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Earn a Degree on Your Timetable

May 23, 2008
A lot of students and schools have discovered the benefits of distance learning via the internet. Despite their increasing popularity, you should research both the pros and cons of earning on line degrees before you jump into a program though.

What you Gain by Taking Online Classes
The biggest thing you gain from taking online classes is freedom. After all, when you become your own teacher you choose the place, time and duration of your lessons. You also have a huge impact on the pace you take as you learn new material. This freedom is the main reason that students choose to complete on line degrees. For example, if work or family commitments keep them from physically attending a college classroom, the opportunity to earn a degree is still available. And, with that degree come greater career and salary opportunities.

Since you are the boss in independent learning, you will also gain a lot of responsibility. Rather than having a professor and a syllabus keeping you on track, the only thing spurring you forward will be yourself. Many people want their education and degree enough to stay on top of their work, but a lot of students fall prey to procrastination. If you are a procrastinator, internet classes may not be the best option for you.

What you Forego by Taking Online Classes
The college environment and socialization are the main things you forego by taking onlie classes. Online students obviously don't benefit from face to face interaction with other students and professors. Some internet classes make use of video recordings, message boards and instant messenger, but there are still less opportunities for team work and socializing. You also might pass up the opportunity to enjoy student facilities like a library, fitness centers and other campus buildings.

Myths
Something you do not lose by earning an online degree is credibility. As long as the school you enrolled in was an accredited institution, your degree will be honored by future colleges and employers. Some people believe that on line degrees are easier to earn than the degrees that on-campus students acquire, but that is not the case. Just to ensure that you don't suffer from discrimination, there is nothing on your degree to imply that you earned it online.

On the other hand, if the school you chose was not accredited, your degree is virtually worthless, no matter how much time and money you invested into earning it. That is why you have to watch out for diploma mills.
About the Author
To learn more information about earning on line degrees, visit Degree Search (http://degreesearch.org/articles/31-is-an-online-degree-less-valid-than-one-earned-at-a-campus). This website can also point you to accredited schools. The author, Art Gib, is a freelance writer.
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