OverviewBoth 360training and The CE Shop offer a long list of courses and curriculum for distance education. The difference, however, is that The CE Shop focuses only on real estate-based studies while 360training includes numerous other areas of study for other industries. Subsequently, the experience and interaction with The CE Shop feels a bit more tailored to the real estate audience and instills confidence in its online students as its courses receive awards in numerous states, and its corporate office is named a great place to work by its employees. That said, if you are looking for a more budget-friendly option and are a self-started with good self-discipline, you may find all you need in the 360training courses, which are primarily PDFs, slides, and some videos, presented in a no-frills, “plain English” style. The CE Shop offers a more interactive — and pricier — experience, which may appeal to students who enjoy a more varied learning experience. Both options offer flexibility that is much-appreciated for working students, as well as student support 7 days a week.
The CE Shop offers license courses for Alabama, California, Colorado, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Washington. Additionally, it offers continuing education courses for agents in all 50 states.
360training and The CE Shop offer several course bundles as well as individual courses that can be purchased a la carte; their basic packages are within the same general price range. However, The CE Shop offers two additional basic bundles, with the premium option including an additional 98-hour SAE course, so it’s important to carefully review what is and is not included in each bundle of courses. Both companies offer in-site discounts, and The CE Shop also offers a free trial. 360training offers an additional exam prep course that can be purchased separately, while The CE Shop does not. Additionally, 360training provides discounts for volume licensing, meaning that an employer can save by purchasing courses for several employees at once. The CE Shop does not offer this option, but does include monthly payment plan options for students. Additionally, 360training recently released a new select state-approved recorded proctoring exam for added ease of use and cost savings.
Pricing will depend on the state in which you are needing licensing, as each state requires a different number of hours. Here is an example of comparing the two companies’ offerings for the state of Texas:
180-hour Premium Pre-License Package: $495
Exam Prep Course: $79
Courses from both 360training and The CE Shop are state-specific, in both number of hours and topics, and both companies offer customized bundles that include additional helpful topics, so it’s important to review the packages carefully to find which best fits your needs. The content in the 360training courses is best suited for someone who learns best from independent, reading-based tools, and content is mostly present in slides and PDFs that are easily saved and printed out. The CE Shop content is more interactive, but more difficult to download and keep in hard copy for review later. Both companies offer student support every day of the week, so you are never alone, regardless of when you are able to study.
Both 360training and The CE Shop target students wanting to work at their own pace at their own time, knowing that many real estate license students are transitioning from other careers and need to work around busy schedules. Both companies promote their content as “mobile friendly,” although 360training content is more traditional in that it is primarily presented in downloadable PDFs and slides, and some student feedback includes complaints about technical glitches with the site that keep them from being able to access their courses. The CE Shop content is provided 100% online without textbooks or workbooks, which makes it very portable if you are comfortable with using your computer or mobile devices to take digital notes and study.
Both schools meet their covered state’s requirements for hours and topics, and include practice tests and quizzes throughout the help ensure students are retaining what they are learning. 360training provides PDFs with quizzes for its included topics, as well as practice tests that can be taken as often as desired. The CE Shop also includes quizzes, but these are interactive and hosted online. This is helpful, except that you must pass the quiz at 100% to proceed to the next phase of the course. If you do not, you have another chance to take a quiz, but new questions are generated. Some students found this to result in it taking them longer to make it through the course content. That said, this approach does help ensure that you are learning a wide range of topics that the content covers.
Level of Engagement
While both 360training and The CE Shop are technically fully “online,” the way you interact with their content is quite different. Many of the courses in 360training format are PDFs that you download to read and review, including the quizzes. Many people prefer this because they can print these out and take hard copy notes to review later. The CE Shop presents its information in a more interactive, digital format, and offers special note-taking tools that can be searched and reviewed online as needed. This can however, present a problem if you are wanting to print items out to save or review later in hard copy. You should consider your learning style in choosing between these two options to ensure you get the most out of your experience.
While both 360training and The CE Shop offer content-rich courses that can be accessed at any time — very helpful for busy students looking for flexibility — only The CE Shop is truly interactive and engaging as a tool. While this means it can be more challenging to skip ahead or gloss over certain sections, the quizzes and checkpoints throughout help ensure you are more than prepared to pass your pre-license exam. Additionally, The CE Shop website is more streamlined and easier to navigate, and the company focuses specifically on real estate licensing, as opposed to countless other education courses for other industries found on 360training. This focus, along with its company-wide commitment to be a good employer and world leader in continuing education, push it ahead as an interesting, effective way to get your license on your own time.