Last time, we talked about how risky attending online programs could be.
It is difficult to tell if an online program is good or not. And since most of us enroll an online program with the hope of obtaining a degree, it is even harder to tell if an online degree is going to help.
It is less grave to have an online degree that proves useless than one that is fake, bogus. An online degree coming out of a degree mill is worse than the useless one. Every year, there are reports about the increasing number of degree mills and their impact on society and the degree-holders themselves. Online degree mills are particularly prominent. Accredited online degrees, which are supposed to carry more credibility and higher quality are no exception.
Keep your eyes open and head cool if you are attending an online program and expect to earn an accredited degree. Don’t let your guard down just because it is an accredited online degree that you are getting. Don’t relax your vigilance just because the degree in question is advertised as the stepping ladder to great achievement academically and professionally.
Keep an eye for accredited online degree mills and try not to fall for them. Know about the harm these mills can do and the trick to tell legitimate degrees from bogus ones.
Accredited online degree mills can do great harm
And it is not only the students having these fake degrees that can be afflicted.
- Fake degrees create difficulty for job hunters
Degrees have long been looked upon and considered the essential equipment of the tool kit job hunters carry around on the employment market. Awarded in recognition of the satisfactory completion of a prescribed course, a degree allows the holder to win a distinctive position in the job market.
You may wonder why anyone would look for a job with a fake degree. These people buy such a degree with the hope to get a job, knowing or not knowing that they are fooling employers. But you have to understand, they are fooled by the institution selling them the degrees, too. They are victims too.
Maybe they manage to muddle through at first and get a position. What about next? If the degree is obtained at a degree mill that offers nothing academic but a diploma, then it helps little in your effort to hold that precious position for long. Don’t worry, there is a day when your trick is to be seen through. Think about how to clean up the mess when you have time. Or, maybe you are anxious all the time because you are afraid that your trick will get busted.
- Fake degrees do harm to the online accreditation on a full scale
You have to understand that this whole online education and accredited degrees thing are a little biased against. We tend to cast suspicious eyes at degrees awarded by an online educational institution. Some renowned online universities like Walden University and Kaplan University have worked for decades towards recognition.
If too many job hunters do interviewswith fake accredited online degrees, a crisis of confidence is created.
Employers who have been deceived before may have a hard time trusting job seekers holding the same or similar degree again. And because they don’t have time or sufficient know-how to run the background check, they may just turn off all these holding accredited online degrees.
The worst case is that employers may put up a job posting specifically stating that accredited online degree holders are not welcome. Now even those holding genuine accredited online degrees are not spared.
How to tell if it is an accredited online degree mill?
Fortunately, there are signs from which you can tell.
- Accrediting agencies
Some online schools may be accredited and the degrees produced are legitimate. But if they are not accredited by agencies recognized by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation or the U.S. Department of Education, the accreditation means little.
Some of the accrediting agencies may even be credited by these bogus schools. Just think about the result.
- Too much advertising
Advertising is advertising. Things are overly embellished through advertising. Have you ever wondered why the hamburgers we see on TV are always better looking than those we actually buy? They look good and mouth-watering because that is when they are on TV commercials. It is the same with ladies’ makeup. I’ll just stop here. Just use your imagination.
Bogus online schools spend dollars advertising. Remember, the money comes from your tuition and fees. The advertising may focus on how legitimate, efficient and rewarding the degrees will be. It may even include pictures of the campus which the school does not have.
Too much advertising without substantial contents is a sign shouting “It is far from what’s been advertised” right at your face.
- Too effective
Are you getting suspicious if the program tells you that it can be completed within months and then a degree will be produced? It may make sense if it is a short program that is meant to be completed with less than a year. But if it normally takes 1 or 2 year to finish the program, then you should smell something fishy now.
In some cases, you may even be offered a degree than can be earned within a month. You won’t be asked of how much credit you have or anything related to your status when enrolling. The school just gives you such a grant, which is an empty promise. They give you the degree in exchange for your money, which can be used to lure more people like you into the trick.
Degrees are referred to a piece of paper. You can count on the fact that bogus degrees are genuinely pieces of paper that may cost you thousands of dollars.