Of course, by mixing and mingling with other students you’ll be able to change and evolve and learn from each other as much as you can learn from your instructors.
By spending time with your fellow students you can delve into many niches and trends of the fashion industry that escape the more commercial markets, and make friends with people coming from every corner of the world.
As many of them will be fashion professionals of the future, taking an onsite course is a way for you to make connections that in time could provide very valuable benefits.
#4 Schools provide you with a strong brand. And proof of commitment to the industry.
Last but not least, some fashion schools, which do not provide online classes, can provide you with a "brand". Coming from an established fashion school can be a very strong element of validation on your CV.
In many cases, recruiters want to see candidates committed to pursuing a career in fashion, as they are drawn from pure passion. The stamp that an established fashion school can provide, is definitely a plus and can make the investment of time and money worthwhile.
Great! Now that we’ve covered all the more relevant points, let's list some conclusive remarks.
It’s really hard to draw some conclusive remarks with this one, the decision really depends on your personal goals and career expectations. What we’d advise, depends on your profile and background.
If you come from a career that already has a lot of transferable skills, maybe taking an online class could be a good option, as it would allow you to better understand the challenges which are more specific to the fashion industry. By taking one or more online classes, you could fill any gaps of knowledge you may have and take advantage of the wealth of information you can find online.
If this is your case, well, we can’t help but recommend our, very inexpensive, yet very exhaustive class entitled: “The Fashion Industry: Explained”. At checkout, use the discount code “WELCOME20” to get 20% off on your purchase.
If instead, you don’t have any previous professional experience, in an industry that connects to fashion, then, taking an onsite class can be a great option.
By spending time with like-minded individuals, and pursuing your own goals and ambitions, you can find a great opportunity to jump-start your career.
We hope that you’ve enjoyed reading this post. Don’t hesitate to look out for more free content in our blog!