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Getting an Online Degree?
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Mar 21, 2013, 10:13 AM
 
Has anyone done this?
Where there any advantages or disadvantages?
Has anyone used one of these degrees towards further schooling or gotten a job with one of these degrees?
Where would I get one?
Thanks!
     
Clinically Insane
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Mar 21, 2013, 10:44 AM
 
Okay... yes, I know of folks who have received online degrees, properly and improperly (there are some where you actually do work and others where you just give them a pile of money). The former seems to be a fairly legit and accepted way of furthering your education, while the latter will likely just get you canned at some point down the road. TBH a high percentage of classes at brick and mortar colleges are now online anyway, so if it fits more with your lifestyle, and you have odd hours that you can attend (like 1am-6am), then it's a solid option. One of my best friends has a CS degree from DeVry and he makes a good salary.
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Mar 21, 2013, 11:28 AM
 
My husband is getting an online degree, it is from a reputable university. It's on a rare subject that he cannot find locally.

I took classes at another reputable university that had both local and online options. That wasn't a full degree, but the certificate did help in my work.
     
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Mar 21, 2013, 11:58 AM
 
Thanks Shaddim and Andi.
Shaddim- I've heard of DeVry and imagine they are pioneers in the field as I remember the commercials from the 80's growing up on Long Island
Andi- what is the subject that your husband does? I do stained glass myself and am always interested in hearing about rare subjects. I am trying to get my younger brother (he's 24) into a school and as the traditional residential route isn't really working out for him i was wondering about an online degree. After a bit of searching i came across Online MBA No GMAT Required>>Top Accredited Directory | Get A Real Degree which might be appealing as it doesn't have the GMAT prerequisite. I have heard of the schools so it appears to be legitimate. Thanks for your guidance.
     
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Mar 21, 2013, 01:19 PM
 
Does your brother already have an undergrad degree?

be wary of google results, a lot of them seem to be plainly spam.

http://www.usnews.com/education/blog...the-online-mba
     
Clinically Insane
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Mar 21, 2013, 01:37 PM
 
DeVry has been around for a long time. They used to train World War II veterans for civilian work and were, at one point, a very respected institution. Sometime in the 70s and 80s, two things happened. First, they were bought and sold to various corporations strictly as a for-profit company. Second, America heavily switched gears to emphasize higher education degrees over vocation skills.

DeVry is now the butt of many jokes and is only related its former self by name only. You really don't want to spend any money them. If you want to get an online degree, you'll want to pick a major University that offerse courses online. University of Pennsylvania is a good example. They're a very good university, and you can get your entire degree online. It's also fairly reasonable given how expensive university is these days.
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Mar 21, 2013, 02:04 PM
 
Hi Andi,
At this point i think he has an equivalent AA as he his halfway through his BA
olePigeon- do you think there will ever be a point where vocational skills will be viewed on equal footing with degrees? I have had the strange experience of seeing people teaching vocational courses (At major UK Universities) who happen to have a degree, but no actual vocational skill or experience in the subject area!
     
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Mar 21, 2013, 04:46 PM
 
Online degrees can certainly be of value, but be careful. A lot of schools do their online program separate from their regular programs, and so online students can end up getting the shaft.

The other thing to watch out for in online programs is that some schools do absolutely nothing to prevent cheating. In that case you're pretty much stuck with the choices of cheat (like everyone else) or settle for a lower course grade that you actually worked for.

One more thing: some online programs are jokes. So if it looks easy, it's probably not worth doing.

One last thing: Some employers won't accept online degrees, and most of them won't pay for you to go to school if its an online degree. I know this from multiple cases locally. So be aware that it won't always be accepted the same way a face-to-face college degree will be, and this may get worse as more and more schools dilute their programs with online components.

We used to think the whole acceptance thing would get better over time, but it really hasn't. If anything it's gotten worse, with a clear demarcation between online and traditional degrees.

Full disclosure: I've been teaching in higher ed since the 80s, and teaching online at the same time for the last few years. Online courses, done correctly, are HARDER than face-to-face courses. If you didn't/don't find that to be the case, then your class wasn't rigorous enough.
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Mar 21, 2013, 07:20 PM
 
I got my degree online at the University of Maryland. Fantastic program and very tough...there are other online colleges where you send in a couple box tops and they mail you a degree so make sure you get what you want (e.g. education or a piece of paper).
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Mar 21, 2013, 10:32 PM
 
I did my doctorate online, it definitely was way harder than my previous in class graduate studies. One has to be very self motivated and into what one is doing, no way to slide.
     
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Mar 22, 2013, 01:16 AM
 
Here ya go. If you want a quick and easy doctorate, take out a Whole Life policy for $150k and find a small college with a graduate school, then tell them you'll make them sole beneficiary of that policy, in writing, if they give you a Doctor of Letters. It's honorary, but you can put PhD at the end of your name and ask people to call you "doc". Few know that a DoL isn't much of anything.
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Mar 22, 2013, 02:58 AM
 
If you are in the USA, stick with a RA (regionally accredited) school.

These include schools that have passed muster with:
- Middle States
- Southern Association of Schools and Colleges (SACS)
- Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)
- Northwest Accreditation Commission
- North Central Association of Schools and Colleges
- New England Association of Schools and Colleges

and ... maybe (slowly gaining acceptance) ... our National Accreditation body:
- DETC (Distance Education and Training Council)

There are a few religious schools as well, but for the most part, if your school isn't a member of one of the above bodies (in the USA) then your degree will likely be a ticking time bomb on your professional career. I'd rather not have a degree than one that gives me questionable credentials.

If you are planning on teaching, stick with an RA degree. For business or federal/military use, a DETC degree is often acceptable.

Even with RA/DETC/CHEA (Council for Higher Education Accreditation) schools there are good and bad. I'm a firm believer that you get out of any school what you put in it, but buyer beware.

Also: Distance learning is not for everyone. You really need to be your own teacher as well as learner. You need to chase down knowledge. You need to be VERY motivated and disciplined. If you suspect you can't, then don't waste a bunch of money and time.
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Mar 22, 2013, 11:25 AM
 
Yep, that's spot on. I wish I would have had more time to reply yesterday.

Start by looking for schools with regional accreditation, but even then you want to find those that have integrated their face-to-face programs with their online programs. The difference in quality can be astounding.

You want to make sure that the schools have area accreditation, too. For example, business schools need to be AACSB accredited, and education programs need to be NCATE accredited. Regional accreditation is a good start, but that's nowhere near as tough as our discipline's accrediting process.

So many of the online programs out there are caught up in bells and whistles, and don't have a real set of standards we apply. Our online courses and our face-to-face courses are as nearly the same thing as we can make them because the degrees are the same and the course credit is the same. Even so, we have a tough time beating back the popular myth that online classes are "easy."

Even our administrators seem to assume that teaching online is easier b/c they make our class sizes bigger over time. Stay away from programs with huge class sizes if you want professors to interact with you on any level, or if you want quick feedback from your profs on tests and papers.
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Mar 22, 2013, 01:13 PM
 
Originally Posted by MacGirl80 View Post
olePigeon- do you think there will ever be a point where vocational skills will be viewed on equal footing with degrees? I have had the strange experience of seeing people teaching vocational courses (At major UK Universities) who happen to have a degree, but no actual vocational skill or experience in the subject area!
This is purely my opinion: No, I don't think vocational skills or degrees will ever be viewed as equal footing with professional degrees in the United States. I hate to get political, but it's how it is here. Republicans don't want to pay people for skilled labor, and Democrats are only pushing for higher education. As per tradition in this country, it seems, the people most forgotten between the two parties are the average, hard working stiff.

Europe in general is a completely different story, Germany in particular where they have an unbelievably cool vocational school system. Major companies hire out of their vocational schools just like companies in the U.S. hire out of top notch universities. In Germany, vocational schools are seen as an investment not just for the students, but for the companies as well. The companies themselves pay good money into the vocational school system so the school will produce top notch employees who'll probably end up working for them (e.g. giving them an edge over the competition.)

Anyway, if you're getting your degree int he U.S., do what's already been suggested: stick with an accredited college and make sure their online offerings are apart of their regular degree programs (I know that Pennsylvania's is.)
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Mar 23, 2013, 05:29 PM
 
Originally Posted by olePigeon View Post
This is purely my opinion: No, I don't think vocational skills or degrees will ever be viewed as equal footing with professional degrees in the United States. I hate to get political, but it's how it is here. Republicans don't want to pay people for skilled labor, and Democrats are only pushing for higher education. As per tradition in this country, it seems, the people most forgotten between the two parties are the average, hard working stiff.

Europe in general is a completely different story, Germany in particular where they have an unbelievably cool vocational school system. Major companies hire out of their vocational schools just like companies in the U.S. hire out of top notch universities. In Germany, vocational schools are seen as an investment not just for the students, but for the companies as well. The companies themselves pay good money into the vocational school system so the school will produce top notch employees who'll probably end up working for them (e.g. giving them an edge over the competition.)

Anyway, if you're getting your degree int he U.S., do what's already been suggested: stick with an accredited college and make sure their online offerings are apart of their regular degree programs (I know that Pennsylvania's is.)
I agree with much of what you posted, but want to point out that vocational education and a university education are two entirely different things. The former is (to keep it simple) job training for a task, whereas the later is training for thinking and a way of looking at things.

It's always bothered me when folks go to a university and take course (fill in the blank) and then ask "how will this help me get a job". A university is NOT job training. That's a nice outcome that happens often, but the result is a more educated, better rounded individual who knows how to analyze and solve problems based on a wide exposure to knowledge. Quite different than job training.
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Mar 24, 2013, 05:20 PM
 
Brain training.
     
   
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