Online education, also known as distance education or “distance learning,” has grown to become one of the most common approaches to earning a degree. However, as popular as this option is starting to become for college bound students and working professionals making the decision to go back to school, there are still some lingering myths about distance learning that deserve to be debunked. Failing to clear up any misconceptions about this topic could result in some students unfairly eliminating online education as one of their options for getting a degree.
Myth #1: You can’t pursue distance learning if you don’t have a computer.
There are tons of students that begin college every year through distance learning that don’t have access to a home computer. While it may not be as convenient, students in this situation do have alternatives. Public libraries have entire computer labs that give people access to the Internet, printers, fax machines and other devices needed for students to complete their assignments. Additionally, these services are offered at libraries for free. Internet cafes are another option and typically charge a small fee for use of their computers.
Myth #2: An online degree isn’t as credible as one from a “real” college or university.
This could not be further from the truth. Distance learning is recognized and highly respected in the education field. Even Ivy League schools have online degree programs that are more than credible. There are numerous MBA degree programs available online that are widely accepted by not just other schools but by employers as well.
Myth #3: Credits earned through online learning aren’t transferrable.
As long as the online course/degree program has been accredited by a regional accrediting agency, any credits earned will be transferrable to a traditional college or university. By doing research beforehand on which credits are transferrable and which ones aren’t, such a situation can be avoided.
Myth #4: Attending an online school is easier than going to a regular college or university.
Unfortunately, too many people still believe this myth to be truth. The fact of the matter is that earning an online degree is just as rigorous—if not more so—as attending a physical college or university campus. The curriculum for most degree programs is designed specifically to weed out the slackers and procrastinators. Assignments are given and strict deadlines must be met on a regular basis. In many cases, professors require students to participate in online chat sessions, forum discussions and other interactive forms of communication to ensure that everyone is keeping up with the coursework.
Myth #5: You can’t get a good job with an online degree.
The significance of an online degree is becoming more respected in the workplace. These days, employers look just as favorably on candidates with an online degree as those with traditional degrees. As long as it is obtained through an accredited school/program, there should be no reason why someone with this type of degree could not get a good job.
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