Online Degrees: Are They Worth It?

Online learning has become a popular way for many people to earn a degree or for professionals to further their learning to earn an advanced degree. Convenience and flexibility are two of its most popular hallmarks. You don’t have to sacrifice work time for class time — or vice versa. You can “go to class” anywhere that you are able to access the internet, whether it’s at home on your sofa or in your favorite coffee shop.

These programs also tend to be more focused, so you can get your degree in less time than going through a traditional two- or four-year program. This also often means they are more cost effective. If you are trying to further your education to increase your earning potential or you are looking for a better paying job, this is great news.

Employers’ perceptions of online education have changed.

In the technology’s infancy, online degrees were viewed with skepticism by many prospective employers. However, those perceptions toward online education have changed dramatically as the industry has consistently proven to be at the very least equal to traditional classroom learning. In some areas, it may even be superior.

Hiring managers have begun to treat online degrees much like they would any other degree, by looking at the big picture. The reputation of the university, the applicant’s job experience, and other factors are all considered as part of the hiring criteria. Whether they earned their degree in a physical classroom or a virtual one carries much less weight than it once did.

Online degree programs have many advantages.

Beyond the obvious perks like a less expensive degree program and more flexible and convenient class schedule, online learning does offer other incredible advantages. From a personal standpoint, it can help you learn self-discipline and provide a less intimidating environment for discussion and interaction. For instance, in a classroom, you may be hesitant to speak out, but in a class forum, you may feel more comfortable to join in the discussion.

Online learning programs are also better environments for those who are distracted easily. You can control where you learn, which means you have control over the distractions around you. The result is a better ability to focus and pay attention. The teachers are also usually much more accessible than in a traditional classroom, mainly because you have several different ways that you can communicate.

If you want to advance your career or make a career change online learning makes it much easier because you can continue to work while you learn. Your credits are also transferable in most cases so if you decide to go to a different school or even attend classes on an actual campus, your credits move with you. Finally, federal student aid is accepted for most online degree programs.

Find an online education program that fits your life.

All online degree programs are not all the same. You need to find the one that fits best in your life. Do your research before diving in and don’t be afraid to ask questions. You may benefit from an online education advisor who can guide you, helping you make education decisions that are in your best interest. They will help you find the degree program that lines up with the type of career that you want as well as your interests, budget, and schedule.

Is an online degree worth it? You bet it is!

On Wednesday, October 10, Operation Graduate will be joining for a webinar to discuss how to secure your future through education. The pay gap is real and is increasing between college-educated workers and those without degrees. Adult students have very different needs than recent high school graduates and this webinar will address these concerns. Operation Graduate can help you find your path back to completing a college program.

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