It is becoming easier to take courses and earn qualifications nowadays with the internet and other means of learning at home without a commute or inconvenient scheduling. The online degree is a new way of maximizing one’s potential without taking valuable time off from pursuing a career. An online degree allows students to work full-time or to take care of one’s family and to earn a degree in one’s spare time.
This is not to say that requirements for an online degree are less than for a traditional, on-site course. In fact, earning an online degree might require more self-discipline and motivation than conventional learning, because one must make time to do the coursework in one’s own time. To succeed in an online degree program, one must be strict about setting aside certain times to complete course work, otherwise procrastination will be the greatest impediment to success. However, those who enroll in online degree programs are usually self-motivated and are likely to complete the coursework on time.
An online degree is not inferior to a degree earned through conventional classroom work, and diplomas usually do not indicate whether the degree was earned online or on-site. One major difference in the coursework is that an online degree usually requires more writing and fewer tests, since exams cannot be proctored (although some courses require students to show up for live exams occasionally.) An online degree usually requires as much time to complete as a conventional on-site program, although there are some choices, usually, to learn part-time or to have some flexibility concerning when the degree should be completed. This depends on the course, however, and online degrees in areas that require practical exams usually are structured within a specific time frame.
Some people think that an online degree sounds too good to be true, when actually, there is at least as much effort and self-discipline involved in earning an online degree as there is with typical learning programs. Others who fear that an online degree program might be a “lonely” pursuit are pleasantly surprised by the number of classmates they “meet” through chats and e-mails while working on their courses.