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Six Things You Should Never, Ever Say to Someone Studying for an Online Degree

By: Theresa Pugh

Published On: January 28, 2015

“Meeting online is no longer an anomaly, and the prospects are good,” says lead author John Cacioppo, a professor of social psychology at the University of Chicago. “That was surprising to me. I didn’t expect that.”

Just as dating online has become the social norm in the United States linking up one in three marriage partners, studying online has also become the new normal.

And yet, some people still have misperceptions about earning a degree online.

It is time to bust the myths and reveal the truth about online learning.

  1. You should earn a real degree.
  2. Online programs are so much easier.
  3. You have extra time for this…right?
  4. What are you going to do with the money you’ve saved?
  5. Won’t that look bad on a resume?
  6. My cousin got one of those degrees for $50 and an application.

1.You should earn a real degree.

First of all, an online degree is a ‘real degree’ as long as it is properly accredited. Just because you meet your partner online does that make your eventual marriage any less real? No.

2. Online programs are so much easier.

Absolutely not. The difficulty of the course is completely dependent upon the academic standards of the University or College. Many institutions offer identical programs that are taught in a classroom and online.

3.You have extra time for this… right?

This is such a dismissive statement implying the online world is somehow inferior. A commitment is a commitment. There is no difference in time allocation between running off to class on a campus or sitting down in front of your computer. Oh, yeah, actually there is one big difference. With online learning, you don’t need to worry about parking your car, commuting or being stuck in traffic. I know which one I prefer!

4. What are you going to do with all the money you’ve saved?

Are online courses less expensive than traditional learning? No. All forms of education require tuition fees. In recent years, there has been a move towards standardising online and classroom courses.

5. Won’t that look bad on a resume?

In many cases, employers won’t even be able to tell the difference between an online degree and a degree that required time behind a desk. As online learning becomes more established, schools are increasingly providing opportunities for students to complete internships, lab experiments, and other hands-on training close to home.

6. My cousin got one of those degrees for $50 and an application.

Ask the question: what kind of degree? There are scams out there. Do your research and use discernment. Apply the same criteria to your career prospects as you would your dating life.


And remember, studying online has become socially acceptable. It has become as commonplace as posting on Facebook, sending out Tweets or finding your life partner.


References: (Maia Szalavitz)




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