SolveYourProblem Article Series: Online Degrees
Is An Online Degree Program For Me?


     Earning an Online Degree: Top Mistakes and Traps

To some, earning an online degree can be the promised land. They can earn their degree faster than those people who are trapped in the traditional classroom setting, and they can learn more while doing it. Unfortunately with these benefits there is a myriad of pitfalls. Those who will be successful in earning their degree online have to learn how to dodge these pitfalls and avoid the mistakes and traps that seem so innocent before crushing all hope. It all comes down to seven mistakes that people may make, all of which can be potentially fatal to earning an online degree.

The first trap is procrastination. Any problems the student had before with procrastination will be magnified if the student is working at their own pace. A lot of students who are fairly bright never earn an online degree just because they “don’t get around to it”. To avoid this trap you need to set your goals, and stick to them no matter what. It doesn’t matter if your friends want you to go out later that night – if your work is not finished, than you should not be going out.

One major decision students make is in choosing which school they would like to use to pursue their dream for a degree. Unfortunately a lot of students select the wrong school. Diploma mills are schools that will take your money and give you a degree – but since they are not accredited the degree isn’t worth the fancy sheet of paper that it’s printed on. In order to avoid these con artists you need to check before hand to make sure that the school is accredited with the regional authority. Make sure when you’re looking for the proper accreditation that the accreditation isn’t fake as well – diploma mills sometimes set up their own accrediting authorities. Triple check to make sure you’re not getting conned.

Most people think that just because they’re in an online course that they shouldn’t bother connecting with the other students or the professors. This is unfortunate, as many great things can come forth from collaboration. If you want an online degree make sure you use both the email and the message board to its fullest potential so that you can stay connected to the online world.

A major trap that can essentially destroy your life is the price trap. Sometimes the course does not justify the price. You have to plan in the future and make sure that the reward you’re getting from your degree is going to pay off in the long run. For example, you wouldn’t want a $100 000 student loan when the field you’re trying to enter only pays $25 000 a year – the pay off does not justify the price. Always find other ways to save, and take the lowest student loan you can possibly afford.

Once you’ve begun looking for employers you may not want to mention the fact that you earned your degree online. Although most employers will realize this is just as valid as a degree earned through a traditional college, some may have a problem with it. The best advice is to not mention it unless the employer brings it up.

When people begin an online degree course, some forget that they do have credit from previous courses. For example, if you attended university for a year and then dropped out for whatever reason you can still receive credit for those courses, even if you’re looking at an online course. Talk to the councilor, as they’ll be able to direct you best, and could end up saving you plenty of money.

Despite wanting to earn their degree online, some people forget that there is a host of online resources out there just waiting to be tapped. Before you buy an expensive university book, look around and see what types of resources there are on the Internet. Often times you will find that you don’t even need to buy the book, or you will find the book at a discount prices. Also, you may find information that will help clear up any problems you might have.

The path to an online degree can be difficult to navigate, but it doesn’t have to be if you avoid the traps mentioned above.

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