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14/04/2013

Online Degrees- 3 reasons why should take care.

The higher education industry is changing; and opportunities are opening up in colleges and universities. Workers who were too busy, did not have enough money, or were in far flung areas can now enroll for additional degrees, thanks to the explosion of the number of online courses offered. However, before you enroll for the online courses, here are a few pitfalls you might want to look out for.

1. Realize that many employers still have a hard time accepting online degrees.
Your future employer will have a hard time figuring how you attended classes without a lecturer being physically present, or how you did exams without someone actually supervising you. What schools and universities do is ‘credentialing’, i.e proving to the employer that you actually attended classes, and got the
skills- in this case measured in terms of grades. So, at least in the initial stages, be ready to meet blank stares from hiring managers and recruiters when you explain that you got your degree, diploma, or certificate online.

2. Realize that online education is suited for some courses and not others.
There are some courses where one to one interaction with the teacher or instructor is of vital importance. For example, a teacher would be indispensable for a successful lab experiment, something that an online degree wouldn’t confer. Sure, there are online learning aids such as the Khan Academy, or Coursera, which have done a pretty good job in online education, but the importance of a teacher or instructor, cannot be overemphasized. An online degree in business or an Arts program would probably be more acceptable, than say an online degree in a medical science or engineering discipline.

3. Online education does not offer social interaction.
Whereas we all go to school to gain papers and academic knowledge, the interaction with fellow students is what influences our lives most. Interacting with individuals from diverse backgrounds, many of whom are already talented in so many other different fields, opens a student’s world in so many ways. Perhaps, this is the great disadvantage of online education, in that it doesn’t foster an outside of class interaction between students, and between students and lecturers.

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