Online College Degree vs Traditional Degree: What’s The Difference?

There are now far more choices when it comes to getting a college degree. Of course, you can get your degree via a traditional college program. But you can also do this by through an online college.

The difference between the two may seem simple. An online college degree is one you can get remotely, in front of your computer. A traditional degree, meanwhile, is one you acquire by attending classes and programs at an actual physical university.

But there is more to it than that. Because of the busier pace these days, more and more people are opting to take college courses online. In fact, in 2010, over six million students are finishing their college programs solely online.

So what else differentiates an online college degree from a traditional degree?

Flexibility and discipline

One of the advantages of an online degree program over a traditional one is flexibility. Online programs are done remotely, so a student can easily adjust his classes based on his schedule. This works best for students who do full-time work or are attending to other concerns.

Traditional college programs do not offer much flexibility, due to its on-campus setting.

However, traditional college programs offer a bit more structure. Contrary to what many may think, many online college courses are actually just virtual extensions of a typical university classroom. The classes are the same; the setting is just in front of your computer screen.

But this means online students should be able to motivate themselves to attend to their classes and finish requirements. A traditional college program will be able to provide a student with support and a more conducive environment to finish tasks. But ultimately, it is really all about discipline. A student of a traditional college will be forced to be more discipline; a student of an online college, meanwhile, will have to learn to self-motivate.


Traditional college programs, of course, will give students more venues for face-to-face social interactions with professors and other students. It does not mean, however, that online programs do not offer this.

Online college courses can provide students with a dedicated chatroom or forum so they can interact with other students in the same course or program, albeit via the Internet. Other online courses also require face-to-face classes and meetings. An online degree program usually uses a blended education model, which means a student gets the flexibility of an online class with the option of an occasional face-to-face class. With an online course, you will decide how you will interact with students — if ever you do decide to interact with them.


Online programs also allow students to get feedback from their professors in a more intimate way — and more frequently too. Professors do this in traditional classes too, of course. But due to the medium of an online class and the resources available, a professor will be allowed to write more detailed critiques on your coursework or papers. Some classes even provide video clips of their professions giving feedback.

And since the class is online, students and professors can share resources easily.

In the end, it is all about your choice and preference. A traditional degree has to be attained the usual way, which lacks flexible. An online degree, however, is more flexible and more personal, allowing a student to gain more from the college experience.

For more info about online degrees, visit today.

Should you go for online college degrees or go to a traditional college? For more info on the pros and cons of each, head to

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