Online degrees can be attractive to students because of their flexibility and the many options available; but students still want certification that is worth the tuition price. Are online degrees the same as traditional degrees?

Online degree value

Getting an online diploma can be attractive because it offers planning flexibility and opens up more educational options. Instead of being limited to nearby institutions, students can earn a university degree in another state or nationwide.

But how valuable are online degrees compared to traditional degrees? You are probably wondering how a prospective employer will look at the diploma or how it may affect the future transfer option, post-graduate study or professional license.

There are several factors that affect the value of online degrees, including whether the institution granting the degree is accredited and has a physical presence and good reputation:

School accreditation

One of the most frequently asked questions about a college or university is: “Is he accredited?” There are several types of accreditation. Regional accreditation is the strongest, and often graduate programs and / or transfer requirements specify that students should earn points from a regionally accredited university.

Physical location

There are two types of colleges and universities that offer online programs: online only colleges and traditional online colleges.


According to US News & World Report, colleges with physical presence are unlikely to distinguish between online or on-site degrees. Employers may not even know that you were an online student and you don’t have to mention it.

Are online degrees the same as traditional degrees?

Name recognition

As mentioned earlier, many universities do not determine whether a diploma was obtained online, so a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst will always matter.

Program reputation

Some colleges and universities are well known for excellence in some programs, some of which are offered online. If you are going to a specific field, first find the universities that are best known and respected for this study program – and then check if they have online offers

Acceptability of degrees

The increase in the number of students earning online degrees makes them more common, which in turn makes them more acceptable to employers. According to the NY Daily News, online grades don’t raise as many eyebrows as they used to because they are becoming the norm. 

Dark website for diploma providers

The desire to earn degrees combined with the high cost of education led to the explosion of non-accredited ‘diploma mills’, where anyone who was ready to pay the fee received a diploma. Accreditation is a process in which an independent, publicly recognized external organization checks or verifies compliance with specific standards and adheres to them when granting a degree or certificate of competence. It is a quality assurance process aimed at maintaining the integrity of the institution’s instructions and mastering the material by the student. 

However, non-profit, online or profit-based school accounts have become front page news, especially where schools have encouraged and assisted students in obtaining government loans to cover their education costs. Such institutions knowingly cheat students enrolled in educational and vocational courses solely for the purpose of charging fees and tuition, mainly using the following three tactics: 

  • Misleading or inflating the commercial value of training or education
  • Failure to meet or take into account student skills
  • Providing inappropriate, incomplete or incorrect training materials and instructions



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