A For-Profit degree makes sense for non-traditional students. It also makes sense for students who need flexibility. Prospective students need to be cautious when seeking a degree from a For-Profit institution and make sure the college or university is accredited by a respected credentialing agency.
For-Profit Does Not Always Mean Online Courses
I have two degrees from a for-profit university, an undergraduate degree and a graduate degree, and I never took an online course. For-profit does not mean an institute is online. The university I attended does offer online courses. Some state, non-profit universities also offer online classes and programs. I was at a symposium in October where a gentleman stated he earned his graduate degree in communications from West Virginia University entirely online. Online education is not bad. I work for a Fortune 100 company; most of the development training they offer is based online. I serve on the Board of Directors for a Credit Union they offer online career training to their employees.
I found going to a For-Profit institution gave me the flexibility to take the classes I needed when I needed them. I went to a University in the Washington , D.C. Metropolitan area and I was able to take classes at several campuses and other locations. I was able to get the classes I needed and was able to complete my degrees quicker. Being able to take courses online also adds to the flexibility. Flexibility was important to me as I had become a non-traditional student. I was able to finance my education by working full time and I was able to take my classes around a set work schedule.
The University I went to use the same text books many non-profit schools use. The faculty included some fine professors who had taught at such schools as Stanford. All of that is not as important as being accredited. The university I went to was accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and is licensed by several states.
Career Fields Where Online Degrees Make Sense
Online degrees in the computer science industries make sense. Online programs in web development make sense to do online. It shows you can use the web technology. A communication degree online makes sense as well. A lot of the technology can be done online. A journalism degree makes sense as papers can be written online using the latest publishing software. A business degree could be done online. Other degrees could be done online as well. Taking online courses require computer technology and reliable web access. Online courses require the same work load as traditional brick and mortar classes. They also require more self discipline from the student.
Disadvantages of Online Classes
Students miss out on the team building and networking opportunities traditional classes offer. These would be built with group projects, classroom presentations, and day to day activities. Students also miss out on the cultural diversity of a traditional classroom of students.