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Are Online Degrees Valid?

by Jeff Austin

Are online degrees valid is a very good question and the answer is yes, no, and maybe. Long before the Internet as we know it today was a glimmer in the eye of Bill Gates, there were diploma mills.

They weren't invented specifically for the Internet. You could find advertisements in newspapers and magazines that advertised a diploma...your choice of degree...for a few dollars. A person could mail in his money and get a degree with his name on it by return mail.

The Internet has only made the practice more profitable. Diploma mills exist, and they thrive -- worthless diplomas are printed by the thousands every day of the week.

These fake diplomas are completely worthless, and any employer can recognize a fake diploma from 40 paces with one eye shut. Diplomas from diploma mills are not valid degrees. They are fakes.

On the other hand, degrees earned at accredited online colleges and universities are just as valuable and exactly as valid as a degree earned on the traditional college campus.

The requirements for earning a specific degree are precisely the same at online colleges and universities as they are at brick-and-mortar colleges and universities. The requirements are the same. The satisfactory completion of specific courses is the same.

The number of academic hours to meet the requirements is identical. A Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Texas at Austin is the very same degree that can be earned from the University of Phoenix Online.

So, the answer is yes. An online degree is absolutely valid if the school is an accredited one.

Sometimes validity, like beauty, is in the eyes of the beholder. All companies and all individual job interviewers see online degrees in the same way.

More and more, however, online degrees are being recognized for exactly what they are -- college degrees.

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