Is an Online Degree a Smart Move?

Reference & EducationEducation

  • Author Aaron Ball
  • Published August 12, 2012
  • Word count 492

Find out why earning your degree online might not be the best decision. Compare the pros and cons of online education and traditional campus-based learning.

In the constantly evolving field of education there have been many recent adaptations adopted by students and educators alike, such as the use of Skype, podcasts and online testing centers. Some technological innovations make the delivery of education easier and allow students to interact with a wider range of individuals than they could in a typical classroom setting. As new teaching methods and mediums to conduct learning experiences arise, we must continue to question each new idea to determine if it should be fully accepted by the academic community.

There are now thousands of accredited online colleges and universities available to US students. Whether you are seeking a basic vocational skill or an advanced degree in Medicine, there is probably an online program available that offers the designation you are seeking. These academic institutions have been sanctioned and accredited by the governing bodies in charge and granted the authority to provide education at the Associate's, Bachelor's, Master's and Doctoral levels. Just because these programs are available doesn't mean that they are a wise choice. I would urge anyone considering earning a degree online to consider the following arguments.

Half of the value of an academic degree is the influence that it buys you in society. You can use this influence to secure employment, obtain a pay raise or convince others to consider your opinion. The influence of any particular degree depends upon two factors: the degree level and the institution that awarded the degree. Therefore, if your degree is from a school that is no longer accredited or no longer in existence, your degree loses tremendous value. Many of America's best colleges and universities have been established for around 100 years. These schools have produced incredible scholars, premiere athletes, successful coaches, philanthropists, award-winning actors and Grammy level musicians. These educational institutions have earned their respect within our society over a long period of time. To place your trust in a recently born online university is quite risky and possibly foolish.

The other half of the value of an academic degree is the knowledge gained by completing the program. Humans absorb information and learn things in several different ways. We use all five of our basic senses to experience things. If we are limited in our ability to use all of our senses to process and evaluate new information the result will be a limited knowledge and understanding of that information. Learning online means learning without being able to ask questions to a live human being, and not having the opportunity to discuss what we are learning with other students. By completing an online course we are deprived of some of our strongest methods of knowledge consumption. If the education you are seeking has true value and importance to you, an online degree might not be a good choice.

For more information about online education and specific program offerings from top online colleges and universities you can visit

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