Is an Online Degree Less Valid than One Earned at a Campus?

By: Esmerelda Q. Culpepper

Whether one completes an online degree program or earns their college degree at a campus what really matters is how prepared and qualified that person is to work in their field of choice.

Is an Online Degree Less Valid than One Earned at a Campus?

Confronted with Negative Talk

I am an online student. I am learning. I am achieving. I am meeting my goal of earning a college degree. I am also constantly shocked by the amount of negative buzz surrounding online colleges .

In researching online learning, I found a good deal of negative attacks launched specifically at the college I selected and at the online college system as a whole. If I am a candidate for a job and I have worked my tail off to get a degree, succeeded at it, graduated with excellent grades, and am well-prepared for my field, then what difference does it make if I earned my degree in a traditional classroom or in an online classroom? Does it really matter?

Is there a Difference?

If the school is accredited and if I did well, what does it matter if I didn’t set foot on a campus? Who says that all learning occurs within the confines of a classroom? Who says that all education is held within the bound pages of a book? In this fast-paced, digital world, the annals of higher learning would be remiss if they did NOT catch up with the rest of the world and offer their degree programs online.

If you write an email to your employees, should they disregard it because it wasn’t sent on paper? Or discussed face to face? Some of the most intelligent, talented, and productive people in the world never even graduated high school. To say that a degree from an online college cannot stand up to a degree from a traditional college is absurd. To expect a potential employee to justify his reasons for getting his degree online is like asking a potential employee to justify why she’s a woman, not a man, or why he’s short and fat instead of tall and thin.

The Only Way for Me

I am getting my degree online because I have a job, a family, a home, a large number of organizational responsibilities, an invalid father to care for, and a life to live. I don’t have time to go to a campus college. There are no hidden reasons. I don’t attend college online because I can’t cut it in a “real” college. I’ve done that once and have the degree to prove it.

Show me the college that is open at 2 a.m. and will let me attend in my pajamas while also writing tomorrow’s grocery list, doing my nails, packing lunches, making posters for the PTA carnival and clipping the dog’s toenails and I’ll show you the college that will convince me not to pursue my degree online.

By Esmerelda Q. Culpepper, a writer at