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Online Accredited Degrees – Are They Worth the Troubles

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We witness an increase, a steady one, in online learning enrollment, despite the controversies surrounding this alternative learning model and the economic meltdown.

Actually, the gloomy economic situation gives incentive for aspiring learners to take online courses, who believe an online degree, especially an accredited one, would better equip them in the job market.

Most distance learners prefer earning online accredited degrees not because of the extraordinary teaching quality or results they may offer. But instead, learners believe if it is online degrees, accredited ones are more socially valued. This value could turn into higher earning potential in the job market in days to come.

And also, many accredited online schools give the impression that earning an accredited degree online costs less. Shortage of funds shuts a number of students from attending a brick and mortar school, not to mention the increasing expenses in traditional universities. But then here is the propaganda about how cost-effective getting an accredited degree online can be, which drives learners to take the step and join the league of e-learners.

However, is this all true? Are online accredited degrees worth the troubles? Don’t judge a book by its cover, which you have heard one thousand times over. And for the one thousand one times: don’t judge online accredited degrees by the propaganda or mounting enrollees. You need to know more.

Is accreditation that credible?

Open any webpage about an accredited online education institute which proudly claims that its programs lead to accredited degrees. Look how they describe the greatness of accreditation. It says that teaching quality is guaranteed, and so is career perspective.

Whatever the accreditation, it says the exact same thing: accreditation means a lot.

Now forget that, think about these.

– The teaching quality on which you look to earn your accredited degree

There are reasons Harvard ranks the top among educational institutes worldwide. One is that teaching faculty there is consisted of experienced professionals who are distinguished in their fields. Another is the well-grounded courses delivered. The plus is that Harvard only employs the most advanced teaching facilities.

Now let’s see how online educational institutes are equipped. Most of them employ visiting professors or lecturers not residential ones as it is supposed to be.

During each course, students spend 20 to 24 hours with one of this kind of faculty. We are not going to take any more examples of Harvard. But even an average traditional school has 40 or more hours for each course.

If you think the short hours are offset by the courses that are much more condensed and concentrated at online schools, think again. They are not that condensed, instead, the abbreviated courses lead to inferior education and lack of academic rigor.

In order to earn an accredited degree, you need rigorous teaching not a low level basic instruction.

Can you rest assured and pin your hope of obtaining a degree on such an institute?

– The career perspective on which you count to enhance earning potential

Not so glorious.

Believe it or not, there is social stereotype towards new things. In the view that traditional schools have been around for centuries, it is understandable that we are more accustomed to counting on them to produce talents.

And employers think it the same way. In their eyes, an online degree, an accredited one included, is not equal as a regular degree. They see it as a lesser degree compared with one that is obtained in a traditional classroom.

What’s worse, there are certain professionals that consider online graduates as inferior to traditional classroom graduates. If you are in an interview as an online entry-level MBA and the interviewer, unfortunately, gets his degree from brick and mortal schools, then you may have problems. No matter how hard you prove the credibility of your accredited degree, he may still have questions and get concerned about the quality because it is an online degree.

There is nothing wrong with him or you, it is just the stereotype. It takes time for accredited online degrees to be accepted.

Now that your degree is questioned, how can you be sure your career will still look promising?

Are accredited degrees saving you money?

To determine if an act is worth being taken, the best method is to weigh the costs and gains. It is the same with accredited online degrees. Now that we have assessed the gains, which are somewhat not significant, let’s see what you have to invest for that kind of gains.

Start from the facilities. You need a computer, internet access and electricity to run the computer, none of which comes at free.

Next is the tuition and fees. Most three credit-hour online courses cost up to 900 dollars. It is about 7,200 dollars per semester for a full online degree. That is not the end. There are material fees. Some online schools offering blended courses (online and on campus) even charge technical fees for the use of computer on campus. And don’t forget the registration fee or international postage fee if you are residing outside of the States.

Put all these together, you get the cost of an accredited online degree that can run 7,500 dollars. The Phoenix University, which has been questioned and criticized for overcharge, for example, is reported to have annual tuition and fees at 9,630 dollars. That is twice the cost of 4-year public colleges.

Many learners think earning an accredited degree online is a good choice because of the propaganda many online schools pull off. It makes learners have the false belief that earning an online accredited degree is affordable and cost-effective.

It is precisely so for some for-profits online schools. How could they pay the propaganda anyway?

Next time the desire or appeal of earning accredited online degrees hits you, keep your head calm. Think about the costs and gains.

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