Advantages and Disadvantages of Attending an Online Bartender Training Program

Online training and online learning are becoming more popular than ever.  You can get college degrees online, and now you can even earn a bartending certification online.  Like with other online training, there are pros and cons to choosing an online bartending school over a brick and mortar school, and which factors are more important will depend on the individual student.

– PRO: Less expensive

Because it has less overhead and fewer expenses, an online bartending program will almost invariably be cheaper than a traditional bartending school.  A lower tuition makes the school more affordable, so you won’t incur as much debt during training, and any debt that you do incur can be recouped faster once you start working.

– CON: Less experience

While you’ll probably still learn everything that you would from a traditional bartending school, with an online program you won’t get the hands-on experience that you otherwise would have.  You won’t get to mix drinks for other people in your class who pretend to be customers, you won’t have timed tests where you have to find a specific liquor or make a certain number of drinks, and you won’t get to see first hand what a drink should look like when made correctly.

– PRO: No travel

There are many traditional, brick and mortar bartending schools across the country.  However, the closest one to you may still be a half hour or an hour away (or more).  With an online program, you won’t have any travel time, and you won’t have to worry about traffic jams or accidents.  You’ll also save on gas money.

– CON: Possibly less credible

Some employers may take an online bartending certification less seriously than a traditional certification (whether that view is right or wrong).  So if you apply for a bartending job and have a certificate from an online program, and someone else applies for the same job with a certificate from a traditional bartending school, that other applicant might potentially have a leg up in the job hunt.

– PRO: May be easier

Since your instructor isn’t standing over you, grading you as you mix a drink, an online class might be easier to pass than a traditional class.  You’ll still probably have tests or quizzes, but they will be of a much different nature, and they’ll probably be open book.