Online digital photography classes have the potential to take any beginning photographer to any level they would choose, including the status of professional photographer if that is desired.
There are many excellent tutorials which can get a beginner quickly up to the level where they are taking effective shots, and then to the level where they have an effective understanding of the individual settings on a camera. There are also classes which can take the user beyond that level to the stage where they are taking professional standard photographs.
For a beginner, it can be important to just get into the game as quickly as possible and to begin taking some useful photographs. This is possible with entry level cameras, because they offer the function of being able to set their settings to automatic, eliminating any possible error which the user may make. Using these automatic settings, anyone should be able to take photographs of a reasonable standard. They will not be of the same quality as the photographs an experienced camera user would take with well defined manual settings, but the development of these skills needs to unfold over time.
It makes sense to take a large percentage of your initial photographs in the open air, and to photograph objects which are going to remain constant. This way, you can return to the same object many times to try out different settings. You can take photographs early in the morning, when the sunlight will be casting extreme shadows in one direction, and then in the evening when the shadows will be in completely the opposite direction. You can also take photographs from different distances, and from a slightly different angle. All of this will be valuable experience, and will help you progress quickly with online classes.
The higher levels of online digital photography classes will also concentrate on the ability of the digital photographer to manipulate the image once it has been downloaded to a computer. This is the major ability which separates the modern photographer from their predecessor using film. Anyone can perform basic editing using free software, although these free programs are often not well documented and come with a steep learning curve. If you want to take it further, you can always learn to use the industry standard Adobe Photoshop software, which is well documented, and which has all of the features a professional standard photographer needs.
Online classes can take you to the level where you can derive genuine satisfaction from amateur photography, and they can even help you reach the level of a professional photographer should that be something you would want to do. Many photographers, such as wedding and portrait photographers, are self employed and need no qualifications or licensing to be able to operate. In other industries such as journalism, a formal degree is definitely needed. You can now achieve this degree standard education without the need to spend several years at a college campus, through the new online learning platforms.
There are a great many online digital photography classes catering to photographers of all standards, so it is important to find the right one for your current level and the level you eventually want to achieve. Take your time to study the different courses on offer, and to read any independent reviews. If you are new, it will be best to start with one of the free basic courses to keep risk to a minimum, and then when you have a basic understanding of how the camera works, you can progress to paid online digital photography classes.