If you are considering a career in automotive finance and insurance, it is best to complete a training program first to ensure that you have the skills and knowledge you need to do the job right. However, not all F&I training programs offer the same quality of instruction and results. For this reason, it is important to compare your options carefully. In this article, we will discuss the difference between in-classroom and online training, as well as the advantages that make in-classroom instruction the better choice for most students.
In-Classroom Instruction vs Online Training
When it comes to F&I training, you have two primary options: in-classroom study and online study. While in-classroom study requires you to attend classes and take all exams in person, online study allows you to complete the entire program at home or in any location that offers an internet connection. Although both of these program structures offer certain advantages, most students interested in an F&I career will benefit more from an in-classroom F&I training program.
Advantages of In-Classroom Instruction
Some of the most notable advantages of in-classroom instruction programs for F&I management students include:
- A set schedule. – When you opt for an online F&I program, you will be responsible for setting your own schedule and making sure you learn all the material in the right timeframe. For people who have limited time management skills, this can be quite difficult. In-classroom programs, on the other hand, require you to attend scheduled sessions, which ensures that you are able to keep up with the program.
- Hands-on training. – Although online instruction may be more convenient for some students, nothing can replace hands-on training. When you complete your F&I training in person, you will have real life experiences that will translate seamlessly into the field when you begin working. You will be working with real deals, gaining real experience.
- A chance to use the software. – As an F&I manager, you will be responsible for using a variety of software programs to do your job. In-classroom programs give you a chance to work hands on with real F&I software so you can be sure you know how to use it before you are required to do so on the job.
- Direct interactions with instructors – Although you will receive quality instruction during an online program, there is no substitute for interacting directly with your instructors and receiving in-person, immediate feedback. For most students, this leads to better retention and more confidence, which translates to greater success as an F&I manager.
Being in an in-classroom F&I program is like working in a real F&I office. You will get experience working with real lenders’ guidelines and structuring deals with real F&I software. It’s like a trial run for your actual career. With one of these programs, it takes as little as four weeks to change your whole life.
When to Choose an Online Program
In light of the advantages listed above, it is clear that in-classroom training offers benefits that cannot be duplicated by an online program. Nonetheless, online programs may still be a good option for certain students. You may consider enrolling in an online F&I management program if:
- You have travel issues. – If you are unable to travel to the location of the in-classroom program for all of the scheduled sessions, it may be necessary to opt for an online program instead.
- You have time constraints. – Even if travel is not a concern, you may not be able to participate in an in-classroom program if you are unavailable during the scheduled sessions. For example, if you have a day job and you cannot change your schedule to accommodate your classes, online learning may be the only option.
- You have other obligations. – For some people, taking the time to complete an in-classroom instructional program is impossible because of other obligations, such as children. In such cases, you may need to complete your program at home.
- You cannot afford to study in the classroom. – Online programs typically have lower associated costs than in-classroom programs. If you can’t afford the in-classroom tuition, you can still get great value from an online option.
If you fall one or more of the categories above, an online education is still better than entering the field unprepared. But, if you are able to make the sacrifice, studying in the classroom is well worth it and will set you on path for a career in a very high-income position.
Studying F&I Management at the Automotive Dealership Institute
Automotive Dealership Institute is the only licensed, independent Finance & Insurance Manager School in the entire United States, and it is the only school of this type to provide an actual diploma to its students. We literally wrote ‘the book’ on F&I, as our textbook was the first book on Auto Finance that was accepted to the Library Of Congress. With as little as four weeks in our program, you can be on the road to earning a high salary in an exciting career as an F&I manager. We offer job placement in all 50 states, ensuring that you are able to find the position you need as quickly as possible. Contact ADI today to learn more about our program or to begin the enrollment process.