Studying online for a master’s degree can be convenient and more affordable. However, there are two sides to the coin. Before you enroll in an online graduate program, it is only wise that you weigh the advantages and the disadvantage.
Pros of Online Graduate Programs
Accessibility: Being able to attend classes from anywhere in the world is one of the obvious reasons why people opt for online degrees as it helps many students work full-time jobs while studying. You don’t need to rush to class on a busy workday as most of the online courses are tailored to fit your schedule. This is a huge perk.
Flexibility: An online program gives you more time and flexibility to work on assignments whenever it’s convenient for you. You can even write your exams from your office or at home as you are not tied to a classroom – the conventional form of learning.
Worldwide Networking: As an online student, your peers will include students from all over the world. This is also a great advantage for networking purposes because there will be bonding sessions as well as projects where you have to work in teams.
Cost effective: Online education is ideally less expensive compared to physical schooling and does not require that you relocate to a new city or stop you from working full time.
Access to teachers: As an online student your means of communication with your lecturers are mainly personal, and are done via emails, chats and scheduled calls. Teachers are available 24/7 to respond to your queries and generally are always prepared to work with diverse students from diverse backgrounds and lifestyles.
Documentation: When it comes to online programs, documentation is usually easier. Documents, transcripts, live discussions, and training materials are all archived and recorded so that they can be retrieved; downloaded and printed at any time.
Cons of Online Graduate Programs
The authenticity of degree: If you attend an institution that is entirely online, you may find that you have to discuss the validity of your degree, especially when it comes to seeking employment. Some employers may not view a completely online program as authentic as a traditional program. You may need to provide more information about the school’s accreditation to prove the validity of your certificate.
Misinterpretation of communication: In cases where most of your communication is through email, key messages may be lost in translation. To prevent this from happening, you will need to make sure you are clear on all course objectives by repeating them back to your professor and asking for clarification when needed.
Limitation of Courses: Not all courses are readily available for online studies. If you’re interested in an unusual field, you may have difficulty finding a source for a completely online education.
Restriction to practicals: You obviously can not study medicine or engineering over the internet as you will need to put into practice the theories of what you are being taught.
Dedication: Unlike in regular programs where you must be committed to attending classes in person or doing projects, the chances of being as dedicated to an online program is less. This is because being in charge of your time and space can sometimes lead you to procrastinate or put other pressing matters ahead of your studies.
Nonetheless, online education continues to produce millions of certified student graduates from all over the world. It’s up to you to maximize the platform!