T Nation

Online Degree


I was wondering what you all thought about online degrees. Have you or anyone you know gotten one? I have been thinking of following this path, seems it would allow one really get the work done when they can without having to go to class.


If I was an employer and someone walked in with a Phoenix university degree or something of the sort, I'd probably laugh them out of the office.

look at a good community college around you, and look at their online course work, you can probably get the better part of a degree from them, without having Phoenix university on the diploma.

Furthermore, you want to go to college, spend countless hours enriching yourself, but are too lazy to go to class? Seriously?


Maybe he just has a d-bag position like pt teller. Where they make him come in at 11-12, and don't let him leave till 7, everyday but Sunday.

You don't know...

Anyways, online degrees are wack. Unless it is for some vocational skill where your works show your ability.

I'm doing an advanced web design course with Penn Foster, I suppose it is a dioploma, but I'm just doing it because I go tot school fulltiem already and want ability to follow an organized scholastic format for my already existing knowledge in Web Design.

For thigns like this it is good, as far as getting a bachelor's degree...I'd just clep out of your gen eds, and make your life work to go to school.


A lot of state schools offer online programs and while I definitely think online school is a raging joke, employers would never know the difference.


Exactly. People have lost sight of what education is about. School is not just some ticket to get a job. Employers want you to have an education not so you can say you have X degree, but so you actually have some skills and abilities that you otherwise would not have had.


I actually did one course online when I was at the University of Florida: microeconomics.

This actually worked out very well.

Had I taken the course the traditional way at UF, the way it was done was that only one scheduled time -- which was first thing in the morning -- was taught live, in an auditorium holding about 1000. The rest of the day, that lecture was replayed on video, again to a packed auditorium.

It turned I was the only person ever to actually apply for the distance learning program of the class!

The same professor corresponded with me personally by e-mail on every single lesson. It was great, as we had quite a fair amount of discussion going above and beyond the provided material.

Of course, that isn't what one can usually expect online, I suppose.


I am pursuing an online degree now, through American Military University, which is all online, and fully accredited. So far I have only taken a few Gen Ed courses, but so far has worked out really well. Was able to knock out two classes while I was deployed to Iraq.

Have only taken one traditional college course(English Composition), but from talking to people who have taken more traditional classes, they were pretty similar. In a traditional course you would sit through hours of lectures, and do whatever coursework is necessary. In an online course, you would read through part of the textbook, do some online discussions about specific topics, take tests the same as a traditional class, write reports, etc. So who cares if you sit through hours of boring lectures on someone else's schedule, or do the same work online, on your schedule? I know there are some online schools which are diploma mills, but there are also traditional colleges which are diploma mills. Along those same lines, there are online schools which provide a good education.


Exactly, the point isn't that there is something inherently bad about distance learning, it's just that normally online classes attract less serious students, involve less work, and in general are just a way to make getting a piece of paper (a degree) easier. Knowing all of this, if I was an employer I would not put much stock in a degree came from a largely distance learning program and being a serious student I would generally always try to put myself in live classes.

But then again, if all the OP wants is a piece of paper, sure, go for the online classes.


Whats with the Generalization of people taking online classes kinda retarded. Besides so what if they take ALL Online classes as someone goes more in depth in there major it will be obvious they don't know the material and they will fail.


Seems like a good way to pick up new knowledge. I was thinking of doing one, since I work 12 hour shifts that consist of me watching movies and playing games on my laptop, I figured an online course would be more productive.


Good god do people here read into things... I never said that people taking online classes were generally retarded, I said they were generally less serious students. Note that "less serious" doesn't imply that they are dumb, stupid, unmotivated, or something else--it means just that, less serious. I can defend this claim if you want, it is seems obviously true. If people taking classes were serious students, they would, well, enroll in a university as a full time student.

Think of it this way. Say that I, on the side, worked 3-4 hours a week doing some job--whether it was just for personal enrichment or for advancement at my primary place of employment. Wouldn't you say I was a less serious employee then someone who did that same job full time?

Now just replace 'job' with studying and 'employee' with 'student'.


Wait. Are you saying a part-time student is less serious than a full-time student?


I can't agree with the less serious point of view. I live in the U.K and I'm doing a Maths degree with the Open University. I put in a minimum 16 hours a week and as it's part time it will take 6 years to complete. I'm certainly not going to put that much time in without being serious about it.

Some people either don't wish, because of family, work etc, or don't have the money to spend on a full time course. I know I couldn't, therefore studying part time is a better option as it probably is for alot of mature students.

They arn't any less valued either, out of every uni in this country the OU was highest rated for teaching satisfaction. To get a 1st I need 85%+, the standards have been maintained as they are backed by Oxford. I could go to alot of other uni's in this country who want everyone to pass well and get a first with 60%. There are a growing number of students dropping out of conventional uni's and finished their degree with the OU because the quality of support is far higher.

To the OP, don't be put off from studying this way :slight_smile:


Obviously it depends on what you mean by "serious", and I realize there is a bit of vagueness here. That is why I gave the work analogy, hoping that would get my point across without having to type up a long post. Besides, everything I said about being able to find exceptions where online students where quite serious/motivated/etc would equally well apply to part time students.

As I said in the beginning, there is nothing inherently bad about online classes, and nothing inherently bad about being part time, etc. My point was though that despite the this, it seems to me that in general online students are less serious about education. Often online students are nontraditional students just looking for a piece of paper for job advancement or something else of the sort. Of course not all online students have such a shallow look on education, but there are often other time constraints that keep even the best intentioned ones from really being "serious" students--you know, often they have full time jobs.

You also have to remember that I would say at anyone who looks at education as just a means to an end is De facto less serious then someone who looks at education for its own sake. (Notice I said 'less', not 'not'.) Many people will probably take issue with this, and bunch will probably think education for its own sake is at best some ideal and at worst worthless. That's ok, if we got rid of the research that was done for its own sake we would lose most of mathematics and a good chunk of physics.

ah, but since I freely admit I have no good rigorous arguments for these points beyond sticking to the facts about who are often in online classes (those just looking for degrees, etc), I leave it there. Hopefully my little analogies plus a little bit of charity are enough for you to see the point I'm trying to make.


I've said there's always exceptions. Besides, I'm not sure amount of time one's willing to put into an online degree really correlates with what I have in mind by "seriousness". Some people might put lots of time into an online degree but still not care one bit about what they're studying, if putting that time into the degree will get them to some other goal like promotion at work. Now I'm not claiming that this is the case for you, just saying that time alone says nothing.

As for your point about OU being of high quality, I cannot comment since I am not familiar with it. I will say though that for various reasons ratings of teaching satisfaction and grade normalization are meaningless. I can go into this if you want, but I'm trying to not be so wordy in my posts and it seems off topic anyway.


didn't read post at all

Wait a minute, so you're saying college is a waste of time and that all college students should be injected with swine flu?

That's pretty bunk, man. btw sooo joking


On a more serious note, I think that online classes are a great way to supplement credits for courses that are generally a breeze. For example, the only online class I've taken was English Comp thru a community college. English is a really easy subject for me and I didn't want to waste 3 hours of my week sitting in a class with people who think a verb is what happens when you eat too much Mexican food.

I wanted to write my papers, get criticism, and move onto the next assignment. Which is exactly what it was. There was no anxiety about getting an appointment to see the professor to discuss your grade; you just sent him an email and got a response the next day. I still learned how to improve my writing, without having to sit next to the smelly kid or hearing all about how Valley Girl got into VIP at the club.

And most community colleges have a limit on how many credits you can accumulate from online courses, so your degree still carries the same weight. As for online degrees, I just love the commercials for them. "Mom says there's no money to go to college" "Now you don't have to worry about it! Check out this school!" They don't mention how outrageous their interest rates are, or that so many people think that these schools lack credibility.


Fortunately I knocked out all that bullshit at a community college while I was still in HS. By the time I actually graduated HS and moved to a university I had finished a good chunk of those general requirements. If I wouldn't have done this though I probably would have thought about knocking them out online, but I still don't know that I quite get it. Most professors are pretty cool, and if the class honestly is a joke for you won't mind if you miss half the classes but still turn in all the work.


On a less serious note...

Are you saying I smell?



fucking rad.

quote of the day...good shit!