Bachelor degrees online

Navigating the Obstacles of Online Learning

by Joe Aguilar

Despite their many positive aspects, online schools do present some obstacles. Here are some problems you might run into—and how to solve them.

  • Unaccredited online degrees: the Internet harbors many diploma mills, although plenty of well-respected schools also offer online courses, including Duke, Stanford, and Boston University. Double-check your online program's accreditation and reputation before signing up.
  • Less social interaction: since you usually have reduced face-to-face time with your classmates and teachers while taking online courses, you should do your best to stay socially engaged through online discussions, emails, and small-group chats.
  • Lack of structure: although many people enjoy the flexibility of online coursework, other students struggle in less-structured environments; you should make sure that you have enough self-discipline to attend your online classes.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employees with bachelor's degrees earn almost twice as much per year as employees who only have high-school diplomas. When you earn your degree online, you can beef up your paycheck on your own terms.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, "Education Pays"
Sloan Consortium, "Making the Grade: Online Education in the United States, 2006" (PDF)

About the Author

Joe Aguilar is a freelance writer in Boulder, Colorado. He has an MFA in creative writing from Oregon State University.

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