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What Are the Pros and Cons of an Online Degree in Library Science?

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  • Written By: Tara Barnett
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 17 December 2018
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The pros and cons of an online degree in library science depend on the individual's situation and his or her career path. Many people find that an online degree in library science is more than sufficient for professional purposes, but just as many people find managing an online degree taxing and stressful. In theory, an online degree from a reputable school is equivalent to a degree obtained by physically attending classes. Even so, working on an online degree can be personally problematic and requires much more motivation than attending a university, which can be a major point against getting an online degree in library science. There are many other considerations to take into account when deciding whether to pursue a degree in this manner.

Among the positive features of an online degree in library science, convenience is a major factor. An individual can obtain this type of degree without giving up employment or moving far away. For people who are already employed in a library, obtaining an online degree can be the absolute best solution because this allows for upward mobility without taking time off. For self-motivated people, reputable online degrees can be a great opportunity.

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Problematically, not all online degrees are offered by reputable schools. This issue can be resolved by looking only at programs recommended by library organizations, but even among these programs some are better than others. Library science is a field in which highly prestigious schools often offer online programs, so a school should not be discounted just because it allows online degrees. A person should hold any online program to the same standards he or she might apply to a physical school.

The other major point against an online degree in library science is the degree of organization and self-motivation required by this type of program. When attending classes, it is easy to space out work and devote time to school. With an online program, staying motivated is much more difficult. Also, people who attend online classes often have other commitments that can interfere with school when time is not set aside for the activity. These problems depend primarily on the individual but should be seriously considered by anyone considering this type of degree.

In terms of cost, online degrees can be as expensive as attending a college physically. On the other hand, a student can often save money on housing and other incidentals by attending a program online. Making a checklist of relevant features to consider is a great idea when looking at the pros and cons of an online degree in library science in any individual case. This allows for the most individual estimation of positive and negative features.

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