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The Pros and Cons of an Online Degree

Being able to get your degree from home over the Internet brings with it pros and cons. Students should consider whether they have the personality and circumstances to succeed.

Articles > The Pros and Cons of an Online Degree
Pros to Online Degrees
 
Any Time Any Place 
 
The obvious advantage of online degrees is the ability to study and complete your degree without actually going to the brick and mortar campus. If your location is remote or you have limited mobility you can still get your degree online. So long as there is Internet access and a computer, you can continue your studies. Students can manage their time and login to study when it suits them. Lectures and course material are only a click away.
 
Online Equality
 
Professors marking exams have no preconceived idea about what kind of person you are. They haven't seen you sleeping in lectures or arriving late for class. The educators have no knowledge of the student's race, gender, disabilities, age or social status. The focus is purely on your abilities.
 
Cost of Tuition
 
With online study not only the materials are cheaper, but also students save of gas driving to the campus, campus accommodation, parking and miscellaneous spending on the way.
 
Available Courses
 
There may be courses available to you online, which are not offered at your local university. This way you are not limited to the degree programs offered near to your home but can rather choose from courses offered by institutions around the world.
 
Cons of Online Degrees
 
Computer Skills and Access
 
Technical skills are essential for online studies and you have to have access to the Internet and a computer. Students in rural areas or poor communities may not have computer access. In some countries Internet users pay according to the time spent online and so studying online can be prohibitive.
 
Interactive Learning
 
Some skills require interactive learning and hands-on experience. Subjects, which require a large practical element or human interaction, cannot be completed entirely online. 
 
Motivation
 
A student studying online needs self-discipline and motivation. They need to be organized, good at time management and responsible. An inexperienced student may have trouble being his own taskmaster.
 
Campus Social Life
 
Unlike a conventional campus where there are clubs, social groups, orientations and festivities an online student misses out on the "collage life" experience. Online students can feel isolated. Online forums can't replace getting to know fellow students face to face. 
 
An online degree can be the answer for self-motivated students who have to juggle family, work and study. Higher education online is accessible to a wide audience. However in order for an online degree program to be successful it must be provided by an accredited institution, which provides both technical and academic support.
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