Colleges and Universities have followed the trend of transitioning to online platforms where they feature their degree programs, both undergraduate and graduate, to be available worldwide. As a result of this, as long as the student has an internet connection and they meet the enrollment requirements, they are accepted into the programs and therefore can study from home.
But does this have the power to overthrow traditional tertiary institutions that are onsite? Let’s compare the weight an online degree holds against an onsite degree.
Does it depend on what you study?
We would argue that this is an important factor to take into consideration as traditional on-campus practicality is required for the degree program when becoming a doctor. But let’s say you are interested in obtaining a bachelor’s in communication, this type of qualification is available completely online through a reputable institution such as Maryville University.
MBAs are also available as online programs for graduates through Southern Methodist University and the University of Michigan. To decide which method is right for you, you need to do your research on the Academic Institute and inquire if there is any on-campus work that is required of the student.
PDF, Paper, Scissors
Many tertiary institutions use a combination of both methods as they already have an online presence, so students are given the materials they need digitally (such as assignments) and then complete them at home for submission on campus the next day.
It is also a safer way of transferring and backing up content on cloud storage. If all textbooks and assignments, tests and exams are on paper they are vulnerable to fires or any other kind of harm where they can be lost.
But what about Campus Life?
One perk about online programs is that they cross student accommodation off of the list of expenses, but what about the FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) that the student has to deal with when the rest of his/her friends are living the student campus lifestyle and he/she is stuck at home?
Perhaps this is a good thing as then, from a parent’s perspective, their child isn’t exposed to friends who might have a bad influence over one of the most invested times of their lives.
Which one do Employers respect most?
In 2007, The US Department of Education reported that online students outperformed traditional students who had access to the same content that was taught in-person at a campus. Employers cannot ignore the fact that e-learning is gaining traction as research from the National Institution for Education Statistics has proven that in 2016, of the 2.8 million students enrolling for online degrees, 2.2 million of them are successfully graduating and earning their degrees.
Online students demonstrate discipline with their achievements, and employers are beginning to see that they hold equal, if not greater value than on-site degrees do.
What to take away
Online degree programs have empowered so many students by providing a means of learning for students that reside far away from campuses, which makes them affordable and efficient to use.
Although this does not undermine the role onsite-degree programs play in training medical and emergency personnel, Scientists, Engineers, Biologists and every other profession that requires practical on-site training in their degree programs.
For more great education tips, check out the other blogs on College Basics.