Anyone here have a online degree?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by kerplunk81, Jan 10, 2014.

  1. kerplunk81 macrumors newbie

    Jan 10, 2014
    If you do I want to talk to you.

    I'm actually thinking of attending Regis University for a Bachelor's in Computer Science.

    I've done some research on this university. I like that it's non-profit and it actually has a traditional campus as opposed to "other" Internet only schools.

    My first question did it really help you land a better job after you graduated or did it help getting a promotion at work?

    2. What do you know now that you wished you knew back when you first started your degree?

    3. With so many online universities what made you pick the school you graduated from?

    4. Do you have a hard time finding work after you graduated or is it easier now?
  2. Essenar macrumors 6502a

    Oct 24, 2008
    I don't have an online degree. I'm a couple of months from graduating from a brick and mortar university but given I work in an environment where I see/talk to a lot of potential employees (my boss has me sit in on interviews), I can tell you a few things about online earned degrees:

    1. Make sure it doesn't say "online" on the degree. Now for places like University of Phoenix, this is obvious because they know 95% of your employers are going to assume you got it online even if University of Phoenix has physical locations. But for places like Colorado State University or University of Florida? You should double check.

    2. Don't answer questions that haven't been asked. If you can avoid 'saying' you got your degree online, then avoid it. But if they ask, be 100% honest about it. Especially if it's a job you love.

    3. Your degree gets you the first job and perhaps the graduate degree, your experience is a far more important denominator.

    4. How expensive is it? A lot of people are on the false belief that an online degree is better because they can live at home and it's cheaper. I disagree emphatically. My bachelor's of science in engineering has cost me $30,000 from one of the top 20 universities in the country and top 25 in the world. And I didn't live at home to get it. I've seen people dump $50,000 into online degrees and gotten nothing from them and immediately regret not following me to a physical university.

    That being said, here's my advice:
    Try to get accepted to a physical university first. Apply for scholarships and grants and see which schools will take you in for pretty much nothing out of your pocket. It doesn't matter how old you are. One of my classmates is in his late 30's and finishing up his BS in Engineering after a career switch from nursing. No one calls him on his age or refuses to work with him.

    If not, try to local college route just to get the first two years done. Have you ever TAKEN a programming course or written a program before? If you haven't, you have no idea what you'd be getting yourself into and once you sign the loan agreements, you're at LEAST in it for a semester. Take writing classes, math classes, physics... See if your brain can work around engineering problems before you dive into it. Here's the general breakdown of freshmen and sophomore level courses that computer science majors have to take:
    Calculus 1~3
    Differential Equations
    Linear Algebra
    Physics 1~2 (classical and electricity)
    Physics 4 (relativity)
    Introduction to a Programming Language (Usually Java, could be C++) where you learn how to do if/else, for loops, do loops, while loops
    An English composition course

    Take those classes at a community college where you'll pay around $20-30 per unit. After you're done with those, you can ask yourself if you want to be an engineer.
  3. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I can't answer about too many, but consider that most employers consider many of those online degrees to be worthless. My wife got a bachelors from one of them because of her "life" experiences. All she had to do was write them a check.

    There are many paper mills that generate these bogus degrees, and some ways give online learning a bad name. I'm sure there are some good one, like the university of phoenix.
  4. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6


    Aug 17, 2007
    You should check with the university about job placement assistance you also might want to talk to any recent grads. Good luck.
  5. trewyn15 macrumors 6502

    May 13, 2013
    You know, some degree is better than no degree. But I agree, online degrees kind of show to be pretty much worthless when it comes to the real world.
  6. Jnesbitt82 macrumors 6502


    Oct 21, 2013
    First thing to do is find out what type of accreditation they have. If they don't have regional accreditation, stay away from them.
  7. mobilehaathi macrumors G3


    Aug 19, 2008
    The Anthropocene
    I suppose even the bloody obvious has to be stated once in a while. :p
  8. G51989 macrumors 68030


    Feb 25, 2012
    NYC NY/Pittsburgh PA
    I don't but here is some personal insight, I run my own business, and maybe I am misguided but when I see an application with a degree from an online school. It goes directly into the trash, more than a few other business owners I know do the same thing.

    Before that, I used to work for Big Blue, and I know for a fact that most of applications with online degrees were thrown away before they were even read fully.

    Your better off going to a community college for probably less money and you will be taken much more seriously.
  9. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

    Feb 2, 2009
    Toronto, Ontario
    I work in the industry and my best advise would be to look at independent reviews and talk to prior students about their experiences if possible.

    Do they have numbers on their post grad employment rates within industry?

    Id stay away from any private universities that are doing online only programs. Universities that run online options parallel to on campus courses (even better if they allow you to come to campus during lab days) tend to be grounded more and offer a closer experience to what you would get while on campus.


    Most colleges don't print "online" on the degrees due to this. So you may have unknowingly hired a few online graduates. Just a heads up when you are filtering resumes next time, you might want to grill them on building locations on campus during the interview. :D
  10. G51989 macrumors 68030


    Feb 25, 2012
    NYC NY/Pittsburgh PA
    By online, I mean if I don't recognize the school that the degree comes from, a quick Bing search will find said school, and if I see that it is one of those purely online schools = garbage. HR at Big Blue was the same more.

    I should start a side business making stamps that say " University of Phoenix? University of you don't have a job! "
  11. Jnesbitt82 macrumors 6502


    Oct 21, 2013
    Absolutely! I've seen a few colleges say they are accredited but in reality, they don't have the regional accreditation. They are turning college into a joke. A lot of these institutions usually charge the highest tuition allowed. Then they will try to lure in military members because the GI Bill will pay for the exorbitant fees.
  12. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    It's a good post, but I think a couple things are important to mention. One for the OP would be to ensure whatever things he takes are articulated with the destination university. Some requirements may vary. Not all of them require differential equations. Some entry level discrete mathematics is typical, but once again that can cover an enormous range of topics. It can lead to variation in what universities will accept it. I would suggest the OP review the minimum transfer requirements for whatever colleges. Many take only junior level transfers and may have some prioritization of what classes should be taken prior to transfer.
  13. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

    Feb 2, 2009
    Toronto, Ontario
    Its actually worse than that, some schools cold call people like they are selling a product and promise the people that they will get extra money per semester for going to school.
  14. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    Regionally accredited and a college/university that is an actual standing college. Not some college located in a professional center (multiple blocks of buildings full of various businesses) but an actual college that you can attend if you so choose. The option for me was online as much as I wanted but I could attend on campus classes if I registered for them. I did my Master's that way and I'd do it again. I spent one quarter and took 3 courses with University of Phoenix. I was standing in the elevator with the CEO of my company when he asked me who I was. As we got to talking, he asked about my background and education came up. He recommended going to a university that actually counted. Without hesitation I started to ask questions about UOP and found myself leaving as soon as I was accepted to an actual university.

    UOP cost me $12k for 3 5-week classes that I could have passed with or without doing the actual work. It was the worst decision I could have made with my education. Mind you, this was 2003-2004, so take that as you may.
  15. Irock619 macrumors 68000


    Sep 16, 2011
    San Francisco, CA
    Wow I can't believe all the negativity toward online degrees. Some brick and mortar universities offer online classes as well.

    I graduated from University of Phoenix in October 2013 with a BS in Organizational Security and Management. It was the best decision of my life to attend this university. I am in the U.S. Coast Guard, when I started school I was part of a deployable law enforcement team. I would sit in my hotel room and do homework when I wasn't working. This college afforded me the opportunity to earn an education around my busy military lifestyle. The UOP has a dedicated department that works with military students. Their military team of counselors were great and we worked together very well.

    I went to this school for 4 years and it was the hardest school ever. I basically had to teach myself using the materials and resources UOP has to offer. The instructors are real people who have extensive knowledge and experience in the field you are studying. I was able to work with teams in completing papers and developing presentations. We were graded on our papers and presentations, in which they had very strict guidelines. We were also graded on participation with the class and posting extensive answers to questions the instructor posted.

    With that said I feel I very much earned my degree. It was not an easy task but I learned so much. On the UOP alumni website they post job openings and employers who are specifically looking for UOP graduates. I think online college is the future as it is more convenient for the student and teachers, and technology is being utilized more and more everyday. It is expensive, but how can one put a price tag on their education?

    The graduation was amazing. There were about 8,000 people at my graduation and the ceremony was legit. The amount of degree programs and the people who were graduating was astonishing to me. UOP is also accredited by the higher learning commission.
  16. iizmoo macrumors 6502

    Jan 8, 2014
    My experience with online degree is consistent with others, huge number of professionals don't consider them real or comparable, and you'll have significant hardship in searching for professional employment equivalent to a 4 years degree.

    Depending on where you are, there might be a lot of options for low cost state schools. Start out with your local community college the first 2 years, and then transfer. It'll also give you time to figure out if CS is right for you, there is a high percentage of dropouts from this major. Once you're at least a year in, depending on how well you do, it'll give you a better idea of doing a local university or trying to get into one of the better ones.

    Your location is also key, in bigger states there's more accessibility, like in CA we have the Cal State system that's very cheap. I worked FT the last 2 years when I was there, my degree may not be as shiny, but it beat all the online ones, and I was only $18K in the red after 10 years of college (yeah, I'm slow). You just have to live in CA for a year to get the in state tuition rate.
  17. DJLC, Jan 20, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2014

    DJLC macrumors 6502a


    Jul 17, 2005
    Mooresville, NC
    I too am pretty interested in these answers...

    I was at a campus of my state's university system working on a CS degree. I had barely started my second semester and had to drop out and come back home due to a death in the family. Fast forward two years: there are no university campuses that are conveniently located, and I've managed to get a job I love as technology director for a K-8 charter school. I did consider going back to my university, but we were unable to find a suitable replacement for me at work. (Some extra background: I do have my Associate in Arts, earned at an early college high school.)

    So now I'm considering an online degree. Primarily considering Western Governor's University, which claims to be more affordable than other online schools and is regionally accredited. But now that I'm reading this thread, I'm not so sure... The rough plan was to get this BS online, then enter a distance Master's program offered by the state university system. My thought was that even if employers look down on a WGU degree, I'd have a Master's from Appalachian to make up for it.

    OP: Not sure what your background is, but I definitely recommend getting an Associate's at a community college before you go for a Bachelor's. You'll save a boatload, and it's nice to not have to take a bunch of general ed stuff alongside your major-related courses. Good luck! :)
  18. LadyX macrumors 68020


    Mar 4, 2012
    I will be graduating soon with a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies. While majoring in International Studies, I have taken electives in Information Technology and cyber crime and security and I really got interested and wanted to take more IT related courses. So I thought I should do my Master’s in Cyber Security. I have searched online to check if there are online programs that offer a master’s degree, however I had no luck. Anyway, I have a couple of questions regarding online degrees. What I really want to know is the following:

    * Is getting a Master’s Degree online more work as opposed to earning it the traditional way?

    * Are online degrees considered inferior, in other words, is an online degree as credible as a traditional degree?

    * Do you have access to all your materials 24/7?

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