Overall, 50 percent of adults say obtaining certain knowledge and skills is more important than receiving a degree from a well-respected university. The numbers are about split, with a slight tilt in favor of knowledge and skills, for all age groups, education levels and political affiliations. In fact, only those over the age of 65, non-white , those with postgraduate degrees, and Democrats, said they believe having a college degree is more important.
Davidson says online education programs will expand and improve the same way traditional programs have in the past, particularly in the areas of perceived weaknesses, such as quality and rigor.
"Perception will catch up with reality, that there are quality programs," Davidson says. "Is every program quality? Of course not. But that's true with a building, too."