Page 1 of 1 1
Topic Options
#82590 - 04/13/07 05:13 PM Online degrees - worth it or worthless?
Amanda the Nasty
Ching Shih


Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 196
Loc: Salt Lake City, UT

Offline
I am seriously considering an online degree program and I'm curious if any of you have received your degree through an online program and if that has been a hindrance to obtaining a job.

Right now I am speaking with AIU Online, but am also considering a degree offered from a brick and mortar school.

Any thoughts or shared experiences would be very appreciated.

Top
#82596 - 04/14/07 01:23 PM Re: Online degrees - worth it or worthless? [Re: Amanda the Nasty]
betsytacy
Ching Shih


Registered: 07/24/02
Posts: 169
Loc: Grayslake, Illinois, USA

Offline
Amanda, I worked as a course editor for an online university for several years and have done editorial work for another online university. I don't know how an online degree is perceived on the hiring front, but I can share some insights from my experience on the inside. Most of the instructors and advisers I know from online universities would say that if you have a choice, a bricks-and-mortar university is preferable to an online university. Going the online route may be a good option if you're in a remote area or perhaps have limitations because you work fulltime, but if you have access to a bricks-and-mortar university you should go that route. Online courses can be very effective, but it depends on how much you put into the experience and how adept your instructor is at working in an online environment. Some instructors do a great job of developing their online students into a class community by effective use of bulletin boards and group activities, but other online instructors may leave you feeling isolated and alone. You may also want to look carefully at costs. An online degree may actually turn out to be more expensive than a traditional degree. I hope this gives you a few more factors to weigh.
Top
#82646 - 04/16/07 10:38 AM Re: Online degrees - worth it or worthless? [Re: betsytacy]
Amanda the Nasty
Ching Shih


Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 196
Loc: Salt Lake City, UT

Offline
Thanks for the inside information bestytacy.

I think I'm going to stick with a brick and mortar school that offers their technical communication masters online.

The online schools have been extremely high pressure. It reminds me of dealing with car sales people.

Higher education is too expensive and too valuable to be rushed, and these schools are too heavy on the rushing. You can't expect someone to make a decision like this in a day, nor can you expect them to have all the necessary funding available within two weeks.

I'd still be interested to hear of any success stories with online universities.

Top
#82650 - 04/16/07 11:57 AM Re: Online degrees - worth it or worthless? [Re: Amanda the Nasty]
Auroranorth
Ching Shih


Registered: 03/30/05
Posts: 318

Offline
I know people who got their MLIS online. I don't think there were job-hunting issues, but there were expense issues. Among other things, you were required to come and stay at the university once per semester/quarter. Each stay was about 3-5 days, so you're taking a week off work, plus covering travel expenses and lodging.
Top
#82850 - 04/26/07 12:05 PM Re: Online degrees - worth it or worthless? [Re: Auroranorth]
Erin W
Ching Shih


Registered: 11/02/06
Posts: 362
Loc: Ohio

Offline
I work at a college and yesterday had reason to speak with a guy who had been Registrar at two different online universities and is actively seeking a bricks-and-mortar position because of his experiences at those two places.

Basically, he found the culture of the online universities to be too corporate. Students were referred to as 'customers' and were pursued by recruiters who earned commissions for everybody they signed up. He told a horror story of how they once got word from the board of directors that the enrollment needed to be upped by 400 students and so the recruiters offered deep discounts to people who had enrolled to enter in the fall to instead begin taking classes the April prior to the fall. Most of the students failed due to lack of preparation, and his superiors were completely glib about it: "Well, we'll recruit a new 400 for next year."

That's one guy's opinion, and I should add that he was interviewing for a job at my bricks-and-mortar school at the time. But still, a valid perspective.

Top
#82854 - 04/26/07 03:26 PM Re: Online degrees - worth it or worthless? [Re: Erin W]
vanillabean
Ching Shih


Registered: 04/12/06
Posts: 123

Offline
The only online degree program I am possibly looking into is the LEEP program at the U of I in Urbana-Champaign. I might just end up re-locating there for their on-campus program though. The problem with online is that you aren't an identity really, and you can't meet with professors if you have an issue.
Top
#82861 - 04/27/07 12:10 PM Re: Online degrees - worth it or worthless? [Re: vanillabean]
Auroranorth
Ching Shih


Registered: 03/30/05
Posts: 318

Offline
Vanillabean, of the librarians I knew who got their degrees online, one was through LEEP. She liked it, but the trips were sometimes problematic- she was a stay-at-home mother and it wasn't easy to take off for a week+ at a time. Also, she was in Alaska so it was an expensive plane trip.
Top
#82893 - 04/30/07 12:41 PM Re: Online degrees - worth it or worthless? [Re: Auroranorth]
Amanda the Nasty
Ching Shih


Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 196
Loc: Salt Lake City, UT

Offline
Erin W, I had my suspicions that what you have described was the root of the high pressure sales pitch I received from AIU.

It's not so much the online learning experience that I'm concerned with. I took several courses for my undergrad degree online and really enjoyed them (including literature and upper division courses). As long as the course allows for good discussion, I find it very similar to an in person course.

What freaks me out about online universities is their lack of requirements and transferability. Many of the online only universities I evaluated did not require GRE or MAT (or subject specific entrance exam) scores. They also did not require that your undergrad degree have some resemblance to the masters degree you wanted to pursue, thus giving you some type of background in the subject. In addition, if your undergrad studies were completely unrelated to the masters, they did not require pre-requisites that would acquaint you with the subject. I'm not sure on transferability with all of the online universities, but several have disclaimers stating their credits cannot be transferred.

The cost difference is insane. A masters from an online only university runs from about $30,000 and up. The masters program I'm looking into, which is from a brick-and-mortar school and delivered online, estimates tuition and fees at $8500. Books and other required materials are unlikely to put the total cost anywhere near $30k.

I'm not attempting to completely devalue degrees from online only universities. I know they work for many people. I just know, after my research, they're not for me.

Top
#82923 - 05/02/07 08:50 AM Re: Online degrees - worth it or worthless? [Re: Amanda the Nasty]
ruad
Ching Shih


Registered: 11/04/00
Posts: 108
Loc: San Francisco, CA

Offline
I'm currently doing my MLIS online (I'm in the Northeast and the school is in Philadelphia but I wanted to keep my rare bookstore job while taking classes). So far I'd say the experience is a good one, they're accredited, and have a brick and mortar library program to back it up. Good professors. The cost is an issue, but I have gotten loans and financial aid. I've heard good things about getting work with this degree; I'm happy so far with the classes.
Top
Page 1 of 1 1


Moderator:  sunflow, Masha 
Hop to: