Ten Common Misconceptions About Online Degrees

Published on: May 30, 2022

After completing school, many students are faced with choosing whether or not to continue their education and in what format. Not too long ago, the choice was between going to college/university or entering the job market directly. However, these days online learning has made it easier to get a degree even while working. We have already highlighted some of the pros and cons of earning your degree online, but there are still misconceptions about this learning method. Here are some of the most common ones students might encounter while considering online learning.

Online Degrees Don't Have Time Limits

While it is true that online degree courses can be completed in your own time, that does not mean you have unlimited time to do so. As with traditional classrooms, due dates are still applicable for many online programs. Students who enroll in online classes must make sure that they have enough time available to them in which to complete their degree. It is entirely possible to fail a course if students fall too far behind in their work.

Online Degrees Require Less Work

The fact that an online degree is often more convenient to pursue than going to campus does not mean that it is easier. Most reputable online courses feature the same amount of work as students would have faced in a classroom. Some degree programs that can be completed faster than a traditional semester can even be more rigorous, so students must ensure that they are prepared.

The Quality of Online Degrees Is Lower

Not all online degree programs are of the best quality, but the same can be said for regular courses. Online courses from reputable institutions typically go through a rigorous process to ensure that they are easy to access by students and that there are no quality issues. However, just like any regular degree program, it is up to students to put in the time and research any online courses that they are interested in attending. Online reviews and testimonials from former students are usually available and can be used to gauge the quality of the degree programs.

Online Degree Programs Do Not Have Instructors

One of the biggest misconceptions about online degree programs is that they lack instructors who teach students. While there are some courses where students might not have contact with an instructor, there are many where live lectures form an essential part of the degree program. In most online degree programs, students can also contact their instructor for help and clarifications if they are struggling. Of course, while the course content is available 24/7, this does not mean that the faculty is available at all times too. This means it is best to keep all questions or correspondence to regular hours.

You Need To Be A Computer Expert To Earn An Online Degree

You indeed need some basic computer skills to make use of an online degree program but by no means do you have to be an expert to do so. In most instances, students only need to know how to connect to the internet and use a browser. Everything else related to the course will have tutorials or resources available that students can use to familiarize themselves with what they need to know. In addition, most institutions offering online degrees can provide students with technical support when needed.

Online Degrees Means There's No Interaction With Fellow Students

Students who are social and love interacting with peers often shy away from online degree programs because they mistakenly believe it is a solitary experience. In reality, many degree programs provide students with numerous opportunities for interaction. There are plenty of options available, from discussion boards and group chats to group projects and conference calls. Thanks to social media, forums, and services such as Discord, it is also easy for students to band together and create their own online study groups if they miss the social aspect of campuses.

The Credits From Online Degrees Does Not Transfer

A significant concern for many students is that the credits they receive from an online degree would not transfer to another university or won't count towards further degree credits and requirements. This is something that can differ between institutions offering online courses, but in general, most reputable ones are just as valid and transferable as traditional degree programs.

It is Easy To Cheat During An Online Degree Course

Because of the nature of online courses, it is common for some people to believe that it would be easier to cheat than when attending a campus course. However, these days a lot of effort has gone into ensuring that the integrity of online degree programs is maintained. Numerous methods are employed to safeguard against cheating and plagiarism, and these days there are severe consequences for students who attempt to gain an unfair advantage.

There Are No Online Degrees For Hands-On Disciplines

While it might have been true, the number of online degrees has grown in recent years and now include programs that were traditionally not available online. For example, degrees that require hands-on participation often allow students to come to the campus or visit designated locations in their area. Virtual reality is another feature that could become more common in online courses in the future as the adoption rates of this technology grows.

Employers Do Not Take Online Degrees Seriously

The purpose of most degrees is to further students' career prospects, but many of them fear that if they earn an online degree, it might be seen as inferior by employers. Nowadays, employers know that online degrees are just as valid as traditional ones and how much work goes into earning one. Employers also respect employees who better themselves through online degrees, which can elevate their standing within the company.

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