What are the Negatives of Obtaining a Degree Online in Accounting?

Between the risk of diploma mills and the other negatives of online accounting, students today must be very careful when selecting an online program. There are many positives and benefits of these online programs are great. You can take courses on a full-time or part-time basis, complete assignments at home or at work and be home with your family whenever you want. While those benefits sound great, it’s important that you carefully examine the risks of finishing your accounting degree online.

Less Help and Support

Are you the type of person who does well learning on your own? Can you learn more effectively from reading the textbook on your own without working with a professor? With online accounting programs, you’ll spend a large portion of your time working on your own. While your professor will post discussion topics and lectures online, that professor expects you to read the material and understand the subjects covered in your class. You cannot visit the office of your instructor to ask for questions, and it might take days before a professor responds to your email questions. Some people find that they need more help and support than online accounting programs offer.

Diploma Mill Issues

Another of the negatives of online accounting is that the program you enroll in might be a diploma mill. The Federal Trade Commission describes a diploma mill as a program that takes less time to complete than a traditional program and charges you a flat rate for all of your courses. Other signs of a diploma mill include a lack of accreditation, programs that award you course credit for your real life experience and programs that guarantee you can complete your degree in a few short months. Always research a school carefully before enrolling.

Requires More Dedication

If you dream of working on your accounting assignments once a week and picture courses courses that require little work, think again. Students often find that online programs take more work than the courses they take on college campuses. Many courses ask that you complete one assignment and post on the class message board by Wednesday and respond to postings by others later in the week. Some professors even ask that you respond to the discussions posted by others several times throughout the week.

No Networking Opportunities

Traditional accounting programs offer a number of networking opportunities. You can form close relationships with your instructors, do internships through the school and attend networking events on campus. The people you meet and the relationships that you form give you a better understanding of accounting topics and might help you find a job after you graduate from your program. One of the biggest negatives of online accounting is that these programs offer no networking opportunities. The only people you meet in your courses are the other students enrolled and the professor teaching your class.

While there are a number of reasons why you might take online accounting classes, this type of program isn’t suitable for all students. Before applying to the school and for financial aid, take a look at the potential negatives of online accounting programs, including the risk of enrolling in a diploma mill and the lack of networking opportunities.