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Do Online Degrees Have Value? .

Updated on August 29, 2008

Do Online Degree Programs Produce Results?

Before you spend the money and time in pursuit of an online degree or certificate there are a few things that you need to check out. The best place to find out if your boss is going to recognize your educational achievements is to ask him, or in larger companies the human resource department.

Many companies recognize the value of study, especially if it relates to their employment needs. Check with them first before putting out any money. There are more companies these days willing to reimburse education tuition and books. They may advice you about various college programs that offer good value for your goals.

As someone who is a voracious reader, the author comes across many school advertisements that recruit students. If they are accredited, it is well to check if the accreditation is for private, proprietary schools (for profit) or for colleges and universities that grant reciprocity between colleges and regions so that a student on the west coast, for example, is taking a comparable course, with the same number of hours and lecture credits in every school. This guarantees that the credits for the course will be accepted anywhere in the United States and some other countries.

Proprietary schools, however, if they offer accredited classes and degrees at all, may not be comparable and not transferable to other schools.

If you are going to be a welder, truck-driver, or auto repair person, it probably isn't going to make much difference if a school is public or private. A good school will have a reputation to maintain. An employer will be delighted he/she doesn't have to put out the money for the phase of training you have completed.

A public college may offer a certificate in welding but there is no bachelors degree issued for that skill. Only academic learning will take one on the road to higher education. The Bachelor's Degree is evidence of one's post apprenticeship as a scholar, and may open the door for a Master's Degree and higher.This is further evidence that you have gained another level of competency. Your writing skills may be superior, or musicianship, acting, directing or other artistic skills recognized, but only after a through examination of competince in the area. Part of the training, moreover, is going to include some rigorous exposure to at least one specialty in the area of interest. The school may require a thesis, an artistic work or thesis demonstrating competence n the specialization..

It is well to avoid those schools that guarantee your bachelors degree in a year or less without taking classes on campus. Diploma mills are marked not by a desire by anyone for students to gain knowledge but to avoid it. An employer won't be fooled by schools that sell degrees. A phone call may quickly determine the kind of school that offers nothing for a degree that means nothing.

There are legitimate schools now that offer degrees and certificates that are recognized by the school and other schools worldwide.These schools are marked by accreditation, a stamp of approval by an authorized agency that a school meets high standards. These standards are comprehensive and include onsite inspection of the facility, records, and library.

The writer was part of an educational experiment at Oklahoma, that offered a bachelors degree patterned after the Oxford system in the United Kingdom. Today online and mail courses are common, whereas just a few years ago they were considered(unfairly I believe) of lesser quality than regular campus programs.Most major universities offer a Liberal studies Program today. These progrms have achieved a repution for high quality students and faculty alike.

Part of the coursework would be completed on campus, part through local universities, libraries, and concert halls and playhouses. Each student set a goal and was guided through the steps to reach the goal with a professor at Oklahoma. Seminars were held year round where students gathered from foreign countries and states to study and report on subjects of student interest. Students studied in the area of humanities, social sciences, and science. A student might complete 20 or more papers to complete an area before being invited to participate in a seminar.

After all papers and the three seminars, a student attended a final seminar of four weeks on campus that emphasized integration of the learning from the three areas. Only selected professors who were also tutors attended the seminars. The program is known as Liberal Studies. With the Bachelor's degree from Oklahoma, the author was accepted to UCLA for teaching credentials, masters and PhD from other accredited schools.

With the Liberal Studies degree as foundation, secured a position with the CDC. then went on to get another masters and a PhD, taught at university and received credentials as a psychologist and became a clinician in practice with hospital privileges.

In considering an off campus degree program, one should consider carefully the options before making a serious investment of time and money. It never hurts to talk to a counselor at a recognized school, such as a junior college or academic counselling office at a university.

One should consider life goals and what is necessary to achieve them. A few simple precautions may change one's life around.

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    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 

      7 years ago from Ohio, USA

      Schools have to be careful with job placement programs. Placing a student who has not graduated can be construed as a bait-and-switch maneuver: the government frowns on such activities. Traditional degree-granting schools usually have this figured out because student retention has value to them, but some proprietary schools tread a fine line between enrolling students and placing them too soon, before they have completed the program for which they signed up.

    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 

      7 years ago from Ohio, USA

      Schools have to be careful with job placement programs. Placing a student who has not graduated can be construed as a bait-and-switch maneuver: the government frowns on such activities. Traditional degree-granting schools usually have this figured out because student retention has value to them, but some proprietary schools tread a fine line between enrolling students and placing them too soon, before they have completed the program for which they signed up.

    • stevemark122000 profile image

      stevemark122000 

      9 years ago from Southern California

      Thanks solarcaptain, you did a great job on this hub. Very useful information!

    • solarcaptain profile imageAUTHOR

      mike king 

      9 years ago from california

      https://hubpages.com/education/Do-Online-Degrees-H...

      Most legitimate schools ofer a job placement program. They like to publish the successful efforts of their graduate job seekers. This is an important part of the program. The value of a program should include within it the expectation that resources will be available to help with employment search, upon completion.

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