The online degree is the newest way to earn an education. Non-traditional students that may not have the time or the inclination to drive to a traditional campus and attend college classes in order to earn their degree can enroll in accredited online programs that provide another option in achieving educational goals. Rather than physically attending classes, students are able to logon to complete their requirements including reading, quizzes, tests, and the submission of assignments.
The online degree is certainly convenient – allowing students who may be working towards a particular degree, but are still juggling a full time career and a family, the ability to fit school into their existing schedule. But while the benefits are clear, some prospective students have concerns. First and foremost, online degree students may worry that the degree they get will somehow be less valuable than one they would receive traditionally. This, however, is not the case. The Internet has become a viable and credible component in our lives; and by extension, the online degree – if offered through an accredited college or university – is just as reputable as a degree earned traditionally.
Additionally, some prospective online degree students may be concerned that they will miss the camaraderie that comes with attending traditional classes where students tend to mix and mingle, as well as conduct projects together. In fact, this sense of community often becomes quite important in the classroom.
But online degree students don’t have to miss out on the social aspect of learning. The Internet itself can be as participatory as users wish for it to be; our level of participation is of our own choosing and the same can be said for online degree programs. Students earning an online degree have the option of keeping in touch with fellow students – as well as professors – via email; and many online degree students tend to create their own community of learners invested in the same goal.