Should I Get a Bachelors Degree Online?

online-bachelors-degreeWith educational technology continuing to become more advanced as the demand for online distance learning rises, more online bachelor’s degrees are available than ever before for students seeking flexibility in their post-secondary education.

According to online learning survey results from the Sloan Consortium, nearly 31 percent of all college students in the United States are taking at least one online course each year. In fact, online enrollments have been growing substantially faster than overall enrollments in traditional on-campus higher education enrollments. If you are thinking about joining the rising trend for pursuing a bachelor’s degree online, read on to find some of the most common pros and cons to determine whether online distance learning is the right fit for your personal and professional goals.

Benefits of Earning a Bachelor’s Degree Online

In general, pursuing a bachelor’s degree online is an ideal option for undergraduate students who need the flexibility and convenience to attend classes on their own time from anywhere in the world with an Internet connection. While online degree programs are often geared towards non-traditional adult learners who are balancing work and family obligations during the semester, online bachelor’s degrees can also be beneficial for traditional students who are simply uninterested in the conventional college experience.

In fact, online degree programs provide students the ability to choose from many high-quality and top-ranked schools that they otherwise would be unable to attend due to their geographic location. Since online undergraduate education gathers a diverse student body from all over the nation or world, students also benefit from learning other differing perspectives. Unlike campus-based programs, online bachelor’s degrees often come with lower tuition price tags, special online college scholarships, and multiple flexible start times throughout the semester.

Potential Drawbacks of Pursuing an Online Bachelor’s Degree

Although many now regard online education as being equivalent to traditional college coursework, it is important to realize that there are still some potential disadvantages. Since the majority of the content is completed online, online bachelor’s degree programs have a lack of personal face-to-face interaction. Instead of being able to converse back and forth with classmates or the professor, online discussions often do not take place in real time.

Depending on the major, earning an online degree can also mean forfeiting chances to obtain hands-on learning experience. Despite the fact that some students mistakenly believe online classes will be easier, online degree programs require individuals to have strong communication, time management, organizational, and technical skills. In order to successfully earn a bachelor’s degree online, it is important to realize that students must have determination and discipline for completing the degree in a timely fashion without being impeded by any distractions that may get in the way of studying at home.

If you have made the decision to earn a bachelor’s degree online, the next step is to determine the best online bachelor’s degree programs available for your chosen major. Since all online degree programs are not created equal, it is essential that you do plenty of research on prospective online colleges to find out how they score in terms of academic resources, support services, affordability, faculty credentials, student engagement, peer reputation, and accreditation from a recognized accrediting agency for the U.S. Department of Education. Once you have narrowed down all of your options, you will have the best chance of finding the reputable online bachelor’s degrees that fit your own learning needs.

Additional Resource: Top 25 Online Bachelor’s Degrees With the Highest Percentage of Students Receiving Institutional Financial Aid 2014