Online degrees: any disadvantages?
Are there any cons to an online degree ? Here are some of the frequently mentioned disadvantages of online degrees:
You don't have direct contact with fellow students. But having opportunities to "talk" and share experiences online, sharing projects with other online students, being able to access your online advisor and having the ability to communicate with your online degree instructor by phone, fax, videoconference or e-mail lessens the impact of not actually being there. Technology has managed to make distance learning much more human-based and interactive than in the past.
Some people would say that if you study an online degree your verbal skills aren't honored. But they are. Every time you make questions or answers about your online degree, e-mail to your classmates or prepare your online degree papers you are increasing your ability to communicate with others. And because the workplace is depending more on e-mail and Web interaction, you are actually perfecting your ability to communicate in an efficient way.
Many individuals lack the self-discipline to work through online degree courses when there is no completion date stipulated and some start a course, but never finish. But remember, most providers operate their online degree courses based on a semester system, so deadlines are still there.
Employers may not believe that online degree courses are as rigorous as face-to-face courses. But, by sharing the course descriptions and syllabi for online degree courses, employers will see that content and goals are the same for courses that are conducted online and in the traditional way. By applying to an institution that has prestige and uses its faculty to develop the online degree courses, you get the same excellent education as you would get on-campus.
Some people worry that credits earned online might not transfer to colleges or universities with conventional programs. Every school makes its own determination as to what will apply to a degree program, be it online or offline. This is based on the course's content, its exit competencies and the reputation of the institution that granted the credit. In order words, whether the course is taken online or in the regular classroom should not make a difference.
People searching exclusively for online degrees may miss the many excellent offerings of degree programs that are partially online, but that also conduct learning through other means, i.e. correspondence courses, taped courses, etc. You should investigate all online degree options, including hybrid DL programs that combine different means of learning, and then choose the one best for your needs. And remember, more schools are offering online degree programs every day. If there is a certain university you are interested in attending online, ask about online degree programs that are currently under consideration or that are being developed.
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