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


     Getting an Online Degree: Pros and Cons

Just like any other venture in life, earning a degree online will have its pros and cons.

Many students will have legitimate reasons for wanting to pursue a degree online as opposed to attending a physical college. Perhaps personal circumstances make it impossible for a person to attend a school at certain hours. Maybe the student must work in addition to employment, or be available for his or her family. Whatever the case, online schools were set up for the convenience of the student seeking higher education. They were never meant to replace traditional schooling by offering quick and easy diplomas for sale.

Earning an online degree will have its pros and cons, but if you thoroughly research your school and work hard, it can be a reputable and recognized alternative to traditional college.

Pros 1 & 2: Online education offers students the chance to learn according to their own personal schedule. The private and intensive schooling might help students better grasp the information. Students can also speed through assignments they understand, and take a little bit more time on challenging ones, so that the learning process becomes more individualized.

Cons 1 & 2: Only students that are highly motivated and organized will truly excel at online education. For those who are easily distracted or who do not work well without direct supervision, the cons of having no one-on-one tutoring will be noticeable. While at home, itís so easy to get distracted with other projects when you should be learning. Even a highly motivated person might find it difficult to concentrate unless very well organized.

Pros 3 & 4: Online colleges, for the most part, are easier to get into. While some online schools require a high school diploma, test scores, transcripts and letters of recommendation, many others do not and may only require a high school diploma and application essay. They are usually more affordable than traditional schools. By all evidence, earning a degree online is easier and cheaper than graduating from a physical college.

Cons 3 & 4: Online degrees are often times considered inferior to degrees earned in traditional colleges. This is not because the course is any less intelligent or challenging; itís because ďdiploma millsĒ or phony universities have been tarnishing the image of an online degree. Diploma mills, unlike legitimate online courses, offer degrees for sale: associateís degrees, bachelorís degrees, masterís degrees even PhDs. Some companies offer quick courses with degrees without verifying the knowledge of the student, while others merely offer to sell degrees based on what the individual professes to already know by work experience. Not only are these schools giving online degrees a bad name, they are also scamming individuals out of thousands of dollars; the individual soon discovers that a phony degree is not valid in the real business world.

Pros 5 & 6: Less social distractions. College campuses are very social places, whether for making friends or enemies. Making new friends, meeting new romantic interests, not to mention the danger of over-drinking or drugs, can all be very distracting for a person trying to master a subject for a serious career. Online schooling, provided the student follows a set schedule and is organized, places the emphasis back on the schooling and not the college campus lifestyle. Furthermore, problems involving difficult teachers are naturally eliminated since in online schooling itís all about the student reading and absorbing the words.

Cons: 5 & 6: However, with private education also comes a disadvantage. Not all schools offer personalized, hands-on coursework and experience in the field you are studying. While book smarts are essential in finding a prosperous career, without any case studies to go along with those book smarts, the student will always be lacking. To earn a degree in a traditional school means plenty of hours studying and observing real life cases in real time for your evaluation and subsequent review. Most likely, an online school will never have that option. Also, the lack of a class discussion could be a drawback. Reading words off a screen or a book is educational, but an interactive group discussion can be very enlightening to a student who wishes to fully understand the subject beyond the written word. Obviously, online education cannot guarantee this feature either.

There are many pros and cons to earning an online degree. They are to be considered carefully and taken seriously. Education is a thousand-dollar investment and a student wants to be sure that the degree he earned through great effort and expense is universally recognized.

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