A lot of things have to be considered when seeking higher education. The choice of having an online degree as opposed to a more traditional degree is an important factor to consider.
Online degrees gain more popularity every year. According to UtepConnect, there’s been an increase in college-age students choosing to earn a degree online. This has prompted more colleges to increase their capacity and resources for online learning, making it a creditable alternative.
Though more colleges and students are embracing online education, the real question of many remains if online education is worth pursuing. This concern is a result of many misguided representations about online education.
Some concerns about online education include,
- Quality education?
- Is it legit?
- Does it help with career advancement? Will employers like it?
Online classes are not self-taught tutorials. They are actual programs, with actual professors and classmates. They are rigorous, with a well-mapped curriculum and coursework to cover everything essential to getting that degree. There are assignments, projects to deliver, and proctored exams to pass.
Online education also offers more opportunities like forums, teacher feedback, as well as office appointments, phone calls with professors, and email exchanges to increase student-student and student-teacher interactions.
Online students are known to have a less professor to student ratio. The flexibility, range, and convenience of communication between student and professor make it easier for a professor to attend to a student one on one.
Graduates with online degrees are just as competent as graduates who attended brick and mortar classes.
The legitimacy of online degrees
The webspace is quite broad and most times unchecked. Many second-rated universities and unaccredited institutions took advantage of this to offer run-in-the-mill, worthless diplomas or certificates that do not stand the test of time or distinction.
Today, more prestigious universities with a long history of excellence and integrity offer online degrees that meet the same high standards as their offline model. Degrees gotten from these universities are as real and of the same standards as the traditional ones.
Are online degrees respected in the job market?
Students worry that an online degree will not be taken seriously. This is a very valid concern as it is no use getting a degree that will not be respected enough to earn cash. An unrespected degree could mean the difference between a glowing or a stumped career.
Online degrees have gained much traction in recent times, seeing an exponential rise due to the Covid-19 lockdown. Employers understand the times we live in and their interest is primarily that the institution is a reputable one and that the job candidate can perform and deliver duties as per the education acquired.
It would be unrealistic to say every employer will not frown on an online degree as some people are slower to embrace change than others.
But, if a degree is gotten from a university that offers both online and offline degrees, the employer may not tell if a particular degree was gotten online. The degrees issued to online students are the same issued to offline students.
Online education has other major points to its advantage.
- It is very flexible, allowing parents, older students, and people working to study while carrying out other activities.
- It is less costly than earning a traditional degree.
Although online degrees are worth pursuing, it is important to note that the worth of the education also depends on the student and the program. Some programs are not available online. For example, The American Bar Association does not approve law programs online.
Limited networking opportunities, fewer personal connections, and more learning responsibilities for the student are some of the downsides of pursuing an online degree.
A student who does better in a team and who would prefer to make more meaningful friendships with classmates should pursue a traditional degree to reduce the rate of online dropouts.