Distance learning through an accredited college technically holds the same academic weight as attending college at a physical campus. The perceived value of the degree earned is subject to interpretation by employers who, at their discretion, decide whether or not they will hire you. Many recruiters for professional career placement, such as finance and accounting, know that the employers that use their services prefer to hire candidates from well-known academic institutions or from the school that they themselves attended. There are many advantages and disadvantages of both types of education.
Many students learn better in a classroom setting. They like to see their instructor and the demonstration or lecture in person. A parallel could be made between education and working in an office or working from home. Some people cannot handle working from home because there are too many distractions or the ability to wander both physically and mentally when the boss is not around is just too great. For others, the classroom can offer distractions as well and they work better when they are in the comfort of their own home and have a quiet setting. Self-motivation is a must for anyone wishing to take classes online.
The flexibility and convenience of an online education comes with a price. From the very moment an interested party fills out the online form inquiring about the online university, they are entered into a database and then called almost immediately and continuously by a salesperson using the title of admissions advisor and strongly persuaded to enroll. Many online universities have recently been scrutinized for their high-pressure sales tactics as well as their distortions of the truth regarding accessibility and assistance by staff when needed. The truth is that access to an instructor or academic advisor is extremely limited in most cases as there are often upwards of 50 students in a single class.
Having been both a student and an admissions advisor at an online university, I can say from experience that the entire process is very lackluster and deceptive. After enrolling a student, they are handed off to various other departments and as an advisor you rarely speak with them again. After selling the dream so many times to many students I thought it a good idea to earn another degree myself from this fine institution and found out the hard way that almost nothing that we were trained to tell these students was actually true. But, once you start the program you are immediately racking up debt and you are pretty much on your own. Buyer beware.