4 answers

Is doing online college a bad thing?

Asked Grayson, Georgia

I would like to know if online college would look worse on a resume than just attending and graduating from a normal college. #college #resume #online

4 answers

Kim’s Answer

Updated San Antonio, Texas


Whether or not going to college on-line would look worse on a resume depends on who is reading the resume! On-line college has been around for a while now, and people under age 40 should be pretty comfortable with the idea of on-line schooling. Older people, generally speaking, may not be as impressed.

Speaking as an older person (55), who got their BA eons ago at a regular campus, and who has recently returned to school, here are my observations. I have taken some on-line classes (MOOCs) that make great use of video presentations and discussion groups. I have taken some "hybrid" college classes, where we were required to attend on-campus for only four classes, and the rest was on-line. These were not as interactive as the MOOC.

Based on my personal experiences, and my personal learning style, even though I know it is not right to judge others by my own experiences, I would be inclined to think less of the quality of education received on-line. Why?

Because, without discussion and interaction, I do not retain information. Nor do I come to fully understand it. Therefore, I would think the same of others. They simply memorized it for the semester, and then forgot it.

There are also the interpersonal issues, already addressed by others. Also, college is normally thought of as a place where you are exposed to diverse people and ideas, and you learn to consider other perspectives, and be accepting of other cultures. From what I have seen with on-line classes, this is lacking.

If, for whatever reason, you cannot attend a campus, then of course, an on-line degree is better than no degree. And, it does take a bit more self-discipline to complete. However, if you can attend a campus, please try to do so!

Best of luck! Kim

Andrea’s Answer

Updated San Francisco, California

Hi Veronica -

I think everything really depends on your situation. If it is for financial reasons, a community college or online college might be a great way to start your college endeavor. I think online universities are fantastic in giving you freedom to pick your schedule - based on your needs.

My only bit of advice for an online school, is to continue to do activities that show your growth in communication, personnel relations, and time management - such as a part time or full time job. It could be an entry level job of sorts, and eventually grow into something else, but, I believe it is essential to keep up with those skills. After all, in the "real world" you will be working with and talking with people - it is a skill that you need to constantly work on and keep fresh.

Good luck!

Ken’s Answer

Updated Cleveland, Ohio

Hi Veronica!

I would avoid online if at all possible. This type of education does not allow you to have the actual hands on experience and the interaction with other people during the learning process that are very important in daily life and in applying the courses of study. Starting at a community college and participating in coop and intern programs would be a more efficient way of accomplishing your career goals - and probably cost less. We are developing a society that is too dependent on Online Anything and are thus becoming deficient in socializing and personal interaction. This will hurt ones career development and job attainment much of which is dependent upon personal interaction and networking with others in your education and employment arenas.

Mark’s Answer

Updated New Hampshire, New Hampshire

I did University of Phoenix for my Master's degree and it was not a bad thing at all, not only is it cheaper than most other schools but since you are required to make time yourself for everything that needs to get done, it shows discipline and initiative that a "brick and mortar" institution doesn't develop because of the nature of a traditional school.