One of the fastest growing institutions of higher learning is the distance learning school. These schools offer education and degrees through online services. However, the value of these degrees has come into question. We will look into reasons for this as well as if it is worth pursuing.
First, look at the institution. There are many places that aren’t legitimate and pretty much ‘hand out’ degrees. The best way to get an online degree is through an established, well-known online university. Another good idea is to go through the distance learning program of an accredited, campus-based college.
The level of the degree also matters. It seems that employers put more stock in online degrees if they are a low-level degree. For instance, a one-year certification will seem more credible than an online bachelor’s degree. That is not to say that a one-year degree will carry more weight than a four-year degree; it’s just that it might seem more legitimate.
The field of study and industry for which the degree will be used both need to be considered. Online degrees for knowledge-based subjects are more credible than classes that would normally require hands-on experience. Different industries will perceive online degrees in different ways. Technical industries are the most likely to accept online education. Industries that often reject such degrees include medicine and law.
Getting a job with an online degree often boils down to two individuals in particular. Those two people are the applicant and the person doing the hiring. Each hiring manager will have his or her own preferences. Some would rather have work experience over academics or vice versa. Many times it will depend on the applicant. If the person has a lot of experience, that will be the place of emphasis. For a new graduate, however, little experience will mean more importance placed upon academics. Also, a degree is only one part of a resume. Other factors and qualities of the applicant can greatly effect whether or not the person gets the job.
So, how does an online education stack up against a traditional education? An online degree does have its advantages. Costs will be lower, and the flexible schedules allow someone to get an education who normally couldn’t find the time. Also, distance learning programs from large universities might offer a program, class, or degree that isn’t available at any local schools. On the other hand, there is very little interaction with an online education. You do not get in-person help from your teacher or get to interact with other students. Plus, there are the doubts about the degree that were previously discussed.
If you are having trouble paying for college or finding time to fit it in, online schools are worth looking into. However, nothing can compare to the experience of the traditional college education.