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Pros and Cons

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There are thousands of online college programs that offer degree programs from associate degrees to doctorate degrees.  Click here for a sample listing of some programs.  Online college programs have had a 25% annual growth rate, representing over $500 million annually.  As with any major decision, there are many advantages of deciding to get a degree from an online program vice the tradition “brick and mortar” college.

 

Advantages

·        Convenience.  Most classes can be taken around your schedule.  Course material is available 24/7 and can be completed at your leisure and around your schedule.

·        Accessibility.  Your physical presence is not required enabling taking classes while in remote locations, or underway on a ship.  Disabled students can attend without the hassle of sitting in ill-equipped classrooms.

·        Easier multi-tasking. Usually there are no hard and fast appointments resulting in less missed work, making distance learning and a full-time job both manageable.  The online nature can be more permitable to multi-task child care while taking classes – reducing child care costs.  Convenience eases balances work, family, and education.

·        Compatibility.  Research from the Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks indicate there is no significant differences in learning outcomes in comparison of online learning and traditional classes.

·        Cost.  The cost of distance learning is decreasing with advances of technology, reduced cost of physical classroom costs.

·        Outreach.  Distance learning opens up more doors for education.  Thousands of degree programs vise just locally available institutions.

 

Disadvantages

·        Requires technology.  Requires the ownership/access to a computer with internet access.  Some classes require video conference capability.  Students comfort factor with technology can effect their results.

·        Advance Planning.  Sacrifices must be made to complete classes.  The ease of putting off assignments require planning and self-drive.  Extra planning is required when taking classes on a underway ship with limited connectivity.

·        Hidden Costs.   Limited connectivity and remote locations (such as on a ship) may result in extra costs for shipping and handling costs.

·        Fraud.  A huge increase in business selling  individuals a diploma based solely on “life experience” and a check to the company.   This ease of potential fraud can lead employers to question the validity of  any online degree – decreasing the potential value of a completed degree.  Click here for an actual application to get a PhD – just pick a major, grade point, and graduation date!