What are the Pros and Cons of Online Bachelor of Science Degrees?

Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari
A mortarboard and diploma for a bachelor of science degree.
A mortarboard and diploma for a bachelor of science degree.

Earning online bachelor of science degrees is a convenient way to get a better education, very often while still working full- or part-time. As a student of online bachelor of science degrees, one can work on college courses without having to go to an on-site classroom for instruction. People who live far from a college campus will be able to obtain a college degree without having to travel long distances regularly. Online bachelor of science degrees can be more difficult to obtain, however, since there is much less direct instruction from professors and instructors, and some critics argue the quality of the education is not as strong as it is during on-site classroom work.

The specific degree earned when working on online bachelor of science degrees will have a significant impact on one's job opportunities after the education is complete, so it is difficult to quantify the broader advantages of the degree without knowing the course of study. The advantages for a current student of attending online classes as opposed to on-site classes, however, can be defined easily. Scheduling is perhaps the most obvious advantage to earning online bachelor of science degrees; a student who is working full- or part-time, or a student who has other obligations such as child care, can still take classes that will help earn a degree even though that person may have a complex schedule. Online classes often allow students to work at his or her own pace, and at off hours, making it a convenient way to earn a degree despite a hectic lifestyle.

A distinct disadvantage of online bachelor of science degrees is the lack of direct, face to face communication with professors or instructors, as well as with other students. A student participating in online coursework is often left to work on his or her own without much direct guidance, so that student must be comfortable with self-directed learning and must be organized enough to ensure the coursework gets done in a timely manner. While some online courses do allow students to interact with the professor through e-mail, video chats, and other methods, the student is very often left to his or her own devices until the professor responds to e-mails or forum posts.

Many critics argue that online coursework is not as thorough, complete, and high quality as on-site classwork, which is a difficult position to prove or disprove. On-site classes often require students to participate in more discussion, take more notes, and participate in more direct communication with the instructor and other students; this, however, does not necessarily mean the education is better. Online coursework is often just as difficult, if not more difficult, than on-site classwork, though different students will react differently to each type of learning method.

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    • A mortarboard and diploma for a bachelor of science degree.
      By: buket bariskan
      A mortarboard and diploma for a bachelor of science degree.