Are distance learning courses less respected? Watch

shuvle
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Are distance learning courses less respected? I'm mainly interested in the employers point of view.

I'm looking at a 2.5 year Msc Real Estate. Studying through the College of Estate Management, Awarded by Reading University.

It recommends 15 hours per week, so I could probably work full time on top of that.

I'm a little concerned, although I will be looking to get a related job during this time, it may not be possible.

Any experiences, thoughts or advice would be much appreciated.

As always rep available.

the course in question:
http://www.cem.ac.uk/studyingwithus/...ealestate.aspx
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dannypletnev
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For most of the employers, I think they prefer a graduate studying in the university rather than someone does a distance learning. There are many reasons for this difference.

First, every Master degree has a supervision system, in which one tutor monitor the learning process of one student. For distance learning, this is quite impossible to achieve. The advantage of having a supervisor guiding your study is that it is like a ball game of a sword fighting, in which the students got challenged by the academically more experienced supervisor. During this process, the student could acquire the skill to improve his own performance by gaining more knowledge and skills, so that the supervisor could not win the game so easily. On the way hand, this is about the knowdge the student has to learn. On the other hand, it is about the social experience in which the interaction between student and supervisor can have immense benefit to the student's own future career.

Second, for most distance learning courses, the teaching hour is very limited. That's why you have to have a longer time span in order to graduate. Of course this allows you to work and study at the same time. But the price you have to pay is the loss of concentration on your own study. When you mind has to deal with two important things at the same time, the quality of each of them will surely be negatively affected. At least this is true for most of the people learning in this mode.

Third, the resources of distance learning course is restricted. The teachers might not be the top scholars of the field and their attention might not be on the their students. If the amount of school fee is similar, why don;t you consider do a full-time degree? You can finish it earlier and have a job right after yoiur graduation. It's the same as you study and work at the same time.

I hope this helps.
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shuvle
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(Original post by dannypletnev)
If the amount of school fee is similar, why don;t you consider do a full-time degree? You can finish it earlier and have a job right after your graduation.
Thank you very much for your feedback. I've repped you.

To answer your question, Reading University's Msc Real Estate is full, where as the distance learning course, still awarded by Reading Uni is not.

My plan is to continue to apply for graduate positions whilst studying. Unsure if I would tell the employer about it though? Probably not if it was an unrelated position.

Any more opinions would be much appreciated.
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Declan01
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I have to disagree in part with dannypletnev. If anything, employers respect students who have undertaken study via distance learning. It's not an easy thing to do when you're juggling other family and personal commitments, and keeping down a job full time too. Studying a postgradaute course full time at university is intense enough, so it's even more so doing it distance learning.

My father is a senior HR officer at a large multi national company. They have a number of staff who have achieved degrees via distance learning. They tend to be the very motivated staff, who are able to efficiently multi-task and generally have drive, as they've had to fit in studying around their personal lives.

I do agree though, that you do tend to miss out on the social aspect of university. I know that some universities offer study schools for their distance learning students and that this is a good way of meeting others on the course in a social way.
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k1tsun3
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If I'm correct, there really isn't a difference when you're doing a distance learning degree at a university that offers the same course based on campus. You're transcripts/degree will not state that it was achieved through distance learning (at least there are several universities that state this). However, if you were considering a place like Open University, or any other university that offers on-line courses only, then it may not be a well respected degree. The lack of respect (not that they deserve it) would stem from the fact that they aren't a campus based university which have been around longer and are more reputable for various reasons. I remember reading a study somewhere about the graduation rate of students enrolled in programs at On-line Universities and it wasn't good. I believe it stated that just over 50% of students graduate (I think this was based on undergraduate figures though).

A university like Reading will be building their on-line course based on the campus based course. I know other universities provide videos of the actual lectures given to campus based students on the course. Reading is highly regarded university, so it shouldn't matter if the degree was completed on-campus or on-line.

Just my thoughts. Best of luck.
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shuvle
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(Original post by Declan01)
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(Original post by k1tsun3)
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Thank you for your replies. I'll rep you over the next couple of days.

Do you think graduate employers would see me studying a distance learning course as a disadvantage, in the sense that I wouldn't be fully committed to the job? I'm thinking ahead now, and wondering whether I would put it on my CV/application.
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nulli tertius
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A few points from someone who has done a post-grad course by distance learning.

Firstly, the drop out rates can be appalling. Everyone thinks that dropping out is something someone else does but the numbers completing some courses are very low.

Secondly, teaching by distance learning is very different from teaching real live students. Just because the institution and the department is well regarded doesn't mean they have a clue about distance learning. The teaching on my course was widely criticised by the students despite being from a world class institution that had won an award for the course.

Thirdly, most distance learning students have work/family commitments. It is those commitments, rather than the distance learning aspect of the course, which will depending on what they are, be seen as pluses or minuses in your career. If you are doing this course by distance learning because you are too busy selling properties in a recession to take time off to do a full time course, then that will be seen as favourable. If you are too busy flipping hamburgers and not willing to take the risk of giving that up to do a full-time course, then that will be seen as negative.

I disagree with some of the comments about Open. Open degrees are very highly regarded by employers. They are seen as undertaken by highly motivated people who didn't have the opportunity to go to university. They are usually taken by people who have started at the bottom of a career path and have reached a point where paper qualifications are needed to progress further.
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decepe
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Hi Shuvle,

I know its been a while, I just wondered if you started the MSc Real Estate? How is it going? If not, why not? Did you choose the FT option instead? I am currently looking at the same course or the one offered at Salford.
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