Online Degree – Pros and Cons

Online degrees offer some significant benefits over traditional in-person classes, but there are some disadvantages.  In this post we are going to look at some of the Pros and Cons of getting an online degree and taking classes over the Internet.

Cons of an Online Degree

  • Poor reputation – Some schools that offer online degrees have a poor academic reputation.  In some cases, people will consider any online degree to be associated with inferior academic quality.  As more top tier universities start offering online degrees this is likely to fade, but the stigma may be there for some time to come.
  • Isolation – Many students find that online degrees leave them feeling isolated.  They don’t get the in person attention that they do with live classes and some people may find this very difficult to deal with.
  • Poor networking opportunities – Many of the benefits of going to a top tier school come in the form of networking.  Remember the whole adage, “Its who you know not what you know.”  Online degrees typically don’t offer the same degree of interaction so your networking opportunities are less than with a traditional non-online degree.
  • Expense – Some online degrees are much more expensive than their traditional counterparts. Strangely enough the most expensive masters degrees aren’t the best recognized, so you don’t always get what you pay for. Still the expense can be a downside.

Pros of an Online Degree

  • A short commute – How long does it take you to get from your living room to the room where you keep the computer? For many people the time spend commuting can be the factor that determines whether or not they pursue a degree–they simply can’t afford to spend a few hours each day in the car to try to go to school.
  • Flexible scheduling – Being able to work around existing family and work commitments can be a big plus when it comes to online degrees.  You can simply stay up later and go to class or study on a Saturday morning to catch up. Not all online degrees offer this type of flexibility.  Some require you to view classes live.
  • Not limited by Geography – Most of the time, people are limited to the schools that are nearby.  Either that or going back to get a degree means quitting their job and moving. Online degrees allow you to attend the school that is best for your needs–not just the one that is closest to your home.
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