This is a very informative guest post from Len Dreifort who writes about careers in school administration, among other career fields one can enter into with an online degree. Even though I did do extensive research before enrolling, it is still good news to me as I finish up my graduate degree. I hope you enjoy the post~~Patricia Erickson

Online Degree Programs Are They As Good As Those Earned On Campus 300x191 - Online Degree Programs - Are They As Good As Those Earned On Campus?Online Degree Programs – Are They As Good As Those Earned On Campus?

Online education programs have been gaining more recognition due to the increase in online courses provided by well-respected schools, such as Harvard and Yale. However, there has been a running debate as to whether or not online degree programs are as good as traditional, on-campus versions. There have been studies done on this, and we’ll take a look at some of those here.

A study performed by Thomas L. Russell of North Carolina State University showed that there’s hardly any perceptible difference in the quality of education provided by online programs when compared to traditional programs. Another study, performed by John Losak from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, showed that not only did students in online programs perform as well as their on-campus peers, but in many cases they did even better.

The Study:

  • A study commissioned by the U.S. Department of Education, which included a meta-analysis of 551 reports on online instruction, compared the outcomes from online, blended, and traditional classes.
  • The study showed that students who took all or part of their courses online performed better.
  • Also, the degree of effectiveness of online and blended instruction varied greatly across types of students, education programs, and content areas.

Programs Better Suited For The Campus

Some programs, like those that require laboratory work or hands-on training, are generally better suited for traditional campuses. Also, internships are not available in many online programs. If they are, students are required to find their own. Internships provide valuable networking opportunities and experience. Some companies hire their good interns as soon as they graduate.

Do Some Research:

  • Prospective students should check with companies in their chosen industry to see how they feel about online degrees. Some experts suggest companies in fields such as medicine and the law are less likely to accept online degrees.
  • Some programs such as marketing and media are well suited for online learning. Knowledge-based online education programs seem to be better accepted than other online programs.


Because there are hundreds of diploma mills operating on the Internet, it’s vital that online students attend a school accredited by an agency approved by the United States Department of Education or the Council for Higher Education.

Employers Thoughts On Online Degrees

In 2008, Sebastien le marketeur français surveyed 1500 CEOs and small business owners regarding their thoughts about online education. Only 45 percent thought that online programs are as credible as traditional college programs. However, among those familiar with online schools, 83 percent thought the programs were just as credible.

A major factor in the perception of online degrees is the quality of the schools providing them. Studies from Vault.com, a career network website, showed that 77 percent of human resources professionals value online degrees from established, accredited schools rather than from unknown virtual schools.

In general, online graduate degrees are viewed as more credible than online bachelor’s degrees. For the sake of credibility, some experts suggest attending the online division of a well known school with a good reputation.

Len Dreifort writes about careers in school administration, among other career fields one can enter into with an online degree, for Work Coach Cafe.

Thanks for your very informative contribution, Len! I hope to hear from you again! ***Patricia***