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


Is an Online Degree Universally Accepted or Bashed?

There will always be some condescension coming from the college graduate, who invested much time and expense in earning his degree from a physical university, to the aspiring high school graduate who got his degree online in the convenience of his own home.

Online degrees are universally considered second best to established schools and are often bashed by critics as well as formal educators. But are these criticisms valid? Are there some online degrees that are universally accepted?

The online degree has received a lot of negative publicity thanks in part to “diploma mills”, which are phony schools that don’t really care about education and would rather sell an online degree at a discounted price. The phony degrees that these pseudo schools sell are not only dishonest, but for the most part, they are also invalid in the business world.

The serious professional will avoid diploma mills and seek only the most legitimate forms of online education. Do accredited and respectable online colleges offer a universally accepted degree?

It is true that physical colleges will always have an edge over online education. There is more coursework involved in an established college as well as direct supervision over a class by a teacher. One must persevere to get into a high profile college with exceptional grades and a large investment.

Online colleges differ in the enrollment process. Some properly accredited schools, wishing to establish a better reputation than the common diploma mills, will ask for traditional materials before acceptance. These might involve a high school diploma, an admissions test, test scores, transcripts, an application essay and a few letters of recommendation. However, other schools might only require a high school diploma or a GED. Still others might not even require a high school diploma for enrollment.

It is because of these various differences, that some online degrees will be viewed as inferior to traditional schools, while others will be viewed as equal. Whether a degree will be accepted or bashed largely depends on the actual school and its reputation.

The best choice in terms of universally establishing a degree would be to choose an online program that a traditional, regional school offers. A diploma from such a traditional school, though offered online, would be the same, as an on-campus graduate would receive.

Schools that are not accredited, or are accredited by an organization that is not recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditations (CHEA) would most likely not be universally accepted as a legitimate degree by schools and employers.

However, legitimate online degrees should not be discounted. If the school has a good reputation, and adheres to acceptable standards of accreditation, then many employers will accept the degree.

Because of scheduling problems or financial difficulty, many students can only work towards higher education at their own pace. Online education offers people the chance to learn the same information, but according to his or her individualized schedule. The concentrated, private schooling might help some students better understand the information. Students have the option to take more time on a difficult assignment and to speed through the lessons they do understand.

Students that are seeking a legitimate online degree should be highly motivated, organized and able to work independently. Obviously, online education does not offer the advantages of in-person tutoring or class discussions. Therefore, the successful online student should be as energetic or more so than a student on-campus, if he or she wishes to earn a degree. Online degrees are not the lazy person’s education.

Diploma mills. Diploma mill schools will promise potential students (buyers) that you can earn a PHD or a master’s degree in less than a month. Some so called universities claim accreditation, though they are mostly self-accredited, and offer to sell you a bachelor or master’s degree based on what you already know. While many may feel they know enough about a given subject based on life experience to earn a degree, be aware that many people are dishonestly buying degrees that they really have no basis for. Thus, even the person who qualifies for a degree would be affiliating himself with a school that sells degrees to anyone and everyone. Educators and employers alike would bash the graduating student.

While phony degrees are readily available to anyone willing to pay for them, universally accepted online degrees can be just as respectable—and difficult to earn—as one found in a traditional college.

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