It's sort of a utopian nerd dream, using the internet to be educated by the best universities in the world. We have online universities now, but they've become more targets of mean jokes than legitimate means to further education. But, increasingly, that's beginning to change.
Georgia Tech announced the very first online master's degree in computer science last month. It's notable because it is a full degree in a field begging for new blood, but even more so because it's available at a quarter of the cost of an on-campus degree.
There's naturally a lot of trepidation about online offerings, from faculty who see the beginnings of being replaced by cheaper online resources, and by traditional students who see their online counterparts pass at a higher rate while incurring a less expense. Online education eventually, or even precipitously, taking precedence over traditional college education would be a bum deal for them, sure.
But student debt has ballooned. University graduates often can't afford to take jobs in their fields at low starting salaries, and overall entrepreneurship is down for young people. And maybe affordable online degrees are a way forward, no matter how many Vince Vaughn movies we have to suffer through, which, fittingly enough, might be the time to stop laughing at online education.