There are several differences between online accredited degrees and online unaccredited degrees. We venture to explore some of those. That is where we end up in a situation where the online accredited degrees and online unaccredited degrees differ in terms of:
– Content: for starters, in a bid to attain the accreditation, the institutions which offer the online recognized degrees have to develop higher quality content which would impress the panels at the accreditation bodies. Then, on an ongoing basis, they have to keep on updating such content. So the content in the (proper) online accredited degrees will tend to be of much higher quality and much more current than the content in unrecognized degrees. As a student, you will tend to find the content in the online accredited degrees much more challenging than the content in the unrecognized degrees, but that should be okay, if the degree you end up with is one that is (as we shall see later) more widely recognized.
– Cost: there are exceptions, but on the whole, recognized degrees tend to call for greater expenditures in terms of tuition fees and other costs than the unrecognized degrees. The extra money goes into paying the extra costs that come with accreditation, including (as we have seen) better quality content development, and as we shall see shortly, better facilitators, better platforms and so on.
– Quality of facilitators: in a bid to impress the accreditation boards, institutions looking to offer online accredited degrees will usually tend to employ more qualified professors and other resource persons to facilitate their courses. That is not the case with unrecognized institutions, some of which are known to hire the cheapest facilitators they can get. There are implications here: because to a great extent, the quality of a degree depends on how knowledgeable the people who develop the content for it are, and how competent the people who disseminate it are.
– Quality of platforms on which they are run: traditional brick and mortar colleges are usually judged (in determining whether to grant them accreditation or not) in terms of the quality of teaching, learning and research facilities in them. Online institutions, in which the online degrees are offered are, in turn, examined in terms of the quality of the online platforms through which the courses are run, in determining whether or not to grant them the accreditation status. The end result is a situation where the online recognized degrees are offered through better e-learning platforms than the unaccredited degrees. The accreditation bodies have to be satisfied that the platform on which the degrees they accredit are run are platforms that are conducive to the meaningful transfer of knowledge.
– Recognition: this is the ultimate and most important difference between online degrees and unaccredited online degrees. Online degrees are more recognized than unaccredited online degrees. We are talking of recognition by prospective employers and other institutions of higher learning, in a situation where, if you happen to hold one of the unaccredited online degrees, you stand the risk of being treated in the same way as someone with no degree whatsoever.