Online Degrees – The Basics

There will always be some negativity coming from the college grad that spent so much time and money in earning his degree from a physical university, directed to the ambitious high school graduate who got his degree online in the comfort of his own residence.

Online degrees are universally thought to be second best to established physical colleges and universities and are often talked badly about by formal educators as well as critics.  But are these criticisms valid?  Are there some universally accepted online degrees?

“Diploma mills” are one reason the online degree has received a lot of negative publicity. Diploma mills are phony schools that would rather sell an online degree at a discounted price because they don’t really care about education. The assumed degrees that these bogus schools sell are not only dishonest, but are invalid in the business world for the most part.

Most professionals that are serious about their education will seek only the most legitimate forms of online education and will avoid diploma mills at all costs. Do accredited and respectable online colleges offer a universally accepted degree?

In most instances physical universities will have an edge over online education. There is direct supervision over a class by a teacher and there is more coursework involved. To get into a high profile university one must have excellent grades and a large amount of money and time to invest.

The enrollment process differs at online schools. Wishing to establish a reputation better than the common diploma mills, some properly accredited schools will ask for traditional materials before accepting a student.

These may include:

  • Test Scores
  • A High School Diploma
  • An Admissions Test
  • Transcripts
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • An Application Essay or other Assignment Writing

In other cases the school may only require a GED or high school diploma, and some may not even require a high school diploma for enrollment into their program.

Some online degrees will be viewed as inferior to traditional colleges because of these various differences, however the actual school and its reputation will determine if the degree will be accepted or bashed.

If you choose an online program that a traditional, regional school offers, even though it is offered online, would still be the same degree that an on-campus graduate would receive.

Degrees that most likely would not be accepted as a legitimate degree by schools and employers are from schools that are not accredited, or their accreditation is from an organization not recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

There are many legitimate online degrees that should not be discounted. If the school adheres to acceptable standards of accreditation and has a good reputation, many employers will accept the degree.

Many students are able to work towards higher education at their own pace usually due to scheduling problems or financial stress. Online education allows people the chance to learn the same information according to his or her schedule. Each student has the option to go through lessons they understand quickly and to take their time on difficult assignments.

If you are seeking a legitimate online degree you should be able to work independently, organized and highly motivated. Obviously, online education does not offer the advantages of class discussions or in-person tutoring. Therefore, is the online student wishes to earn a degree, they should be just as energetic or even more so than an on-campus student. Online degrees are not the lazy person’s choice of education. Diploma mills are.

Diploma mill schools will promise potential students (buyers of the degree) that you can earn a master’s degree or PHD in less than a month.  Some of these so called universities state they are accredited, though they are mostly self-accredited, and offer to sell you a bachelor or master’s degree based on what you already know.  While many may feel they know enough about a given subject based on life experience to earn a degree, know that numerous people are dishonestly buying degrees that they in reality have no basis for.  Therefore, even the person who qualifies for a degree would be affiliating himself with a school that sells degrees to everyone who inquires.  Employers and educators alike would bash the student holding this type of degree.

Even though bogus degrees are instantly available to those willing to pay for them, universally accepted online degrees can be just as respectable and as difficult to earn as those you can find in a traditional school.