In today’s increasingly competitive job market, having a university degree is not only an advantage, but in many cases, is almost a pre-requisite to even just get your foot in the door. Unfortunately, not every individual or individual’s family has the means to put them through a lengthy and expensive degree program. The average time and cost requirement for an undergraduate degree, as a full-time student, is four years and approximately $25,000.00 to $30,000.00, which does not include the costs of living.

Individuals who are intimidated by the numbers listed above, or are simply unable to meet those requirements, will likely not attend a college or university, and will therefore be at a significant disadvantage in the job market. Thankfully however, the increasing popularity of online courses university degrees is allowing individuals the flexibility and cost effectiveness that was previously preventing them from furthering their education.

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Online degrees are becoming a popular feature of a number of recognized universities around the country. There are even entire online universities, such as the University of Phoenix, which have made their entire selling point accessibility and independent learning. There are a great number of arguments both for and against online degree programs, which will be discussed in more detail below.

Some of the obvious advantages of obtaining a certification or degree online include the following: Flexibility, cost effectiveness, and the ability to work a full time job during the entire course of study. By working online, individuals have the opportunity to study at recognized institutions across the country, without having to relocate. Most online courses do assign deadlines to projects and assignments, but the time or pace at which students complete these deadlines is entirely up to them. This freedom means the ability to maintain a full time job, care for a family, or stay occupied with other details of life, and choose one’s own hours in which to study. Bear in mind however, that online courses still require a great deal of work and focus. They are not intended to be short cuts to university degrees.

Some of the disadvantages of online coursework include the following: a lack of personal contact with educators; students must be extremely self-motivated. There is also always the possibility that jobs will require the more traditional degree certification processes, although unless you are required to specify how you obtained your degree, there is generally no way for the employer to know this detail. Finally, the fact that educators may no longer be required in the classroom could potentially put a whole new section of society out of meaningful employment.