Is an Online Degree Right for You?

Online degree programs offer plenty of benefits, particularly to working adults wishing to advance their careers. However, stigma is still attached to online programs and many employers will favor graduates from traditional universities. So when is an online degree most likely to pay off? A few points to keep in mind when deciding about an online degree:

Experience Level

One of the major hurdles college graduates face is gaining work experience. Even graduates from the best universities must contend with the experience catch-22. If you don’t have a college degree but have extensive work experience, you may actually be way ahead of many college-educated individuals. An online degree provides the opportunity to supplement your work experience with formal training without taking the risk of leaving the workforce.

Who’s Paying?

Tuition prices are soaring and college graduates spend years or even decades paying off their loans. If an employer agrees to pay tuition, it’s best to take advantage of such a rare opportunity. Even if the degree doesn’t pay off immediately, it could make you eligible for more lucrative opportunities in the future. No matter your past experience or career goals, having a degree will provide additional job security and peace of mind.


The ability to motivation yourself to study is essential if you expect to successfully complete an online degree program. Online students are expected to be more independent, which can be a positive for self-motivated students. However, not all students have developed good study skills. A structured environment provided by traditional colleges will be best for those that have trouble with motivation or time management.

What You’d Be Missing

A traditional college offers certain experiences and advantages not available from online programs. Therefore, a traditional degree is probably best for traditional students entering college with little work experience. Face-to-face interaction with students and instructors leads to the formation crucial connections. In addition, colleges generally more support in the form of career counseling, school organizations, and internship opportunities.

An online education provides an excellent opportunity to bolster your career while continuing to get valuable work experience, but it’s not right for everyone. The traditional college environment offers advantages that online classes cannot. It’s important to weigh your options carefully to determine which will provide the best career opportunities for your individual situation.