Articles

Advantages of Online Universities
What It Takes To Be An Online University Student
7 Considerations for Choosing an Online University
The Positives and Negatives of Online Degrees
Accreditation and Fraudulent Degrees
My Experience with Online Education
Online Course: The Who, What, When, Where, Why and How
Online Classes: A Reality For You or Not?
Distance Education: A Whole New World
A Traditional Classroom or Distance Learning

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The Positives And Negatives of Online Degrees

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An online degree is very convenient to obtain. This is the biggest reason that they have become so popular over the years. You can access your class from anywhere that has a computer and at any time. You can do homework at your lunch break at work. (If your employer doesn’t mind you access them while in the building.) Online courses are very easy to navigate and very easy to manage. Follow the syllabus and submit the assignments. Before you know it, you will have a degree that will aid in your future endeavors.

Online universities use convenience and working at our own pace as their major marketing strategy. This is partially true. You are able to work at your own pace, but only inside the parameters set by the course. The syllabus that you follow gives you deadlines. You work at your own pace to submit assignments within the deadlines on your syllabus. So, you are not actually working at your own pace.

There other major sales pitch is that students do not have to sacrifice their jobs to complete an online degree program. Once again this is somewhat true. Many people choose to take online university courses because they do not want to leave their profession, but they do want to be more valuable to the company. It has been stated that students actually spend more time overall on online classes, than the students who attend classes at a local university. This includes test taking, studying, researching, essay writing, class time, and student interacting. An estimated 5 hours per week more. However, this was based on online courses that were 5 weeks long instead of a traditional college course being 10 weeks. The reason that was given for this being true is because the students taking online courses were able to do their studies, research, tests, etc. after their families went to bed or on the weekends when the other parent could handle the children and they did not have to go to work. Whatever the reason, based on these facts, it can be said that online courses can be tied to convenience no matter what the argument for or against it is.

Online courses tuition and all other fees combined are less than going to a local university. Everyone likes to save money, especially with the raise in gas prices and the economies stability right now. It only makes sense that online courses are cheaper than local colleges. The online universities do not have to pay as much for anything. They do not have to purchase desk or computers. They do not own a 10 acre school that has to have routine maintenance once a year. Because of all of the savings they have, they are able to offer classes at a very reasonable price. Plus the professors are happier and less likely to leave their positions. They are earning more money than they previously were and get to teach class in their bath robes if they want to. I am pretty sure I would be fired, if I wore my house coat and house slippers everyday to work.

The biggest complaint about online education is a complaint that they have a very high drop out rate. The biggest reason for this is that the students do not realize the amount of self-discipline that they must have in order to complete an entire degree program online. The students have to create their own schedule and stick to it in order to be successful in an online program. Most students’ think they are very self-disciplined or at least enough to handle an online degree program. Then, after a couple of courses, they realize that maybe they were wrong. They get discouraged and drop out. Many of the students who have dropped out of online classes will tell you exactly why they did it.

What do online degrees mean to employers? There are several things that go through an employers mind as they read on a resume that a candidate for a position received a degree from an online university. First, they wonder if it is a scam university. They want to know if the degree is real or if you paid money to buy the degree without ever taking a class. This is very easy to prove, but the employer will not take the time to do it. So, as a graduate of an online university, you should always send a copy of the schools accreditation with your resume. Universities, both online and campus-based, should be accredited by one of the agencies that are recognized by the National Board of Education - the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC), the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges (NCA), the Middle States Association of Schools and Colleges (MSA), the Southern Association of Schools and Colleges (SACS), the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), and the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges (NWCCU). These agencies give accreditation to the universities that meet the standards set up by the US government. You can look on the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) website (see link below) and find out if the university is accredited by one of the above six agencies. Print that page out and attach it to your resume. This will immediately get rid of any suspicions that the employer would have.

The last thing that the employer thinks is that you, the candidate, are automatically ruled reliable, self-motivated, and self-disciplined. It takes all of these qualities to be able to survive an entire degree program and obtain your online degree. Employers have been known to take someone with an online degree over someone with a college campus degree because of these qualities that are proven by this type of degree.