5 Reasons to Respect an Online Degree

5 Reasons to Respect an Online Degree

online degrees
While sharing information on their company’s education assistance, a contact recently mentioned that they would be less interested in paying for an online degree program. This struck me as odd for many reasons, not the least of which is the high likelihood that a lot of their employees had already taken online courses or earned online degrees.Even as many colleges are approaching 50% or more of coursework taking place online there is still a concern by some as to whether an online degree program is “legit”. While there are issues to be found with both online and on-ground degree programs, here are 5 reasons why you should respect the quality of an online degree.

  1. Students can’t hide – Often an on-ground student can sit quietly for a full semester and not truly experience the value of classroom interaction. While an online class is perceived as solitary, the reality is quite the opposite. Most online classes include an online “discussion” requirement, meaning you must respond to instructor posts and the posts of other students several times during the week. Often the length and quality of those posts are part of the grade, ensuring a quality interaction that drives knowledge better than simply reading a textbook.
  2. It’s Adaptive – For a working professional, a 6pm, two-hour class can be as inconvenient or as draining as an 8am class was for me I was trudging through campus. A class schedule that feels like more of an obstacle can interfere with learning, sometimes resulting in missing the class altogether. In an online degree program, the classroom adapts to an employee’s busy work and life. This means students go to class when they are more focused, ready to learn and have fewer excuses not to commit to the experience.
  3. Synchronous opportunities – Many online programs are including an option to better replicate the traditional on ground experience. In this scenario, online instructors will hold their class as a live video session, podcast, chat session, etc (or all of the above). These synchronous sessions allow for real-time interaction when students can attend, and the sessions are recorded for when they can’t.
  4. You don’t have to settle – When choosing an on-ground program, you pretty much have to take what’s available – if it’s available! Maybe you’re lucky enough to have a top-notch option nearby or maybe it ends up being a waste of time and money. An employer open to online degree programs means the employee can choose the best combination of brand, price and program from dozens or even hundreds of available options. The employee is more likely to find a better fit, meaning higher graduation rates, a better learning experience and ultimately more productivity from the outcome.
  5. More diverse experience in common– A strong online degree program will typically include students from a wider variety of industries, backgrounds and geographies than a similar on-ground class, and those students are able to share their unique perspectives arising from that diversity. Yet those unique perspectives also meld into the common lens of the working adult, making it easier to apply those perspective to work and life. It’s easier to gain some wisdom from a fellow 35 year old mother of two who works in the service industry 5 states away than from a 19 year old coed who lives down the street.

At the end of the day, no diploma will indicate whether the program was online or on ground. But for those who do choose the online experience and have the necessary discipline and focus, their experience can be just as rewarding as those of their on-ground counterparts.

Online degree programs are great, but finding the right one isn’t always easy. Want to help yourself or your employees take the next step? See how ClearDegree makes it easy.

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