Advantages to Massage Home-Study Courses: Part 1, MASSAGE MagazineContinuing education requirements are a way of life for massage therapists. There’s no getting around it, they are part of your professional certification.

You can get this required training by attending various conferences throughout the country, spending your well-earned money on courses, travel, hotel reservations and restaurant food. Or, you could opt to take a massage home-study course to learn some of the required material. Home-study courses can come at a significantly cheaper cost and you can stay at home and make your own schedule.

Before enrolling in your next continuing education class, take some time to consider the benefits of home-study courses. Make sure your continuing education experience is as educational and hassle-free as possible.

10. Geographic access. For those living off the beaten path and far away from a major city, it can be difficult to find live classes, workshops or seminars that are easy to attend. Home-study courses bring the classroom to you no matter your locale–and that means you’ll have just as much access to continuing education offerings as your big-city brethren.

9. Mobility. Live classes, even if close to your home, can often be difficult to get to, especially if you are disabled or lack transportation. Home-study courses are delivered to your home or office, where it is convenient for you. The only travel you have to do is from your front door to the mailbox.

8. Class size. Live classes often attract crowds, where you compete against other eager students for the best seat. If they beat you out in the rush, hope for a pair of opera glasses and a good P.A. system. In home-study courses, however, you have a front row seat for every class and intimate access to all of the course materials. Not to mention, you’ll never have to languish in your car trying to find that ever-elusive open parking space.

7. Materials. A book and a study guide are often all a student receives in taking a live class. Any props, displays or visual aids the instructor uses are only able to be viewed during class. Because home-study courses teach the same material without using live demonstrations, these courses generally include much more dynamic and visually engaging course materials. Home-study programs often include DVDs filled with hours of hands-on demonstrations, along with detailed course books offering numerous photos and illustrations.

6. Scheduling. Live classes are often scheduled for a particular date and time. If you’re not able to make it, it’s your loss. But with home-study courses, you make the schedule and do what works best for your situation. You also have access to class materials at any time.

When you decide what courses might be right for you, make sure to check with your national and state licensing bodies to make sure the courses you select are acceptable for continuing education credits.

Read Part 2 here.