Online Degrees in Canada

Online education has become the most preferred option for thousands of students in Canada.  This is because they are able to pursue degrees from top colleges and universities without having to attend on-campus programs. Online degrees are great for working professionals and mid-career managers.  With this, they can keep their job and study at the same time.

Types of Online Degrees or Diplomas

Associate Degree

Typically, associate degrees require two years to complete. However, some online schools offer programs that can be completed in less time. People who want to pursue associate degrees have a lot of options that range from design to science. Associate degree holders can easily land a job soon after graduation. They may also proceed to studying for a bachelor’s degree if they wish to.

Many universities and colleges offer associate degree programs on-campus and online. Opting for an online associate degree can often help students save money compared to classroom programs.

Bachelor’s Degree

Bachelor’s degrees are the most common degree that students study for at online universities and colleges in Canada. Generally, it takes four years and 180 credit hours to complete these degrees. Obtaining a bachelor’s degree opens a lot of employment opportunities for graduates. With this, they can often land jobs in high-paying positions.  Today, there are many students who would rather go for an online bachelor’s degree than attending campus classes. Doing so allows them to supplement their education with a job or internship because they have a flexible schedule. Most importantly, obtaining an online bachelor’s degree is more affordable than most on-campus programs.

Master’s Degree

Obtaining a master’s degree gives an individual a greater edge in the employment world. This degree is a significant factor in raising one’s pay.  Many universities also offer master’s degree programs online. They require students to do a lot of research and concentrate in areas of specialization. The most popular online programs include the master’s in business administration, master’s in education, master’s in fine arts and master’s in library science.

A master’s degree typically takes two to three years to complete. However, some students may be able to complete the program in less than two years. What is great about online master’s degree programs is that students need not wait for a new semester to start in order to enroll. They can apply at any time.

Doctorate Degree

A Ph.D is the highest level of education that one can obtain. People who graduate from these programs can often earn many times more than those with a bachelor’s degree. However, there are only a few options available for people who are planning to finish a Ph.D. online. This is because doctorate degree programs require a lot of hands-on work.

Prominent Canadian Universities and Colleges Offering Online Degrees

Athabasca University

Athabasca University has a wide selection of undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Aspiring students can choose from bachelor of arts degrees in English, French, Canadian studies, anthropology, history, general studies, political economy, humanities, labor studies, sociology, psychology, women studies and information systems. The school also offers a bachelor of health administration, commerce, human resources, nursing, professional arts and management. The university provides master’s level programs in areas like cultural studies, community studies, educational studies, counseling and health studies, equity studies, adult education, business administration and global change.

 University of Manitoba

University of Manitoba offers online programs for non-degree certificates and diplomas. Its online degrees include the bachelor of arts degree in history, geography, social work, sociology, psychology and Canadian studies.

Thompson Rivers University

Thompson Rivers University has a physical campus in Kamloops and offers programs online. This includes secondary and post-secondary diplomas, certificates and associate degree programs. TRU also offers bachelor’s degrees in business and art, education, information technology and tourism management.

Meritus University

Meritus University offers a lot of options for working individuals who wish to obtain bachelor’s and master’s degrees. The university offers these programs in two main areas that include business and information technology. The biggest advantage of getting into Meritus University is the fact that students can complete all courses online. They can choose their own schedules in order to balance work and study.

Canadian Schools with a Primary Focus on Online Education

Canadian Virtual University

Canadian Virtual University is comprised of 10 Canadian universities that offer more than 350 online degrees and certificates. Students can choose among the 53 bachelor’s degrees, 20 master’s degrees and two doctorate degrees.  CVU is basically an association that aims to help Canadian and international students quickly and conveniently find the best quality- assured online education. At CVU, students are able to find a complete online degree or take courses from top universities like Athabasca University, University of Manitoba, Mount Royal University and the University of Brunswick. In addition, CVU offers programs that will allow individuals who are 16 years or older to start university even if they have not completed high school.

The Pros and Cons of Getting an Online Degree

The Pros


Flexibility is one of the biggest advantages of getting an online degree. Gone are the days when students needed to rush in order to get to school on time. Now, they can simply log-on to the online school’s website at their convenience. Online courses usually have syllabi with weekly or monthly deadlines.


Studying at home can result in significant savings. This is simply because there is no need for students to spend money on gas to drive down to school. In addition, they do not have to pay for off-campus housing, meals, parking fees and other expenses required for on-campus education.

Customized Programs and Coursework

Even working professionals can enjoy the convenience of pursuing an online degree.  Most online degree programs offer various lecture methods that can suit the needs of every student. Students can choose online sessions that can be done anytime, weekend classes or live lectures. Exams are usually self-paced.

The Cons

Lack of Hands-On Experience

On-campus programs allow students to develop both their knowledge and skills in the field they choose. Unfortunately, online education only provides them the chance to enhance their knowledge. They do not get to take part in activities or experiments that are geared towards skills improvement. Lack of experience can be detrimental on a job application. When choosing an online degree program, it is best to find one that offers some practical activities.

Lack of Personal Interaction

People who are fond of face-to-face interactions and those who are more comfortable with group classes may not find online degree programs valuable. Opting for an online degree is the best option for people who prefer studying alone. In addition, online students will have to wait for their instructors to answer their queries through email. There is no real time student-teacher and question-answer interaction. Fortunately, many online schools now try to develop systems that will enhance the student’s learning experience.

Getting Degrees from Accredited Institutions in Canada

The Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada has a website that provides a list of accredited online institutions in the country. It is important that potential students only enroll in accredited programs. With this, they can utilize their diplomas and certificates when they look for a job. Otherwise, they will end up spending their time, effort and money on programs that employers and others schools do not recognize. In addition, accreditation means the school offers a high quality of education.

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