Pros and Cons of Accelerated Degree Programs

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Juggling work and life is already challenging enough, and now you’re considering adding education to the mix.

Pros and Cons of Accelerated Degree Programs

You may have heard about fast-track degree programs that can potentially boost your earnings and career prospects, which may sound like a win-win situation.

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But, like all things in life, these accelerated programs have pros and cons, so let’s pump the brakes and dig a bit deeper into what these programs offer. Here we’ll explore if fast degrees online are right for you.


There are many reasons why getting an online degree may be right for you. These are some of the pros of pursuing an online education.

Fast-Tracking a Degree

student taking an accelerated degree program

As the name suggests, the major selling point of accelerated degree programs is speed. Traditional degree programs can take up to 4 years or more to complete, which is a long-term commitment. Accelerated programs compress the same coursework into shorter, often more intense terms.

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With an accelerated program, you can potentially finish an online degree early, often in as little as 12 to 18 months. That means reaching your career goals much faster!


Many accelerated degree programs are designed with working adults in mind. They often offer evening and weekend classes or online options, so you may still maintain your job while getting your education.

With online learning, you can study from anywhere with an internet connection, at any time, making it even easier to fit schoolwork around a work schedule or family responsibilities. You won’t have to choose between paying the bills and studying.

Increased Career Opportunities

millennial managers taking accelerated degree programs

Another big plus of an accelerated degree program is the potential for career advancement.

Having a higher degree can typically make you more competitive in the job market, may lead to higher salaries, and could open up new career paths. This may be especially useful if you want to move up in your current job, switch careers, or expand your opportunities.

You can speak with a career counselor or academic advisor to get tips for online classes and how a degree may help you advance in your career.

It’s beneficial to update your resume and LinkedIn profile once enrolled in a degree program, indicating your expected graduation date. This signals to your network and potential employers that you’re expanding your skills!


Because accelerated programs often take less time to complete, they are also often less expensive than traditional programs. You’ll likely spend less time in school, meaning you could pay less money on tuition and fees. Plus, if you can maintain your job while studying, it’s a win-win situation.

To determine the affordability of your prospective education, you can calculate the cost of an accelerated degree versus a traditional program, factoring in tuition, fees, books, and the potential income you could earn while studying.

It’s also important to research financial aid and scholarship opportunities. Your employer may even offer tuition reimbursement programs that can help.


While there are often pros to getting a degree online, there are potential cons that need to be considered as well.

Intense Workload

professional studying and working at the same time

An accelerated degree program covers the same material as a traditional degree but at a much faster pace. This means the workload can be intense. You’ll need strong time-management skills and lots of discipline to pull it off.

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Before enrolling, it can be beneficial to have a chat with program coordinators to gauge the workload. Once enrolled, adopting time-management techniques like the following can help:

  • Prioritize tasks
  • Set goals
  • Use a digital planner
  • Try out the Pomodoro Technique (25 minutes of concentrated work, then a 5 minute break)

Less Social Interaction

student taking her online degree at home

While the flexibility is excellent, one downside can be reduced social interaction. In a traditional on-campus program, you can experience the full spectrum of university life, meet diverse individuals, and build relationships.

In an accelerated online degree program, you might miss out on some of these experiences. It’s often not a deal-breaker, but it may be something to consider if you thrive on social interaction. Of course, you can join online student groups, attend virtual networking events, or create a study group with your classmates.

If your program offers occasional on-campus activities, it may be beneficial to make an effort to participate when possible.

Limited Course Offerings

student thinking of taking an accelerated degree program

Accelerated degree programs might not offer the same variety of courses as their traditional counterparts. They tend to focus on the core classes necessary for a degree, which can limit your opportunity to explore other areas of interest. This could be a drawback if you like to dabble in a wide range of topics.

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It’s important to review the curriculum for any accelerated degree program you’re considering. If specific topics you’re interested in studying aren’t included in the core curriculum, you can see if there are electives, workshops, or additional online courses you can take elsewhere to supplement your learning.

Final Thoughts

student taking accelerated degree programs online

Accelerated degree programs have many advantages, but they’re not for everyone. It all boils down to what you want out of your education and what you’re willing to put into it.

My College Guide is here to help you decide whether accelerated degree programs are the right fit for you. You can browse through our extensive resources to kickstart your journey toward higher education today!

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Isaac Scott
WRITTEN BY Isaac Scott

Isaac has a Master of Business Administration in Strategic Management and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. His primary focus is accredited schools offering degrees online or in a hybrid format.