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Online Degree vs Offline Degree: Which is Better?

Online Degree vs Offline Degree: Which is Better?

Edited By Vivek Kumar | Updated on Apr 10, 2024 11:13 AM IST

The education sector has seen a significant transformation over the years. This transformation has been increasingly backed by online learning that offers greater flexibility to students to study online degree courses based on their pace and convenience.

However, this has also raised a question is an online degree the same as a regular degree? In this article, we will understand the online degree vs offline degree, the differences between an online degree and a regular degree, what makes an online degree valuable, myths around online degrees, and more.

Is an Online Degree Equivalent to a Regular Degree?

Online degrees and offline degrees are equivalent in certain ways including the recognition, programme duration, and curriculum. However, they differ in terms of mode of delivery. As online degree programs are completely delivered online, regular degrees are classroom-based.

Earning a degree online offers the same value as a regular degree as both modes of degree programs hold government recognition. Online degree courses in India are approved by the University Grants Commission (UGC) and AICTE. This approval makes online degrees valuable across industries, allowing students to pursue a career in their desired fields.

Today, several top universities and colleges in India offer online degree programs at different levels. Institutes offering the best online degrees ensure that their programs meet the same academic standards as their regular programs.

Some of the similarities between online and offline degrees include:

Curriculum: Online degree courses often have the same standard curriculum as the traditional degree courses. The curriculum of both modes of degrees offers quality learning with core subjects and electives.

In online degrees, the curriculum has been designed to enhance students’ learning experience by incorporating technology and multimedia resources. This provides students with a more interactive and engaging way to gain a well-rounded education in their chosen programme.

Networking: Pursuing a degree programme online or offline provides students with the opportunity to build networks with like-minded people, peers and industry professionals. Though networking requires physical presence, online degree courses are a great way to connect with people not only at the local but also at the global level.

Students of online college degrees can build networks through online discussion forums, virtual events or projects. Building networks online helps a learner boost his or her career prospects.

Career Opportunities: Whether a student earns a degree in online or offline mode, he or she can explore lucrative careers in their desired fields. Both online and offline degrees equip students with in-demand skills that make them valuable across industries and get the highest-paying jobs.

Several top companies hire candidates who have earned online degrees from UGC-recognised universities. Employers also look for these candidates as they become more tech-savvy as a result of online learning where they learn to use new software, attend virtual conferences, make presentations online, and more.

Also Read: UGC Approved Online Degree Courses – List of Institutes, Eligibility, Fees And Duration

Online Degree vs Offline Degree: Differentiating Factors

Despite certain similarities, there are differences between online degrees and regular degrees.

Classroom learning: One of the key differences between an online and offline degree is the absence of classroom learning. For offline degree programmes, students are required to visit the campus and attend classes in person.

This physical classroom presence misses out in online degree courses. For online degrees, students just have to log into the learning platform from anywhere and attend classes at their own convenience.

Learning styles: Online degrees and offline degrees differ in terms of learning styles. While the best online degrees encompass online learning materials, ebooks and PDFs, offline courses involve textbooks. In online degree programs, students get virtual instruction, discussion forums, chatrooms, and video conferences. Conversely, in an on-campus setting, teachers and instructors provide academic assistance.

Face-to-face interaction: As social interactions are essential in forming the knowledge base of an individual, online degrees lack it. In online degree programs, students can interact with faculty and peers only during the classes through chats or discussion forums. On the other hand, on-campus degrees allow students to interact with faculty and others before and after classes.

The use of technology: This is another key difference between online and offline degrees. Institutes utilise advanced technologies and digital tools to deliver the best online degrees, which makes graduates tech-savvy. For regular degree courses, there is no need for technology.

Fee Structure: Amongst the key differences between an online degree and offline degree is the fee structure. Fees play an important role in pursuing a course online or offline. Fees of online degree courses may lower than that of offline courses.

As an online degree programme is conducted virtually, it cuts infrastructure and commuting costs. Students also need not to pay accommodation fees like library, hostels and transportation.

Resource Links for Online MBA

Online Degree vs Offline Degree: Which One to Choose?

Many students wonder is an online degree the same as a regular degree, is it better to attend an online class or an offline class? Is an online degree worth it? While finding the answers to these questions, it is essential to understand and consider both modes of degree programmes.

There are numerous benefits of online degrees as well as offline degrees. It includes accreditation, recognition, syllabus, learning resources, and career opportunities. However, both modes of degrees differ in aspects like mode of delivery, flexibility, attendance, teaching principles, admission process, fees, and more.

The table below shows how are these degrees different from each other.


Online Degree

Offline Degree

Learning Mode

Live online sessions, pre-recorded lecturers

Live classroom sessions



Comparatively high

Admission Process




Online proctored and centre-based



Not compulsory



As per University

Universities conduct in-campus placement drive

Each mode of degree can be pursued by candidates with different backgrounds. As both degrees have their advantages and disadvantages, which one to choose in online vs offline degrees is based upon your decision as per your requirements and time commitment.

Also Read: Top 10 Indian Universities Offering Online Degrees

Myths About Online Degrees

As online degree courses offer several advantages, there are common myths around them. Aspiring students wonder is it worth pursuing an online degree? In recent years, online degrees have become more popular offering flexibility and a cost-effective way to complete a degree.

Here, we have mentioned some common myths that revolve around online degree courses:

Myth 1: Online degrees are not recognised

One of the online degree myths is that online degree programs are not recognised and accredited. However, online degree courses in India are accredited by UGC and only UGC-approved universities can offer degree programmes in online mode. There are various UGC-approved universities that offer online courses at different levels.

Myth 2: Online degrees are not for everyone

Online degree courses are apt for working professionals and individuals with other commitments. Graduates from any stream and background can also pursue these degree programmes to advance their employment prospects.

In addition, there is no age limitation to join online colleges as online degrees are open to all. Anyone after class 12th can apply for UGC-approved online degree courses in their chosen stream.

Myth 3: There is no credit system in online degrees

Students pursuing online degrees can get credits after the course completion. These credits are essential to earn a degree in the chosen domain. Students can earn credits from their online courses up to 40 per cent of the total credits.

There are several colleges and institutes like IIT Guwahati and Chandigarh University that offer online degree programs and allow students to earn credits for their degrees.

Myth 4: Online degrees are not valued by employers

The common online degree myth is that online degree programs do not add the same value as regular programmes in an individual’s career. However, the fact is that online degrees in India equip students with in-demand skills and knowledge to gain managerial roles in an organisation. Employers hire candidates who have completed online degree courses from accredited institutions.

Popular Online Degree Courses in India

There are various online degree courses approved by UGC that students can take based on their academic background. They can enroll in degree programs online in their area of interest and pursue a career in the same. Here is a list of some of the popular UGC-approved online degrees in India:


Pursuing a degree online or offline will equip you with relevant knowledge and skills in your chosen field. It will also create various opportunities allowing you to make a career in your desired field.

When it comes to an online degree vs offline degree which one to pursue, you must consider the degree’s accreditation, curriculum, and outcomes. Furthermore, choosing the best degree depends on your requirements and goals.

Frequently Asked Question (FAQs)

1. Is an online degree worth pursuing?

Online degree courses are worth pursuing as they provide you with knowledge and skills in your chosen domain. You can also explore careers in your desired fields after the successful completion of the course.

2. Who can pursue online degrees?

Anyone can enroll in an online degree programme based on their academic background. The minimum online degree eligibility requirement is 10+2. For postgraduate degrees, candidates must hold a bachelor’s degree from a recognised university.

3. Do employers value online degrees?

Online degree courses are recognised across industries and valued by employers. As an online course provides students with in-demand skills, companies hire online degree graduates for various roles to meet their business objectives.

4. Is an online degree valid in India?

Online degrees in India are approved by UGC, which makes them valid and credible at both the national and international levels.

5. Can I pursue two degrees at the same time?

As per the UGC guidelines, a student can take two degrees simultaneously. He or she can pursue one degree in physical mode and another in an Open and Distance Learning (ODL)/Online mode.

6. How are the exams conducted for online degree programs?

Exams for online degrees are conducted in an online proctored mode. Some online colleges held exams at their designated exam centres.

7. What are the top colleges offering online degrees?

 Some of the top colleges include Amity OnlineManipal University Online, JAIN Online, Mysore University, SRM University, and DY Patil Vidyapeeth.

8. What is the difference between an online degree and a regular degree?

One of the key differences between these degrees is the mode of delivery. Other differences include fees, curriculum, examination, pedagogy, and learning style.

9. Is an online degree better than a traditional, on-campus degree?

Determining which is better, an online degree or an offline degree, depends on various factors. They include accreditation, flexibility, cost-effectiveness, outcomes, networking opportunities, and more.

10. What are the career options available after an online degree?

After the completion of your degree, you can explore a variety of careers depending on your chosen fields. You can enter both private and public sectors. You can also explore jobs not only at the national but also international level.


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