Two Main Concerns Associated With Online Degrees

In today’s world, the number of graduates who are earning online degrees is skyrocketing. However, there are many concerns related to online degrees.

One main concern is whether the online university is actually certified, authorized, and/or accredited to award degrees to students. Some schools do not meet these requirements. There are also several levels of fraud found in some educational programs and “schools.” These can range from using the student’s work history as the “learning” period that earned the degree to simply selling diplomas. Degrees-R-Us is one such example, promising bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degrees in about 10 days, and are willing to show one graduated with honors for a higher “tuition fee.”

Some states like Oregon, Iowa, and South Dakota are starting to crack down on these types of schools within their borders.

To protect yourself, you should check to see what kind of accreditation the school you are considering enrolling in has, or claims to have. Being “licensed by the state” isn’t an accreditation and may not mean anything at all. Some violators claim to be accredited by agencies that either don’t exist, have been created by the school itself, or are legitimate agencies, but have no record of accreditation for the school. Those who have earned degrees from these unaccredited schools are really out-of-luck when it comes to their hard-earned dollars and time because potential employers likely will reject these job applicants and the credits earned from these unaccredited schools cannot be transferred to other universities. In essence, those students have to start all over once again.

Therefore, you should contact the appropriate State Department of Higher Education to see if these schools are accredited or not. If you want to remain on the safe side, take online courses only from schools that have an offline campus presence, as that school’s reputation will be at stake, so the quality of the online program should match the offline program. However, there are strictly online campuses that are accredited and provide a quality education as well, like the University of Phoenix.

Another main concern with online degrees is what type of accreditation is best. The two main types of accreditation are regional accreditation and national accreditation.

While transfer credits from schools that are regionally accredited are generally accepted at both regionally and nationally accredited universities, the same is NOT true for transfer credits that are earned at nationally accredited universities – regionally accredited universities will normally not accept them, meaning you have to earn those course credits again if you decide to continue your pursuit of a bachelor’s degree at a later date at a regionally accredited school after starting your bachelor’s degree at a national accredited school.

Also, while some employers don’t understand the difference between the two types of accreditation, some employers prefer prospective applicants to have earned a degree from a locally recognized university, rather than one in another part of the country. Therefore, if you plan on working in a certain part of the country, it may be advantageous to check out those universities near that area and enrol for their online courses as this could give you an edge in future job interviews.

Being aware of the problems with online degrees will enable you to take steps to avoid and/or minimize these problems so that your online degree will help you gain that good-earning position you’ve worked so hard to achieve.

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