Is an Online Degree the Same as a Traditional Degree

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In the last decade, online degree programs have grown enormously. The COVID pandemic forced traditional schooling to close down and almost every institution started conducting their classes online, making online accessibility more prevalent than ever.

Many students worry whether an online degree holds the same prestige as a traditional degree. The truth is, they’re equal in terms of academic quality, job preparation and career opportunity. Online degrees and traditional degrees only differ in the format they’re delivered. 

Before you decide on any online program, you need to ensure you choose a quality school and determine whether an online format is right for you. 

How to Determine the Quality of an Online Degree 

The quality of any online degree program will depend on the college. There are some important details to check when determining whether an institution will serve your academic purposes and provide you with a quality degree.


The first thing to do is to make sure your college is accredited. Accreditation is an official recognition by an accrediting agency, which is an organization made up of education professionals. These agencies establish standards for an educational institution and determine whether the institution is meeting those standards.

Unaccredited schools aren’t eligible for financial aid, and credits aren’t transferable to other institutions. The academics may suffer in quality, and employers may not accept degrees from unaccredited schools.

To find out if a school is accredited, you can visit the Database of Accredited

Postsecondary Institutions and Programs by the US Department of Education. Search for any school by name or location, and if it is accredited, you will find it in your search results. For instance, you can find Cambridge as a registered accredited institution. 

School Services

A college is more than just a place to learn. Even when doing an online degree, colleges provide various services to their students to help them feel supported and part of a community. 

Check to see what kind of services your college offers, and determine whether these services hold value to you. Some of these services might include the following:

  • Academic support services
  • Career and job placement services
  • Financial aid counseling
  • Professor and teacher office hours
  • Online student communities
  • Online student portals
  • eLibrary services
  • Technical support

The Real Difference Between Online and Traditional Degrees

You’ll receive the same academic rigor, training and equivalent support doing an online degree as you would a traditional degree. The difference between the two isn’t the degree itself, but rather the format in which you earn your degree. 

Traditional degrees simply mean you were physically attending a college or university through in-person classes. With online degrees, you’re in synchronous or asynchronous classes doing the same curriculum from the comfort of your home. 

Online programs have many advantages over the traditional college experience, such as:

  • Flexible class schedules and accommodations for working adults
  • Financially more affordable and fewer college fees
  • No commuting
  • Opportunities to go at your own pace
  • Attend a faraway school without having to move

Explore Online Programs at Cambridge Today

Get a quality online experience with one of Cambridge’s online programs. We offer financial assistance, job placement services and flexible scheduling for your busy lifestyle. Learn about our student-centered learning experiences and call us today at 877-206-4279 or send us a message.

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