Online Schools vs Traditional Universities



  • I got into a discussion with a bunch of co-workers about online schools such as IAU or Western Governor's University vs traditional schools such as UF, WVU, etc.

    A co-worker was saying that his university degree was not any more valuable to a potential employer than say University of Phoenix degree. It is essentially just a checkbox once you get experience. There was input from people with online degrees saying they were good enough, and then there is me with no degree whatsoever. We all ended up in essentially the same place, but I guess I am surprised that University degrees from decent schools dont carry any more weight than University of Phoenix...

    Thoughts?



  • I am thinking about having my own English School in Nicaragua. There are a few of them all over the country but apply the traditional method so I need some ideas.



  • @irj said in Online Schools vs Traditional Universities:

    A co-worker was saying that his university degree was not any more valuable to a potential employer than say University of Phoenix degree.

    Totally incorrect. Every company I know (okay, not all, but nearly) consider U of Phoenix and similar to be scams and any candidates with those get binned immediately for being dishonest.

    Completely different in how they are received.

    Then, only after you get past that stage, then the two are treated the same if looking at crappy jobs that look only for a checkbox, and nothing else. But you've already filtered out the better of those, and overall are only looking at bottom of the barrel jobs that would use a checkbox at all.



  • People who hire may not care about the difference. Likely the person hiring you never learned a thing in university and just a got a piece of paper without gaining any knowledge. As a human being seeking to understand the universe you live in, you should care. Does University of Phoenix and other for profit schools even offer an education for their students? Are they required to take humanities courses or do you just pay 40k for a fake degree without math science history literature?
    I just went to University of Phoenix website and they wont even list the courses in their degree programs without filling out a Please Spam Me form. So there you go.



  • I often think that having no degree (What I have) is better than University of Phoenix Master's degree.



  • @irj said in Online Schools vs Traditional Universities:

    I often think that having no degree (What I have) is better than University of Phoenix Master's degree.

    All other things being equal (which is not actually possible) that's not actually true. If you could snap your fingers and have that degree, without spending any time, money, or effort, it would be to your benefit, no matter how slight.

    This is because it would give you the right to choose when to mention that you have a degree, and when to act like you have none. Because you never have to divulge that you have a degree, it can't hurt you.



  • @momurda said in Online Schools vs Traditional Universities:

    As a human being seeking to understand the universe you live in, you should care.

    If you mean that they should desire to have attended a quality educational institution that taught broad humanities, then I'd agree. But you can also learn those things without a degree program. Lots of ways to approach that stuff.

    As an example, how many universities, even good ones, have the degree of research and debate that we do on... well, on the value of university educations?

    or on understanding FakeRAID. There is, very possibly, no university ever that has gone into as much depth on that as we have here. University discussions tend to be broadening, by ultimately very shallow. Carefully time boxes, and over overseen. A forty minute class doesn't leave a lot of time for real investigation of a topic. Especially when you have a professor to placate, and lots of people mixed together, some who are passionate and well read, and others who are just sitting through the class to get their degree.



  • University still infinitely better than fake degrees from UoP or Trump University, which dont/didnt even offer knowledge or education in their programs.



  • @momurda said in Online Schools vs Traditional Universities:

    University still infinitely better than fake degrees from UoP or Trump University, which dont/didnt even offer knowledge or education in their programs.

    Yes, absolutely. Although I'm sure there are some good online schools that just get caught in the sweep of the scams. But Phoenix and WGU are definitely not them. The first is famous for being a fake degree mill. The later famous for not being a collegiate institute and doing a "double dip" and giving out degrees for non-degree work.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Online Schools vs Traditional Universities:

    @irj said in Online Schools vs Traditional Universities:

    I often think that having no degree (What I have) is better than University of Phoenix Master's degree.

    All other things being equal (which is not actually possible) that's not actually true. If you could snap your fingers and have that degree, without spending any time, money, or effort, it would be to your benefit, no matter how slight.

    This is because it would give you the right to choose when to mention that you have a degree, and when to act like you have none. Because you never have to divulge that you have a degree, it can't hurt you.

    I really don't know what to do at this stage in my career. I've got 13 years experience and no degree. It hasn't really stopped me yet, and it seems have enough experience to be considered for positions that require a master's degree.

    I interviewed for a senior security engineer position at Harris. It was a master level positon with 8 years experience. They said it was possible to substitute the experience in lieu of the degree. I felt under qualified fo the position, but decided to interview anyway. I was truthful and didn't make it to the second round. But getting the first interview seemed like a minor win in itself.



  • @irj said in Online Schools vs Traditional Universities:

    @scottalanmiller said in Online Schools vs Traditional Universities:

    @irj said in Online Schools vs Traditional Universities:

    I often think that having no degree (What I have) is better than University of Phoenix Master's degree.

    All other things being equal (which is not actually possible) that's not actually true. If you could snap your fingers and have that degree, without spending any time, money, or effort, it would be to your benefit, no matter how slight.

    This is because it would give you the right to choose when to mention that you have a degree, and when to act like you have none. Because you never have to divulge that you have a degree, it can't hurt you.

    I really don't know what to do at this stage in my career. I've got 13 years experience and no degree. It hasn't really stopped me yet, and it seems have enough experience to be considered for positions that require a master's degree.

    They used to say that six months experience was worth a bachelors, and two years a masters. Given that a typical masters degree teaches nothing at all, often less than a bachelors, that's pretty generous.



  • The problem with getting degrees later in your career is that they have little time to return value. The investment doesn't go all that far. But they take time and money away from other things, things that might provide more value.

    Estimate the time and money a master's will cost. The consider what the alternatives you could do with that time and money. Certs, investments, self study, etc.



  • @irj said in Online Schools vs Traditional Universities:

    I interviewed for a senior security engineer position at Harris. It was a master level positon with 8 years experience. They said it was possible to substitute the experience in lieu of the degree.

    Gov't contractor. I would not take their need for a degree, or strong desire for one, to be indicative of private sector jobs.



  • @irj said in Online Schools vs Traditional Universities:

    I got into a discussion with a bunch of co-workers about online schools such as IAU or Western Governor's University vs traditional schools such as UF, WVU, etc.

    A co-worker was saying that his university degree was not any more valuable to a potential employer than say University of Phoenix degree. It is essentially just a checkbox once you get experience. There was input from people with online degrees saying they were good enough, and then there is me with no degree whatsoever. We all ended up in essentially the same place, but I guess I am surprised that University degrees from decent schools dont carry any more weight than University of Phoenix...

    Thoughts?

    The principle question to ask is: Does the online degree provider have accreditation with the granting authorities in your jurisdiction?

    We home school our kids. So, besides the "classroom" time as they get older they are getting more and more online courses to supplement what we are doing. So, we're familiar firsthand with online course legitimacy.

    If we were looking at candidates that indicate a degree or college certification we'd definitely check to see if the org is accredited if we were not familiar with it.

    But, there's always the simple question: What PoSh would I used to do X and Y? 😉



  • I think it's hard to know for sure as two applicants are almost never identical. You are never really just comparing a university degree to an online degree. There are many more factors at play.



  • @phlipelder said in Online Schools vs Traditional Universities:

    The principle question to ask is: Does the online degree provider have accreditation with the granting authorities in your jurisdiction?

    I don't think that that is true. All discussions around this topic are using the term "college" to mean "fully accredited regionally educational institution". That the "online schools" considered to have no merit are fully accredited just like Harvard and Yale is the base assumption that we just don't normally state explicitly. If they lack that, we don't consider them colleges at all.

    WGU, Phoenix, etc. are fully accredited. Accreditation is a bar so low that it's considered a worthless standard that only exists to legally meet the qualifications of being a school so that you can put on public record that you have a degree. Anything less, and you aren't always allowed to claim legally to have been to college. Any school that touts this low bar as an achievement itself is a sign that the school is worthless.



  • @phlipelder said in Online Schools vs Traditional Universities:

    We home school our kids. So, besides the "classroom" time as they get older they are getting more and more online courses to supplement what we are doing. So, we're familiar firsthand with online course legitimacy.

    Yes, BUT highly renowned and accredited schools give illegitimate classes left and right. It's important to know that a school is legit, but you need a lot more than that to make it valuable.

    We home school as well, but wouldn't want the kids using Phoenix, for example.



  • Even in traditional education the same degree doesn't have the same worth depending on the school you go to. Rutgers MBA vs. Harvard for instance. A degree is an expensive piece of paper. The knowledge is what's important.



  • @wirestyle22 said in Online Schools vs Traditional Universities:

    Even in traditional education the same degree doesn't have the same worth depending on the school you go to. Rutgers MBA vs. Harvard for instance. A degree is an expensive piece of paper. The knowledge is what's important.

    Not necessarily. Universities, even "good" ones, often struggle to provide knowledge. If the knowledge was truly the value, no one would go to college, you'd always just seek out the knowledge which is nearly always free and can nearly always be had in a tiny fraction of the time or effort of going to college.

    College makes you waste insane amounts of time, placate professor's egos, spend time balancing commuting and course times, do busy work, get hazed, play political games, spend crazy money.... all instead of spending those resources on knowledge... purely for a piece of paper that says you played the game rather than just learning.

    The entire concept of college in the modern era is that paper matters, knowledge doesn't.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Online Schools vs Traditional Universities:

    @phlipelder said in Online Schools vs Traditional Universities:

    The principle question to ask is: Does the online degree provider have accreditation with the granting authorities in your jurisdiction?

    I don't think that that is true. All discussions around this topic are using the term "college" to mean "fully accredited regionally educational institution". That the "online schools" considered to have no merit are fully accredited just like Harvard and Yale is the base assumption that we just don't normally state explicitly. If they lack that, we don't consider them colleges at all.

    WGU, Phoenix, etc. are fully accredited. Accreditation is a bar so low that it's considered a worthless standard that only exists to legally meet the qualifications of being a school so that you can put on public record that you have a degree. Anything less, and you aren't always allowed to claim legally to have been to college. Any school that touts this low bar as an achievement itself is a sign that the school is worthless.

    I went to a college that was seeking accreditation in their respective field. It's not an easy process and it's not inexpensive. If the authority is legit, here in Canada or the US, then the school has paid * a lot* of money and proven that they have the chops to provide a good education to those obtaining their degree.



  • @phlipelder said in Online Schools vs Traditional Universities:

    I went to a college that was seeking accreditation in their respective field. It's not an easy process and it's not inexpensive. If the authority is legit, here in Canada or the US, then the school has paid * a lot* of money and proven that they have the chops to provide a good education to those obtaining their degree.

    Paid a lot of money, yes. Proven that they provide a good education, not a chance. By that logic, all accredited schools provide a good education, yet we know that is the farthest thing from reality. Most of the worst schools are accredited, most that are not end up failing as they don't get grants, scholarships, or recognition. Accreditation truly means nothing, other than they paid to get the stamp of approval from a business selling them (non-profits make money like anyone else.)

    Phoenix, WGU, all others of their ilk, all accredited. The incredibly terrible level of education that easily passes accreditation is staggering.

    Or to think of it another way...

    We only consider schools that are accredited to be colleges. Therefore, if accreditation means something, it means all colleges are good. Which we know can't be true. In reality, most are horrible. Some are good, certainly. But many are bad. If any are bad, that means accreditation isn't the bar making them good.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Online Schools vs Traditional Universities:

    @phlipelder said in Online Schools vs Traditional Universities:

    I went to a college that was seeking accreditation in their respective field. It's not an easy process and it's not inexpensive. If the authority is legit, here in Canada or the US, then the school has paid * a lot* of money and proven that they have the chops to provide a good education to those obtaining their degree.

    Paid a lot of money, yes. Proven that they provide a good education, not a chance. By that logic, all accredited schools provide a good education, yet we know that is the farthest thing from reality. Most of the worst schools are accredited, most that are not end up failing as they don't get grants, scholarships, or recognition. Accreditation truly means nothing, other than they paid to get the stamp of approval from a business selling them (non-profits make money like anyone else.)

    Phoenix, WGU, all others of their ilk, all accredited. The incredibly terrible level of education that easily passes accreditation is staggering.

    Or to think of it another way...

    We only consider schools that are accredited to be colleges. Therefore, if accreditation means something, it means all colleges are good. Which we know can't be true. In reality, most are horrible. Some are good, certainly. But many are bad. If any are bad, that means accreditation isn't the bar making them good.

    This is one of the reasons we home school our kids. We can do a much better job at preparing them for life than the public school system can. Then, when it comes time for them to move on to the trades, technical colleges, or university (meh IMNSHO) they'll be able to sift through the chaff and shine on their own merit.

    It's really not that much different for anything. I've worked for contractors that went to the "School of Good Enough" and even one that said, "We're like doctors, we bury our mistakes". 😃

    When I was in the trades working my way towards a journeyman's ticket as a mechanic with a focus on high-performance it was the same. It wasn't hard to tell who was who and what they were about.

    I know of no industry, both worked in or been a part of in some way shape or form, that does not have their share of "Good Enough-ers".

    But, boy oh boy, when I come across someone that shines, puts in the 115%, and makes it known that they are truly putting it in by the work they are doing I will go out of my way to compliment them.

    Most of us that put in the 115% don't hear that kind of feedback very often.



  • @phlipelder said in Online Schools vs Traditional Universities:

    This is one of the reasons we home school our kids. We can do a much better job at preparing them for life than the public school system can. Then, when it comes time for them to move on to the trades, technical colleges, or university (meh IMNSHO) they'll be able to sift through the chaff and shine on their own merit.

    Same here. Along with other reasons, like we want the flexibility to have them live in different countries.

    My wife is sure that our kids will go to college, but literally only because she was a party sorority girl and thinks that partying for four years is part of being that age and can't imagine skipping it. And I can't imagine that they will go to college (given the careers they think that they want) given that they can do way more fun and productive things without it.



  • @phlipelder said in Online Schools vs Traditional Universities:

    But, boy oh boy, when I come across someone that shines, puts in the 115%, and makes it known that they are truly putting it in by the work they are doing I will go out of my way to compliment them.

    Most of us that put in the 115% don't hear that kind of feedback very often.

    In development, they are called 10xers. There is basically the productivity of a normal developer is 1x. And almost no one does 2x or 3x. But a small subset does 10x the work of a normal person. It's not a bell curve like you'd expect.


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