Have You Gotten a Degree Online? Experiences & Respect

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  • Thread starter Greg Bernhardt
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In summary: As long as the program is accredited and the degree is recognized, it should be fine.I'm unsure, but I would guess no, at least in physics.Depending on the school and program, there may be some programs that are respected. Otherwise, no, and I don't think **many people have great respect for online degree programs**.In summary, online degrees may be popular, but they are not always respected. They can be good or bad, depending on the program and school.
  • #1
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Curious if anyone here has gotten a degree online. Where and what your experience was. They seem to be getting more and more popular. And what about online graduate degrees? Are there any online programs that get respect?
 
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  • #2
I am unsure, but I would guess no, at least in physics.
 
  • #3
It all depends on which online school and what program.

I, myself, plan on getting an online degree. It will a Bachelor's of Arts in Psychology.

My friend is doing one in Business and he's loving it.

I could imagine one in Mathematics not being any good though or even Physics. Anything that requires labs are a definite no.
 
  • #4
Meh...such degrees are boring. Theres no "social interaction"...And, in some cases, the quality of the programs are horrible...
 
  • #5
thinkies said:
Meh...such degrees are boring. Theres no "social interaction"...And, in some cases, the quality of the programs are horrible...

You get social interaction at work and going out.

I would hope no one is doing online courses on a full-time basis.

Plus, you say the quality is horrible, but I've read Psychology textbooks already and have learned more than lots of Psychology students. They know I don't know too, but I haven't even come close to taking as many courses as them.
 
  • #6
JasonRox said:
You get social interaction at work and going out.

I would hope no one is doing online courses on a full-time basis.

Sure you do get social interaction outside and all. Still, I personally find it boring... :smile:
 
  • #7
JasonRox said:
Plus, you say the quality is horrible, but I've read Psychology textbooks already and have learned more than lots of Psychology students. They know I don't know too, but I haven't even come close to taking as many courses as them.

I clearly mentioned this in my comment #4:
And, ****in some cases****, the quality of the programs are horrible...
Certain programs can be better then others. :smile:

(That was not meant to be offensive.)
 
  • #8
thinkies said:
I clearly mentioned this in my comment #4:
And, ****in some cases****, the quality of the programs are horrible...

Certain programs can be better then others. :smile:

(That was not meant to be offensive.)

Oh, ok. No, I didn't take it in a offending manner.

I'm getting my degree from a "real" school. It's just that Psychology is an interest and online schools work around your time much better. (I'm going to graduate school.) They give 6 months to complete a 4 month course.
 
  • #9
Warren is taking online classes at stanford.
 
  • #10
Well, online courses from reputable universities are good...
 
  • #11
JasonRox said:
Oh, ok. No, I didn't take it in a offending manner.

I'm getting my degree from a "real" school. It's just that Psychology is an interest and online schools work around your time much better. (I'm going to graduate school.) They give 6 months to complete a 4 month course.
Are you aiming a bachelor degree in psychology?
 
  • #12
thinkies said:
Are you aiming a bachelor degree in psychology?

JasonRox said:
I, myself, plan on getting an online degree. It will a Bachelor's of Arts in Psychology.
You know, you should really start reading a little more, thinkies!
 
  • #13
cristo said:
You know, you should really start reading a little more, thinkies!

I tend to read things fast..Hehe, I'll pay attention next time!
 
  • #14
I've gone through "traditional" classes where I never show up, e-mail the completed assignments to the professor, and end up getting in the 3.8-4.0 range. Does that count?

Otherwise, no, and I don't think many people have great respect for online degree programs.
 
  • #15
Asphodel said:
Otherwise, no, and I don't think **many people have great respect for online degree programs**.

Yep. Some of my school teachers consider such degrees to be 'non-official' types...They say its simply a waste of time(weird they think of it as a 'waste'). Still, that does not mean that all online programs are horrible. Some are pretty good.
 
  • #16
I think some of these responses have blinders on toward thinking "online degrees" implies University of Phoenix or something. Some good schools have distance learning programs.
 
  • #17
Online courses from an accredited program at a well-established university like Stanford or MIT is quite different than courses/degrees from a place like University of Phoenix.

The accredited programs I've seen have the student show up at the campus at some point.
 
  • #18
Greg Bernhardt said:
Curious if anyone here has gotten a degree online. Where and what your experience was. They seem to be getting more and more popular. And what about online graduate degrees? Are there any online programs that get respect?

Greg, may I change your question a bit to include all forms of distance education, not only online but mail, satellite link, video, and the ultimate - no courses but only testing? In fact, many degrees are granted for a combination of these deliveries.

I have an external degree in history and philosophy. I've never used it professionally and can't personally answer the question of acceptance. I do know such degrees are widely accepted by governments (federal and state), by school systems, and as a professional degree for nursing licensure.

Distance degrees typically lack the coherent, sequential curriculum seen in a traditional brick and mortar school and may not adequately prepare the student for graduate work in the sciences or in engineering. I don't know of any respected school which offers a BS in engineering.

On the other hand, since there is not the same core course requirement, master's degrees in science and engineering are available from many well-respected schools and are generally accepted. There is, in fact, a long tradition of the master's in engineering being a non-residency or short-residency degree.

I think the bottom line is that such degrees are better suited to the more mature, self-directed learner who already has some knowledge of, and perhaps experience in, the field. Moreover, the student needs to check acceptance by typical employers or potential graduate schools, and needs to do a little research to see that the prospective school is legitimate.

Many UK degrees have traditionally been external, with the student being required to only sit for the exams.

A good guide for the person considering a distance degree is
Bear's Guide to College Degrees by Mail & Internet by John B. Bear and Mariah P. Bear, Ten Speed Press.
 
  • #19
I don't know from personal experience, but someone my parents know did one in business/managment. Before doing it, he was flipping burgers. After getting it, he is still flipping burgers. At the same restaraunt too if I'm not mistaken.
 
  • #20
Greg Bernhardt said:
...And what about online graduate degrees? Are there any online programs that get respect?

Greg,

Graduate degrees via Distance Education from an accreditied university are exactly equivalent to sitting in a class room at most schools. The degree won't say "Online" or anything similar.

For example, here are some Graduate Distance Education Degrees from NC State:

http://engineeringonline.ncsu.edu/degreesandcertificates/index.htm

Of course these types of degrees require an enormous amount of initiative and self-discipline to complete.

CS
 
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  • #21
Here, some classes were wired to other univ. Basically, they would sit in a classroom with a big projector, and watch our teacher lecture live. They would turn in their homework via email to the professor, and the exams would be (Emailed to their local TA) the day of the exam. So, it was an online course for them.
 
  • #22
There are a few schools that offer Computer Science and Computer Engineering bachelors degrees fully online; however, I'm unsure how "respectable" the schools are. From what research I did for a few minutes, I found a few that are accredited via DETC. An example of a school that offers a BS in Computer Science is Grantham University.

I know I've taken a lot of interest in earning my degree online because being in the military makes it hard to go to a traditional classroom environment.
 
  • #23
Howers said:
I don't know from personal experience, but someone my parents know did one in business/managment. Before doing it, he was flipping burgers. After getting it, he is still flipping burgers. At the same restaraunt too if I'm not mistaken.

I know this guy who won the Putnam, and graduated top honours at MIT in Engineering. He's smoking crack and licking dirt for crack.

The degree is worthless apparently.
 
  • #24
A couple of respectable schools that offer a bachelor's in Computer Science are:
Charter Oak State College
New Jersey Institute of Technology
Skidmore College
Thomas Edison State College
University of Maryland (used to have military education connections)

I believe all these have traditional accreditation, but you should check.
 
  • #25
stewartcs said:
Greg,

Graduate degrees via Distance Education from an accreditied university are exactly equivalent to sitting in a class room at most schools. The degree won't say "Online" or anything similar.

For example, here are some Graduate Distance Education Degrees from NC State:

http://engineeringonline.ncsu.edu/degreesandcertificates/index.htm

Of course these types of degrees require an enormous amount of initiative and self-discipline to complete.

CS

Isn't this just creeping "StateUism":tongue2: for a Tarheel?
 
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  • #26
Unless the school is known for offering online degrees, they will be looked down upon. I know some state schools offer distance learning degrees but doesn't discriminate whenever this degree was earned through distance learning or not. No where on your degree or transcript will it say "THIS COURSE/DEGREE WAS COMPLETED ONLINE FROM A DISTANCE PLACE".

It has the same value as any other degree, but it's up to YOU to make it worthwhile and fulfilling. An online course requires more discipline and independent study than a real, in-person course. The only factors you lose is real life social/professor interaction.
 
  • #27
TVP45 said:
Isn't this just creeping "StateUism":tongue2: for a Tarheel?

Just keeping it in the state! :wink:

CS
 
  • #28
I don't think it matters if it's your second undergraduate degree.
 
  • #29
I should graduate from a masters program in an applied physics subfield from a respected public university in December 2008.
To sum up
Pros:
-Ability to time shift lectures
-No commute time, no parking hassles
-I save lectures to CD - with good annotation on notes I can bring up lecture where the point I am interested in is discussed - I now have a shelf full this material - great reference with minimal notetaking.
-Degree is respected - no different than on campus degree, school is probably number 1 in this particular field of applied physics.
-Interaction with professors/graders is good - distance students can outnumber the physical students in the class, so most make efforts to make the distance learning work well - prompt email replies, responsive to phone messages, quick grading
-The program does have some lab requirements, but I took care of them by doing some of the experiments after hours at work and then with a three day visit to campus.

Cons:
-Study groups/social interaction MUCH more difficult - since people are taking courses one at time and without a lot of prereq courses you tend to have different people in the distance learning portion of each course you take. Takes someone with real drive to get people to participate. This can have longer term effects than you might think - for instance, this school hosts alumni receptions at the major conferences in this discipline, if I walk in the only people I'll know would be the professors - and they won't recognize me. Many alumni of this school have partnered up to form companies - I'm out of that network completely.
-Unless your employer agrees it can be difficult to do thesis topic related to your work or using company equipment. This generally means going non thesis, requiring 2-3 more classes and probably at least an extra year.
-No assistantships since you can't do the normal teaching/grading or research, but I think all the distance students are employed and are using company tuition reimbursment programs.
 
  • #30
sx70 said:
I should graduate from a masters program in an applied physics subfield from a respected public university in December 2008.

Beam physics? Because otherwise, I'm very curious where you are studying...
 
  • #31
JasonRox said:
I know this guy who won the Putnam, and graduated top honours at MIT in Engineering. He's smoking crack and licking dirt for crack.

The degree is worthless apparently.

Apparently.
 
  • #32
Howers said:
I don't know from personal experience, but someone my parents know did one in business/managment. Before doing it, he was flipping burgers. After getting it, he is still flipping burgers. At the same restaraunt too if I'm not mistaken.

Because business management is a piece of **** vanilla degree. Had he done something more useful like accounting or eduction I doubt he would still be flipping burgers.
 
  • #33
what the hell is ' licking dirt'
 
  • #34
JasonRox said:
I don't think it matters if it's your second undergraduate degree.

what does that mean ?
 
  • #35
RufusDawes said:
Because business management is a piece of **** vanilla degree.

What does a "piece of **** vanilla degree" mean??

CS
 

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