How Long Does it Take to Get a Degree Online?

How Long Does it Take to Get a Degree Online?

Due to globalization and the increase in AI technology, learning is gradually moving from the traditional classroom setting to the online space. Most students now prefer going for online classes than physical because of the many benefits it provides. So the question “how long does it take to get a degree online” becomes one of the most asked questions among students and young adults.

Why asked the question? You must know how long a course will take before you begin it. For most traditional universities, the curriculum is set out. We know that a diploma course takes you a year, a bachelor course takes three or four years, and a master’s takes a year or 18 months. The facts allow you to plan.

In this light, we will be looking at the different degree courses and how long each takes.

But before that, let look at ways in which online courses are better than traditional classes.

Five Top Reasons Why Online Courses are better than Traditional Classes

The following are how online learning is preferred over the traditional classroom setting.

  1. Online courses are flexible: This is one of the major advantages of online classes over offline classes. In online classes, you can set the preferred time when you want to be taught, and you can do it in your comfort terms. This, however, is impossible in traditional settings. Also, you can run extra jobs while attending online classes.
  2. Online courses are convenient: When you talk about learning comfortably, you are talking about online learning. You don’t need to stress to go to the classroom; you don’t need to drag a seat with anyone. With your data and some snacks by your side, you can comfortably learn online on your bed.
  3. Online Courses help you connect to people worldwide: One thing technology has successfully done to turn the world into a global village. You can be an African, your teacher an Asian, and your Project partner a European. This is only possible through an online class.
  4. Online courses have financial benefits: In terms of cost, online classes are cheaper than conventional learning programs. Also, as an online student, you can easily combine it with work.
  5. Online courses teach you lifelong skills: Lifelong skills such as self-discipline, networking skills, communication skills are organically inculcated in you when you take online classes. As an online student, you will learn to be an independent thinker.

Different Types of Online Degrees and their Duration

  1. Online Associate’s Degree Programs

An associate degree is often earned from vocational schools, community colleges, and trade schools. Associate degrees are often degrees that prepare one for a particular field or trade. For example, technical skills, pre-degrees, and digital skills. Most times, online associate’s degrees are earned within eighteen months to two years of study for a total of around 60 undergraduate credits.

In the online space, you as a student have the privilege to break down your coursework from the academic calendar. You can break it into summer and winter breaks as you desire. But this makes you stay longer. You can stay up to 2 years if you include frequent breaks in your calendar.

However, when you participate fully in the online associate degree program year-round, it will only take you about 12 or 15 months, and then you are done. The nice thing about this course is that you can decide to pursue your bachelor’s degree, which will help you finish it up with time. In just two years, you should be done with a bachelor’s degree.

  1. Online Bachelor’s Degree Program

The National Center for Education Statistics, the median duration it takes for you to earn a bachelor’s degree in the online space is 52 months. As a full-time student, you can earn a bachelor’s degree within four years of your initial entry. This is, however, different from those that are part-time online students. In their case, it can take them up to six years. Regardless of the duration, most accredited online bachelor’s degree programs require you to complete a least 120-semester credits upon graduation.

This is because an online bachelor’s degree comes with higher credentials and requirements than an associate’s degree. You can easily get a job with a bachelor’s degree than an associate degree.

  1. Online Master’s Degree Programs

Unlike most bachelor’s degree programs that take at least four years to earn a degree, you can earn most Master’s degrees within two to three years of advanced paperwork.

The duration is highly dependent on the nature of the course; You can fully complete online master’s degree courses such as English, psychology, education, history,  and accounting within two years. Likewise, a master’s degree with more credit units like engineering, management, law nursing, and business takes you three years as a full-time student to complete.

This is to say that full-time commitment makes you to finish faster in online degrees. While those that commit a part of their time usually take one to two years longer to finish their credit units requirements.

Online learning cannot be possible without online learning platforms. This now takes us to the next point.

Now, let’s look at the best online platforms you can acquire your online degrees.

Top Online Platforms to Acquire Online Degrees

Among the numerous online platforms available in this 21st century, the following are the best and most reliable.

  1. Alison

Alison is a free online learning platform that provides programs on mostly workplace-based skills. It has a very large range of free e-learning classes on technology, personal skills, soft skills, empowerment skills. Languages, science, financial literacy, entrepreneurship, and so on.

Currently, Alison has 17 million registered learners with two million graduates so far. It offers about 2 000 different programs that target all kinds of learners, from freelancers, students to professionals and managers.

  1. Udemy

Udemy is an American-owned online educational platform with about 155000 courses and 40 million students. It is known as the largest e-learning site.

From completely free courses taught by experts and professors to frequent discounts and class specials.

If you want to learn tech skills, digital skills, business, and leadership, Udemy is a good choice.

  1. FutureLearn

FutureLearn is a British-established online educational platform that provides career-changing courses with a flexible monthly subscription and a 7-day free trial. From short associate courses to post-graduate degrees, you can access over a thousand programs in them. Most of the educational curriculum is built on the British educational system.

  1. Academic Earth

If you’re looking for world-class academic classes, this e-platform is perfect for you. It provides video and academic lectures from world top universities, including Oxford University. The subjects cut across all academic fields of study. And, they are absolutely free.

  1. Coursera

If you want to receive a quality and top-notch college education without the high cost of tuition, Coursera is the best choice. Established by the computer science department of Stanford University, this platform is top-notch. The platform offers amazing courses in all kinds of fields, from professional courses to academic courses. Here, you are taught by professionals and authorities in various fields. They partner with the following institutes to give you the best. They are Princeton, Johns Hopkins, Stanford, and plenty more.

  1. Udacity

Udacity focuses majorly on software development. It offers free courses in data science, programming, and web development. Also, if you want to pursue a career in tech, you can get a short and premium course here.

  1. edX

Like Coursera, edX offers anyone, anywhere, the chance to take university classes in various departments—and get certified. Some of their big partners include Harvard, Berkeley, Dartmouth, Georgetown, and the University of Chicago (and that’s not all!).

  1. LinkedIn Learning

LinkedIn is known as the home of professionals. You can subscribe to LinkedIn Learning to access thousands of courses in tech, Cryptocurrency, Forex, business, design, art, and education. Upon registration, you are being offered a free one-month trial so that you can test the efficiency of the platform.

  1. General Assembly

General Assembly is a private profit-oriented educational firm that offers online and in-person classes and full-time and part-time studies. It focuses majorly on digital skills. Subjects taught include programming, UI &UX creation, digital marketing, iOS, and Android development, data analytics, and JavaScript.

  1. LearnSmart

LearnSmart is an e-learning service that offers paradigm educational services. It usually adopts an interactive study tool in the dissemination of education. Most courses are designed toward career development, which is why it’s a great place to learn about courses like Tech, ICT, Cyber security, project management, HR, and business.

  1. Codecademy

As the name suggests, Codecademy teaches you how to code effectively. It deals with all kinds of programming, including JavaScript, Ruby, HTML, CSS, and Python. The nice thing is that they are all done free.

  1. Skillshare

Skillshare is an American online community through which you can learn through videos. Unlike this platform, this one is more focused on letting you complete a project than being taught.

It provides “bite-sized” classes to learners who only have 15 minutes a day. It offers more than 500 free classes and several thousand premium classes to choose from in topics such as film, writing, tech, lifestyle, and more.


Obtaining an online degree is a perfect choice for individuals seeking career advancement and cannot afford to be attending physical classes each week on a traditional college campus due to work, family obligations, or other reasons.

Online degree programs are advantageous from increased flexibility, lower tuition costs, to convenience for attending classes from anywhere in the world with an Internet connection.

So, instead of focusing on “how long does it take to get a degree online?  it is more important for you as an online student to calculate how pursuing your online degree program can benefit your current professional and personal situation.


Written by Freida Dibbert

Freida Dibbert is a content writer at LearnCora. When she is not creating content for LearnCora, she can be found reading on latest updates in the education sector and use of technology in the classroom.

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