Pros and Cons of Online Degree Programs

Q. I would like to know if you can recommend any schools that offer a journalism degree online. Also, what are your thoughts on obtaining a degree online vs. attending a traditional school?

Would I be missing out by not attending a traditional classroom setting? Online learning is appealing because I'm older than the typical student (at fabulous 40!), and  operating under the constraints of being a single mom and full-time National Guard soldier. Any thoughts or suggestions are most welcome.

Thanks in advance for your response.

L. White

A. Gee, when you get a minute, why don't you write a novel, too?

Journalism education is scrambling to revamp curricula and deal with fallout from the economy, which has hammered state and family budgets. One result is more online education, which can be a better financial deal for everyone.

In some cases, though, I think that there is a limit to what you can learn online. Much depends on you, of course, and how you learn. If you're a whiz at online learning, you may be able to pick up video editing and other subjects that people traditionally learned by working with an instructor in a classroom setting.

From my experience, word editing and history seem to be very teachable online; beat reporting and ethics are better learned in a classroom environment with other people.

Consider what kind of journalism you want to learn and decide which environment works best for you. Then get the best program you can within your preferred learning style.

If you decide to go for the classroom, it will be the best program within driving distance. If you go for online, you'll have more options.

There are now many places offering online journalism degrees. Stick with the programs that are affiliated with established journalism schools, which will be interested in quality and maintaining their reputations.

Seeking your questions: What do you wonder about? What's opportunities or strategies do you wonder about? Ask the recruiter.

  • Joe Grimm

    Joe Grimm is a visiting editor in residence at the Michigan State University School of Journalism. He runs the JobsPage Website.


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