Online education is one of the fastest-growing sections of higher education in the USA, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. In the fall of 2017 alone, 3.1 million students were studying online. And the number of students who are choosing online schools is growing 4% annually.
This high number of students who are choosing this method of education is an indicator that these kinds of degrees are worth it. All its advantages and benefits have convinced the students of its effectiveness and worthiness.
Myth #1: Online Degrees Are a Joke
Nothing could be further from the truth! Sure there was a time when online degrees weren’t considered as useful as they are today, and just a way to provide diploma mills. But not anymore! With both academia and employers being more accepting of these types of degrees, students’ interest in them is higher than ever. Many online colleges get accredited by state-authorized agencies, making them equal to their traditional counterparts. Moreover, a student who got a degree by studying online is going to be treated the same as the one with a degree from a conventional one.
Myth #2: Online Degree Aren’t Taken Seriously by Employers
A common myth about online degrees is one that is still somewhat around: employers offer fewer job opportunities to those with online degrees. This common belief stems from the assumption that online degrees are not equal to traditional degrees with regard to quality, professors, and professionalism. However, employers might have different opinions on online degrees. However, we need to clarify one thing, though. It isn’t true that they don’t take them seriously.
First and foremost, you’ve earned their respect because you put in considerable effort into getting one. Usually, those who choose to study online are the ones that have other commitments besides studying. To work while simultaneously pursuing a degree is a commitment that requires management skills. Those skills alone will increase your chances of getting a job. However, if the online college you’ve chosen has a good reputation and ranking, that’s a plus.
Employers are looking for skilled candidates who demonstrate initiative, integrity, flexibility, and perseverance. All qualities that an online student obtains throughout his/her online studies.
Myth #3: Online Degrees Aren’t Credible
That’s anything but true. Several top universities offer online programs. Those universities intend to attract a high number of interested students in online studies, so they do everything in their power to be as valid and trustworthy as they can. They start by providing the students with as much information about them and the program itself. The program’s requirements are explained as clearly as possible, as well as the estimated graduation time.
An online course is just the same as the on-campus one. It is required by its students to attend and actively participate in it. This is another factor that makes them credible. One other thing to look at if you’re examining whether an online college is credible or not is to look at their student retention rate. Typically, universities focus on enhancing student’s experience in their college by offering them satisfactory student services as well as multiple payment options. As they know that the more accessible and resourceful the university is, the happier the students will be and the higher the student retention rate. These efforts differentiate credible colleges.
Myth #4: You Will Get a Degree with No Effort
Usually, people who underestimate the difficulty of online studies are the ones who haven’t had an online class experience themselves. They may think that the flexibility of online studies means there are no challenges.
It may be more different to earn an online degree than a traditional one, but it certainly isn’t easier. And different doesn’t necessarily mean easy. You’ll still have to be present on the virtual walls of the classroom, participate in various discussion boards, and submit projects on time. Just as the traditional way of studying, there will be instructors who will assess you regularly. Depending on the program, online courses can be quite intensive, requiring as much time as an on-campus course.
Myth #5: Online Degrees Are Not Accredited
Now that many of the top-notch universities are offering online programs, one would think people wouldn’t have this concern anymore. Just as many traditional universities have to fulfill a few standards to get certified, the same applies to online ones. A significant number of online colleges are accredited. Now that the interest in online degrees is increasing, institutions providing online degrees are doing their best to create a place of high-quality learning for their students as well as beat the competition.
Myth #6: Online Colleges Don’t Care About Students
A prevalent opinion amongst people is that online colleges don’t think much about the people who enroll in those colleges. That their only intention is to obtain a large sum of money by deceiving them. As much as this was true years ago, in this day and age, this is a far less occurrence. Online colleges are working hard on building and maintaining a trustworthy bond with their students by offering many financial opportunities to pay their tuition fees. Many scholarships and student loans are provided to online students to make their college experience even more accessible.
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Myth #7: You Can Cheat in Online Courses
Quite the contrary! While academic dishonesty is something that most of the universities struggle with, online education has reduced the chances of its students cheating in exams. As a result, It’s become way harder for online students to cheat.
Through different online tools such as video proctoring, IP tracking, and plagiarism checkers, educators try to deter academic dishonesty. However, when someone is assertive to cheat, the technological preventions won’t stop them. But at least, by using these technological tools, they will make it more difficult for the students to do so.
Myth #8: Online Credits Can’t Be Transferred
One of the most common fears related to online degrees is that the credits can’t be transferred to a typical university. Luckily, this is just a myth! The issue of credits not transferring to another school isn’t linked only to online studies. Every university has its policy on credits transferring. While some can be more lenient on their transferring policy, some can be more strict on accepting credit from other educational institutions. With that being said, you need to make sure to check out what are the requirements of a specific university on online credits transferring. The requirements range from college accreditation to similar courses, GPA, number of credits, and how recently you took those courses.
Over the years, online degrees were deemed inferior compared to the typical on-campus degrees. Many negative beliefs even hindered their usage for years, when the truth is both online and traditional degrees are equally valued on the job market. Luckily, those days are over. Now, most of the people have realized their worth and are valuing them just as much as traditional education.