Twenty years ago, the only way to specialize in a profession was to go off to college or university for it. But thanks to the internet, the need for a formal classroom has diminished over the years.
Can you really learn to be a bookkeeper online? With no classroom time?
And is Bookkeeper Launch worth it? Is it better than learning to be a bookkeeper at a local college?
Not only can you tap into a vast database of knowledge through a simple Google search, but online training and courses make it easier than ever to learn exactly what you need to know to start your career.
Bookkeeping, in particular, has seen a rise in access to online training. This is in part because bookkeeping can also be a virtual business, with clients and contractors never actually needing to meet in person.
But can a person with no formal post-secondary education really learn everything they need from an online course like Bookkeeper Launch? Or is it still worth investing in formal education?
Let’s lay out all the aspects of Bookkeeper Launch vs. college, and the pros and cons of each:
The Financial Investment to Become a Bookkeeper
Depending on if you go to a private college or public university, the average tuition cost in the US is anywhere from $9,970 – $34,740 USD.
In contrast, Bookkeeper Launch costs $1999 or $2999 (alternately 12 payments of $199 or $299) depending on whether you take the Pro or Premier course.
Not only is college an exponentially bigger investment than Bookkeeper Launch, but it could take you years to pay back that debt, whereas many Bookkeeper Launch graduates make back their investment within a few months.
What's the Time Commitment for Learning Bookkeeping?
Depending on what kind of diploma, certification, or degree you’re going to school for, you can expect to spend 2-4 years going to a traditional college.
Bookkeeper Launch is a robust course with hours of training and exercises. The course typically takes about 10 weeks to complete, but it is self-paced so some students may take less or more time.
While neither avenue is a “get rich overnight” scenario, with Bookkeeper Launch, you can feasibly get your bookkeeping business up and running within a few months.
What If You Could Really Study Bookkeeping at Home?
Although many colleges are introducing online classes into their platforms, more often than not you will still need to show up to a classroom for at least some of your lessons. You get limited control over your schedule, and even as a part-time student, you may find that classes interfere with your work schedule and personal life.
Bookkeeper Launch is entirely self-paced and you can access the training materials whenever you want, making it ideal for parents or people who are also working a full-time job.
You Need the Support of a Community of Bookkeepers
One thing that is nice about college is that you have access to a live teacher throughout the lessons. Outside of the classroom, the teachers may hold office hours for students to come and ask them questions.
Although Bookkeeper Launch classes are prerecorded, there is a strong support system in place for students who need help with the material. There are regular Q & A sessions twice weekly for those who need help with clients and course material, as well as monthly “Legal Lunches” sessions for assistance on the legal side of bookkeeping.
Bookkeeper Launch also offers unlimited email support and a private Facebook group where students can ask questions and seek out support from the moderators, members of the Student Support Team and fellow bookkeepers.
Do You Need Certification to Be a Bookkeeper?
Some corporations want to see a diploma or degree on your resume before they hire you, and this is one area where going to a traditional college can have an advantage.
Bookkeeper Launch does offer a certificate of completion which you can put on your resume, but it may not carry the same weight as a formal degree or diploma from a college.
That said, there are plenty of small businesses out there who don’t care about university degrees and just want to hire someone who they know will get the job done right. Bookkeeper Launch still carries enough credentials to help you land high-paying clients.
How Much Money Can You Make as a Beginner Bookkeeper?
While salaries are wide-ranging, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary of bookkeepers in the US is $36,120, with over 50% of them earning $34,740 or more.
Bookkeeper Launch graduates’ earnings can also vary greatly, depending on how much they can or want to work. For example, one stay-at-home mom makes $1200 per month as a bookkeeper as a side-hustle, while another course graduate makes $6000/month with their business working full-time. (You can find interviews with some of Ben's students in the Work-at-Home Spotlight section.)
Do College Bookkeeper Courses Guarantee Success?
While neither college nor Bookkeeper Launch can guarantee you will be a successful bookkeeper after graduating, there are some pretty significant differences between the two avenues.
College gives you the credentials, but not necessarily an avenue to pursue once you graduate.
Bookkeeper Launch prepares you for success by not just teaching how to be a bookkeeper, but how to network and market your business. You become much more than a bookkeeper with Bookkeeper Launch; you become an entrepreneur.
It's Your Move
In 2019, traditional in-classroom colleges and universities are not strictly required to become a professional in some industries. Bookkeeping is definitely a field where you can learn everything you need from online certification.
Depending on what your long term career goals are, it likely makes more sense to learn from the comfort of your home than to go to traditional college classes.
If you want to learn more about Bookkeeper Launch, be sure to read our comprehensive review.
What do you think of college vs. Bookkeeper Launch? Have you ever considered substituting college with an online course? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!