While there are a number of advantages when it comes to getting an online degree, there are also a number of disadvantages. It is important for one to make sure the advantages of pursuing an online degree significantly outweighs the disadvantage when deciding whether an online education is right for you. Below we list some of the pros and cons of getting an online degree.
Pro: Flexibility and Convenience
One of the biggest advantages of an online degree program is the fact that you learn at your own pace, and don’t have to attend actual scheduled classes. Besides assignment due dates and/or exams, you essentially attend class according to your own schedule. This makes getting an post-secondary education possible for those who have to work full-time or have to take care of their families.
Con: Self-Motivation Driven
The flip-side of learning according to your own schedule and/or pace is that you are now responsible for finishing up your lessons in a timely manner. This can be extremely difficult for some students, as most are used to having to go to school and attend lessons that are already paced, as well as having strict deadlines are enforced by teachers or professors. Online universities need students who are extremely self-motivated and excited about learning the topic of study.
Pro: Potentially Cheaper
Typically online universities or degree programs are much cheaper as opposed to attending traditional classes, though this may vary depending on the school. With universities and colleges getting increasingly expensive, the lowered costs of attending an online university or degree program is one of the main reasons why some students choose to get an online education instead of attending a traditional university.
Con: Non-Accredited Programs
The biggest and most concerning issue with getting an online degree is that most programs are non-accredited. Some online universities offer a degree to anyone who can pay the tuition fees, thus making them not credible at all. It is important to conduct research and find out which online programs are accredited before deciding on the online university or degree programs you want to attend. Sometimes traditional universities will offer online degree programs as well, making it easier for one to determine the accreditation of the program.
Pro: Faster Completion
As mentioned before, online programs are done at the student’s own pace and schedule. Because of this, some students finish in a lot less time than traditional in-school degree programs. If you’ve already completed some credits, some programs will also allow you to use them towards obtaining your degree if they are relevant to the program.
Con: Networking Challenges
One of the most important things people do at traditional in-class universities is networking. Networking can help in landing a decent job after graduation or getting into a master’s program. Online universities lack interactions between peers as well as professors, making it a bit harder to network or make friends with your classmates.
Pro: Greater Options
Sometimes the program you want or need to study requires you to move to the university or college that offers the program. This can be a hassle, and quite expensive as well. However, with online universities and degree programs, a wide range of degree programs are open to you from a variety of places far away from where you live and you can choose as you please. This is because, with online programs, you can complete your dream program in the comfort of your own home!
Con: Negative Stigma
Due to online universities that offer anyone who can pay the price a degree and lack of accredited programs, there is a negative stigma surrounding getting an online degree. Some employers, if you have an online degree, with question the program’s accreditation.
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