Myths, Busted: Six Misconceptions About Online Education that Are Holding You Back from Your Degree

Many will remember the mustachioed, mad-physicists and special effect gurus from Discovery Channel’s longest-running TV series, Mythbusters. One proverbial goldmine of untapped myths The Mythbusters never explored were those about online education. Currently, 5.8 million students in the U.S. are enrolled in at least one online course. Yet, stigma and misinformation abounds.

Sadly, we don’t get to blow things up to debunk these myths. But we can take a closer look at six of the most common online education misconceptions:

Myth: “Employers respect on-campus degrees more than online degrees.”

This is a common refrain heard again and again: employers see the online degree as less prestigious than that of a classic four-year institution. The reality? U.S. News & World Report found recruiters valued the reputation and accreditation of the institution over the format in which the degree was obtained: “Experts say most employers now understand that an online education not only provides essential workplace skills and student-faculty interaction but also allows students to apply course material directly to their job, and vice versa”… Busted.

Myth: “Online means low quality.”

Many think online degree programs equate to “easy.” However, the professors who teach in online programs are credentialed and tenured faculty. At ASU, for example, online classes are taught by the same nationally-renowned faculty who teach on-campus, and online courses are often adapted from regular syllabi. It’s a simple difference of whether you’re sitting in a lecture hall or virtual classroom… Busted.

Myth: “I’m too old/It’s too late for me.”

“It’s never too late to pursue an education” sounds like pithy marketing, right? But it’s true. Online education has leveled the playing field for people pursuing a degree later in life. The learn-at-your-own-pace style of online education allows anyone, at any age, to go back to school, whether for their first associate’s or bachelor’s degree, or a master’s degree to further their already established career… Busted.

Myth: “Online programs are unaccredited or unaffiliated.”

The wariness from potential students (and employers) about the quality of online programs is rooted in the past. Today, some of the best public and private universities in the country have ventured into online learning, providing students around the world with the same education (and accreditation) that can be found on-campus. Arizona State University, a public research university ranked #1 in the U.S. for innovation, is one such university dedicated to offering the highest quality education online, with the accreditations and affiliations to back it up… Busted.

Myth: “I don’t have enough time.”

That’s the wonderful thing about earning your degree online: flexibility is key. Students have the option of taking as few or as many courses as they want, and the flexibility of online course works allows students to work at their own pace to complete their degrees in ways that work with their professional and family obligations… Busted.

Myth: “I’m not good at working alone.”

Good news! You don’t have to. A lack of one-on-one attention from the instructor and group interaction from classmates is a big concern for those considering an online degree program. But many programs offer multiple ways to interact with students and professors, including discussion boards, live-streamed lectures, email, chat rooms, group projects, and recitation meetings -- the list goes on. ASU’s program even provides each of its students with a success coach through its Student Success Center who will provide mentorship and support along the way. These coaches would tell you that this myth is definitely… Busted.

But don’t just take our word for it. Check out some of our student testimonials about pursuing an education through ASU Online, then maybe you can chalk some of these up alongside unicorns and Bigfoot.

< Previous article Next article >

Request Information

To learn more about ASU Online or a specific program, fill out the form below and check your email for information on next steps.