Wow, some excellent universities in that list (including the long list). I have a few colleagues that went this route, and I'd say from the results, it's a valuable addition to higher education. I'm all for it.
It seems to me clear why both medicine and education costs keep rising so fast. The reason is, these are two industries in which, until quite recently anyway, the human labor component has not been reduced. Other industries have made big strides in exploiting automation, to increase their productivity and keep their costs in check.
So online educational programs seem to be just the right approach. A university can reach orders of magnitude more students that way, and even if the costs might appear high for each course, a degree should come out costing far, far less to the student. Economies of scale. And from the list you provided, the degrees can come from very prestigious, name-brand universities. So it's not like there's any compromise in quality here (well, you do miss that social interaction with the other students, although that is less important in gard school, perhaps).
They left out University of Idaho. I got a graduate degree from them and was reasonably satisfied with the experience. Of course when I started their distance education program, it was not as online oriented but they were moving in that direction. It was nice to be able to watch the lectures on MY schedule. I also found that the pause and rewind buttons were really useful.
I would think a significant factor for many engineers doing online programs is the cost, and potential reimbursement by their companies. Companies change reimbursement policies (rules and yearly limits), and often don't reimbursement immediately (or quickly).
On factor for me was the cost for sure, my current employer only helped with college costs (did not even cover the cost of 1 3 credit hour grad course per year). I was able to start on the masters but then economics caught up and the advanced degree is on hold until finances recover. I wonder if some enterprising college will capitalize on the low overhead on-line delivery methods AND offer lower costs to on-line students? This could be the next big education growth market with so many people working so hard at their regular jobs, having an on-line / on my time method to take courses would be a major success if the price was right.
A couple decades ago -- before online courses were a real thing -- NTU was a favorite option for many engineers. How cool that you could take DSP courses from Georgia Tech or IC design courses from UC-Berkeley, without leaving your home town or your day job! In those days, they mailed you the videotaped lectures -- given by a real professor in a classroom full of students -- on VHS tapes, and you faxed or emailed in homework assignments, and took proctored exams at your work place.
It's great that online education has evolved, but I kind of miss the old-school method. Even with the time delay of VHS tapes in the mail, you felt like you were really part of the class, got to know your professor, etc.
Online schools are really taking off especially for engineering schools. Pretty much every school has one now. I know that Purdue has https://purdueonlineengineering.com/ and a lot of the other schools have similar websites. Thanks for the list!
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