Question: What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Online Education for Graduate Study
Online education is more common than ever. In fact many educators and policy makers view online education as the wave of the future. Is an online graduate degree program right for you? Consider the pros and cons of an online graduate program.
Answer: Advantages of Online Education:
- Accessibility: Attend online classes from anywhere.
- Flexiblity: Work when it make sense for you - at night, morning, wee-hours. You're not tied to a class schedule (usually)
- Interpersonal Breadth: Your peers will include students all over the country and even the world. My online students have included military personnel working overseas as well as adults in many countries.
- Cost: An online education does not require that you relocate to a new place or that you forgo full time work.
- Documentation: Documents, transcripts, live discussions and training materials are all archived and recorded so that they can be retrieved via mail, e-mail or the school's website for reading, downloading, and printing.
- Access: Instructors are also available, respond quickly through email, and generally are prepared to work with diverse students with a range of lifestyles and needs.
Disadvantages of Online Education:
- Employment: You may find that you have to discuss the validity of your degree. Information about the school's accreditation and, if needed, copies of syllabi and sample assignments will convince employers.
- Communications: Most of your communication will be through email. You might miss the sound of an instructor or peer's voice.
- Courses: Not all courses of study are easily available online. If you're interested in a more unusual field, you may have difficulty finding a source for online education.