Opinions on Online Masters Programs

tulipsFebruary 12, 2008

Does anyone have any experience with online schooling...specifically masters courses? I am researching online masters programs in business administration, organizational leadership or entrepreneurship and would like some guidance. Thanks!

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My BIL and SIL both are working on degrees online. My BIL on his undergrad, my SIL on her Masters in education. I can get info from them if you like. I do know that my husband is a hiring manager at a bank and he discounts online degrees. He says it is too easy for people to cheat and does not feel the degrees are worth the paper they are printed on. If you are planning to do your degree online through a well respected university with a well known and respected program you should be fine.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2008 at 5:48PM
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jcrowley99, thank you very much for responding. I spoke to Walden University yesterday but am still concerned about putting time in and getting good results. I have several years of business experience so the degree would be just to help me advance to the next level when I return to work from mommy-hood. If you would be so kind as to ask your BIL & SIL, that would be great! Your husband's input is very key as he probably holds a similar view as many hiring managers. Thank you.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2008 at 10:00AM
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Ooops! Sorry I have been busy and just read this! I'll try to talk to them tomarrow, too late to call today! The kids will still be up but my BIL and SIL are probably asleep on the couch!

    Bookmark   February 16, 2008 at 11:22PM
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My BIL and SIL are doing their degrees at University of Pheonix Online. They are fairly happy with it, but said it is rather pricy. My Sil does most of her work late night/early morning after the kids (3 of them) are in bed for the night. There is quite a bit of work for some classes while other have much lighter work loads, it depends on the subject and teacher. You do generally have to attend class virtually, and there are set hours for class, generally late evening. My BIL is working on a business degree because he wants to start his own business. He was planning to start on his Masters after he got his degree but has changed his mind. He says he is tired of school and tired of homework. He was never fond of school. My SIL is working on her Masters of Education. All of their tests are multiple choice done online, and you have a certain period of time to finish the test. Homework is also done online, multiple choice and essay.
It is probably best to work with a school that is respected, or if you are working in an area with a local College or University that would be the best choice. Then employers are familiar with the school. You will want to avoid the kinds of programs you see advertised on TV. They are generally out to make money and might not look as good on your resume as a known school. If the College you mentioned is local, and will give credit for work experience they would be a great choice. A friend of mine is working on his masters at a local University (in the classroom). He only attends class a few times a week so he still has plenty of time to spend with his family, and he is doing this evenings while working full time.
If you have any specific questions I can ask for you, generally be prepared to devote at least a couple hours a day to your work (more or less depending on your learning style). Hope this helped some.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2008 at 3:48PM
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It's important that the school you are looking at is accredited, and hopefully well respected in the field.

Case in point: the above mentioned University of Phoenix. Not that I generally use Wikipedia as a source, but the section on Criticism and Controversy regarding UoP is pretty decent. I'll be frank -- if someone told me they had a degree from University of Phoenix, I wouldn't consider it a "quality" degree. And to be honest, if I had the choice between hiring two candidates that were equal in all respects, but one had a degree from a well-known university, and the other from University of Phoenix, I'd take the first candidate. Why? Because I wouldn't trust the quality of work done at University of Phoenix, and because I know it's an online degree mill.

To be honest, looking at Walden University, it seems to be much in the same model as University of Phoenix. Is any degree better than none? Probably. Is a "for-profit" university the best place to get your education? Quite possibly not.

Take a look at some more traditional universities. I bet you dollars to doughnuts that a) they offer long distance learning courses, and b) they're cheaper than the for-profit colleges.

In fact, you can make your search really easy by going here. You can put in your desired degree, and even indicate that you don't want to have to visit campus. There are many well respected colleges that come up during a Master's search on Business Administration, as an example.

Walden University is $4175 per quarter for tuition. So roughly $16700 a year.

University of Colorado-Denver is $600 per online credit, and requires 48 credits to finish the degree. If you figure two years to complete the degree, that's 6 credits per quarter, which means $600 x 6 = $3600 per year (or $14400 a year).

You get a cheaper college, that people have actually heard of, that's probably more well respected -- and you know what? Unlike University of Phoenix, which immediately people are going to associate with "Ugh, online degree, that's not worth the paper it's written on" -- all you need to put on your resume is "University of Colorado." Nobody needs to know it's an online degree.

University of Phoenix and their ilk had a place...when the old-style universities were slow to catch on to distance learning. But they're all starting to catch on to the distance learning craze nowadays, and the reality is, you can get a quality degree without lowering your standards anymore, and without having to pay as much.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2008 at 6:30PM
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Thank you, rivkadr. That was a great breakdown of the situation. The online degree appeals to me because we are currently living in the boonies and I would like to stay current while being at home raising my daughter. I'll check out other colleges...there were TONS but Walden came up as one of the top picks on a website I was looking at. They were the 1st ones I spoke to.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2008 at 3:52PM
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Check with your more local, well known colleges. Most colleges have on-line courses and flex type labs at the college. I think that would be your best bet and also may get you financial aid.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2008 at 6:39PM
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I am currently working on my BSN through Jacksonville University's RN to BSN online program and will continue on with my Master's. I love the online schooling as I can work at my own time and not have to sit in a classroom. You have to be disciplined and on top of your game. Our course's are only 8 weeks and they cram a full semester worth of work in those 8 weeks. It is somewhat pricey .. I am paying about 425.00 a credit hour but cost is worth the convenience. My son just graduated with his Master's in accounting and finance and this was done online through the University of Maryland. The only thing he really complained about was the group projects which must be a challenge online. His Bachelors in business came from Campbell University and was completed while in the military. Hope this helps. Jackie

    Bookmark   February 29, 2008 at 9:37PM
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