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Education

THE PROS AND CONS OF ACQUIRING AN ONLINE DEGREE IN SOCIOLOGY

8 Mins read

The world has evolved tremendously since the outbreak Corona pandemic. The epidemic affected millions of lives, but it has put the world’s economy under a severe financial strain. After the closing down of most businesses, educational institutes were next in a row to shut down. That not only hampered student education, but it has slowed down the growth of the educational sector.

Now with adapting to these challenging circumstances, businesses are opening up, but this time online. Similarly, educational institutions are resuming back their schedules online so that students may not lose their precious time because of the lockdown administered by the state. Since the educational institutions are shut down for an uncertain time being, switching to an online teaching system is the need of the time. In desperate times like the COVID-19 pandemic, technology has become the most vital binding factor in each world’s domain. From education to health, entertainment to socializing, the internet, cellphones, and computers are a serving holy grail. But since students are bound to stay at home, education is the worst domain at stake in the current scenario more than any other field. Through the online education system, students are now able to utilize their alone time despite the crisis.

When it comes to an educational field like sociology, it prepares the students for social reformation, critical thinking, and different socio-political services. It is a degree that requires social interaction, practical learning, and research, along with theoretical knowledge and supervision of esteemed teachers. Thus, when accommodated through online sources, you must consider several pros and cons before getting an online degree in sociology.

Below are the pros and cons of acquiring a degree in sociology:

Pros Of Getting The Degree

1. Advanced Learning

In modern times, every field requires technology, especially for educational purposes. Considering the current pandemic, traditional methods of education are decaying slowly. New sources like online classes, online tests, and quizzes appeared on the surface and have dynamically become an authentic and novel source of learning. Gradually, the online education trend is taking over the traditional method of teaching.

If you are apprehensive about which degree to pursue, then obtaining an online sociology degree, might be your best bet since the degree aims explicitly to train students for societal reformation. It is a widespread belief that sociology students must get familiar with the technology. Considering the future, instead of traditional learning methods, students of sociology can learn through online resources and can get innovative ideas to use new ways of learning. Students can also practically learn the impact of technology on society and its increasing need for the coming times. Through modern learning tools and technology, sociology scholars can also discover its effects in different fields, systems, or society in general.

Moreover, through e-learning, students train for more challenging times. People worldwide are experiencing the benefits of e-learning since it can give fruitful results in the future. An online degree is a rapid evolvement from the traditional educational system towards the modern approach.

2. Ease Of Virtual Learning

One of the more prominent benefits of attaining a degree online is the ease of location. People residing in remote areas can now benefit from obtaining their degrees from the comfort of their homes since they can now connect via virtual classrooms. In many cases, students usually give up the field of their choices due to this very reason. While on the other hand, getting the admission process done and finding other accommodations on a new location is frequently a hectic affair. So, getting enrolled in an online degree program lifts the geographical barriers. People hailing from varied locations, following different cultures, or religions can learn under the same program. Being sociology students, you can also develop an understanding of societal differences among different classes of people. For example, they understand the gap between different age groups and income levels of various people. That comparison enables you to tell the emotional state of the community and why there are extreme grievances among different classes of people.

3.  Reduction In Studying Cost

Getting an online degree means you can save a lot of time and money. Suppose you are a sociology student and tend to work on new ideas for reforming society or are planning to initiate a social organization. In that case, it requires plenty of time, and the course tuition is usually very high. On the other hand, an online degree can give you flexible hours, which you can utilize in other healthy activities and money which you can invest anywhere of save. By getting a degree online, you save on expenses like traveling, lunch, and stationery. Because of the COVID-19 crisis, many institutions have lowered their fee after the COVID-19 crisis.

Additionally, the teachers and professors have managed to divide limited time for virtual classes. While giving you one on one attention via zoom meetings, there is no hindrance in connecting with your course teachers. You can mutually fix your schedules and have teacher guidance online. By taking an online course, you are free to multi-task as well. Employers of different organizations and companies also prefer hiring online degree holders because of their employees’ increased potential and educational steadiness. You can learn practically anywhere. For example, at home, during travel, and even in your office at lunch break.

4. Self-vigilance

Adapting to change is difficult for some people. But e-learning forces you to overcome this hurdle and be responsible. If you are critical enough to work in the society, work for the current systems, or the people, you need to become truthful. Traditional education mostly kept the students busy with academic tasks like quizzes, assignments, tests, and presentations. This system is somewhat flawed. Because, it mostly made students’ slave to lectures, monotonous notes, and handouts to fulfill their learning process. Traditional learning focuses on   Students who are supposed to become watchful, critical, and responsible for studying fields like sociology. Online education has shattered the boundaries of conventional learning methods. It means students are now more self-dependent. The future of students depends upon themselves. Attaining an online degree means you have to be the potential to learn things on your own and explore more and more sources for research and learning. An online degree is becoming a powerful motivation behind refining the students and their learning abilities for a better future and career opportunities. 

Cons Of Getting The Degree

  1. Lack Of Social Interaction

Since ages, the learning environment consists of a student-teacher relationship bound to a particular institution, building, or classroom. Students gather under the same roof and learn together, share. This environment doesn’t only provide an academic but also a peaceful and tolerant social environment. In traditional teaching, students develop an academic relationship with their fellows, make friends, and learn many other social, psychological, and moral lessons. It leads people to create better behaviors by letting them explore their nature. In institutions, students were involved in more learning activities other than staying intact with lectures and textbooks. But after the COVID-19 pandemic, the scenario has dramatically changed. Students and teachers now casually sit at their homes, in their casual outfits—possessing an occasional behavior. Even the class schedules are modified from time to time. When learning a particular subject, especially related to society and social issues, getting familiarized with social norms, ethics, and morals of that specific location or society is required. The on-campus education system taught students the value of time and punctuality as well. It is something an online degree can never offer.

Practical solutions are magnified when scholars are physically and practically involved in a social system. Meaning, online degrees may be an epitome of knowledge, but they don’t enhance your work skills as traditional education does. In an online class, students hardly interact with each other or with the professor. Some students simply hesitate and this hesitation and student psychology and only be monitored and coped with when students have a realistic environment. When they have the training to work in groups or pairs, teamwork and organizational skills are the first steps. By getting an online degree, communication and social gap can lead to futile degree holders, for they fear to work in the field.

2.  Technological Enslavement

These days most businesses are operating online. Online degrees are becoming the most important source that can cause technological enslavement. People, especially the youth and students, are more inclined towards technology. That creates a lack of human interaction, which in the long run, is not good. Where students of sociology are required to incorporate their knowledge with practical skills, an online degree is unlikely to serve both purposes. Sociology involves research projects, vast experience of social structures, and critical thinking about social structures, which means social and physical involvement with individuals and society in general. Whereas, technology and online learning are motivating people to become lazy and ignorant towards real issues.

Hence, students nowadays are preferring online degrees without considering their physical, social, and psychological well-being. It is challenging to cope with social problems and work for society virtually due to the incredible difference between what is real and what is practically real. However, it also depends on the students, to what extent they can consider the hazards of getting an education online.

3.  Uncalculated Credibility

Students are unaware of their capabilities while studying online. They have a hard time comprehending all the lectures. While learning in an institute provides then an opportunity to interact and get involved in group activities, surveys, fieldwork, assignments, and presentations together.

Whereas while studying online, students mostly listen to the crammed lectures, deal with unorganized classwork, and lack the teacher’s presence. While on the other hand, teachers can not define their students and their abilities. Teachers cannot stay attentive towards slow learners, or students cannot accommodate their students’ needs apart from delivering them online lectures and written notes.

However, the online educational institute is also unable to monitor the exact number of credible students that are hardworking and have brilliant capabilities. Because of the online degree system, teachers can also be unable to communicate with students separately other than the fixed hours of class. This way, students can also stay unfocused on their progress as they will bother less about communicating with their professor or seek help.

4.  Self-Dependency

With an online degree, from day one of your class till the day you graduate, you are supposed to feel isolated. Because unlike a physical institution, there would be no teachers or fellow beings physically present to share with you their experience. If people tend to attain an online sociology degree, it is advisable to consider the whole degree first.

When students of sociology have an online degree, scholars must also find that when it comes to practical work, they would feel hindrances. Lack of communication and interaction is a part of the learning process and play a vital role in whatever field you study. However, self-dependency also means that scholars will have to motivate themselves for studies and research throughout the degree. Most of the time, students pay negligence in academics and procrastinate. When there are no fieldwork, no presentation, no assignments or quizzes; students become less vigilant and pay less attention to learning. Also, taking an online class can irritate or bore the students because of the lazy and one-sided class environment.

However, if sociology students learn isolation, they can develop selfish behaviors that are unfavorable and are likely to suffer in the real world.

Conclusion

Online solutions for education are neither entirely flawed, neither completely essential. But for certain degrees such as sociology, which highly demand social interaction and communication (verbally/socially/physically), there are several pros and cons which every scholar of the field must know while considering their own social and personal goals. A person who only aims to receive an online degree is a recommendation and more than a blessing. But for a critically and socially awaken individual who seeks to reform the society must consider traditionally getting a degree.

In times of global pandemic, online degrees are undoubtedly a blessing. Students in chaotic times like this are far from unrepairable damage to precious academic years. It provides enormous benefits like time management, money-saving, and self-sufficiency. Simultaneously, in fields like sociology, it can keep students from social experiences, learning environment, social interaction, and ideas. Online degrees may provide knowledge but no experience.  Before opting for an online sociology degree program, and future designs, students should rely not only on the experience and opinions of other people. Instead, it is preferable to self-consider the pros and cons of a degree on personal, professional, and academic grounds. These considerations may include your personality traits, social environment, and future goals for utilizing the degree.