Is Western Governors University legit? Western Governors University (WGU) is a legit university and not a scam. It is also a better university than any for-profit university—speaking from experience. Beyond being legit, I cannot recommend it compared to any state school at any level that’s because I do not know what you are particularly in for.
So, if you can get into any public college in your state, you should go there first. Otherwise, go to WGU. I do not recommend going to a for-profit college.
Online colleges such as Western Governors University have been here for over 25 years. Still, some are unsure about how they operate or if they’re a good choice. I will help you clear up your doubts the Western Governors University.
You might think that WGU is just another degree mill. Degree mills do exist both online and offline. They pretend to be real colleges but don’t offer quality education. Also, such degrees aren’t recognized by employers or other institutions. An online university does not automatically make a school less credible.
Is Western Governors University Legit?
I’m going to go over whether or not the university is legit and worth it, whether it’s a good university or not, and also who the university is for. Right, so I’m going to talk about the pros and cons, as well as those whom the university is best for and who probably shouldn’t go to it.
Now, this is a university that I have recommended quite a few times. Yes, the Western Governors University is legit 100%. But that does not mean that it is for everyone, and I’m going to go over the reasons in this post.
What is Western Governors University?
WGU is an online university where you can earn an affordable, accredited, career-focused college degree at an accelerated pace.
It’s a non-profit, private online university based in Utah. Although it is based in Utah, it’s online, so you can take classes from anywhere in the United States.
What makes WGU truly special is the fact that it uses a competency-based learning model as opposed to traditional classroom-based learning. This means that instead of spending a certain amount of time to get a degree, which is typically 4 to 5 years, you can get one much faster. In many cases, you can get your degree in less than 2 years. In extreme cases, you can get one in about 2 months.
Is WGU Accredited?
WGU is also a respected and regionally accredited degree. So there are a lot of these online colleges that have a very bad reputation to the point where if a hiring manager or a business owner sees that you graduated from one of them, they’re probably just going to throw your resume into the trash can.
It’s not like that at all at WGU. WGU typically is respected by hiring managers and business owners.
How WGU Was Formed
Now, the reason WGU is called Western Governors University is because 19 different governors of states met together in 1997. They talked about how college was getting so much more expensive and it was losing a lot of its value.
The governor of Utah, Mike Levitt, proposed that they create an online university that you could graduate from much faster. It only gave out degrees that were valuable on the market.
Having known that Western Governors University is legit, we will talk about the pros and cons of schooling here.
Pros of Western Governors University
Let’s start with the pros.
You Can Get a Job
So, degrees where you could actually get a job. Now, another great thing about WGU is all you really need is a free laptop, and you can do all of your work online.
Attend Classes at Any Time
Whether you are traveling or you’re just staying at home, you can be attending WGU the entire time.
It’s also extremely flexible, and you can do it on your own time. So many people attend WGU while they’re still working on their job.
Western Governors University Allows You to Transfer Credits In
Probably the best thing about WGU is not only can you graduate faster, but they are extremely generous about the credits that you can transfer in.
A lot of universities are not generous about this because it doesn’t make any sense for them profit-wise. Why would they let you transfer a bunch of credits in when they want you to take those classes and pay? You know, $1,000 or $1,500 per class. If they allow you to transfer credits in, that means they’re making less money.
So I’m not going to go over this in detail. Basically, what they do is they pre-game the degrees by taking these classes on other websites, third-party websites such as sophia.com, study.com, or Straighterline.com.
The one that typically has the most amount of classes you can transfer in and the one that just has the least amount of hassles is study.com.
Cons of WGU
WGU also has its share of cons as an online university.
You have to be very self-directed
You’re not going to have a professor in the class who’s telling you what assignments you need to do exactly when they’re due, etc.
You’re also not going to have other students who are physically with you that are studying with you, and you guys are all working on the same thing. So, you’re going to be doing this all on your own.
Yes, WGU does provide support. Yes, there are other students that you can talk to. There are different chat rooms and you can communicate with them, but it’s all going to be online and it’s relatively self-directed. And that’s because you can do it at your own pace.
You have to be a good visual or auditory learner
If you’re somebody who really has to touch things like you’re a kinesthetic learner, it’s not impossible to do WGU, but it’s going to be much more difficult. Then the social aspect of WGU is going to be somewhat lacking.
No physical presence
You are not going to have a lot of face-to-face interaction with other students or professors. Yes, you can jump on Zoom calls with professors, but it’s just not the same thing as being able to go into an office-hours-type situation.
You might experience a relatively weak network connection
So one of the few reasons why it can sometimes be worth it to go to Ivy League colleges like Harvard or Stanford is because you are going to be around other very ambitious, very motivated people, and you can network with them.
Limited social connections
A lot of the time, you’ll form friendships where you’re going to have these friendships your entire life. Maybe 10-15 years down the line, you might end up starting a business with one of those people.
That is probably not going to happen at WGU. The network is not going to be as strong because you never really met these people in real life.
Now, with that being said, the WGU network is getting stronger. A lot of like-minded people go to WGU. These are people who understand that the college system is kind of screwed up here in the US, and they want to get through college with the least amount of time, effort, and money.
So, these are all smart, savvy type people that really did their research and they figured out a solution to that.
What Degrees Are Offered at Western Governors University?
Some universities offer hundreds and hundreds of different degree paths you can possibly go down. However, WGU keeps it very concentrated and only has degrees that typically lead to job placements.
Most of the degrees they offer lead to high-paying jobs. So for instance, they offer 6 different business degrees which are:
- Healthcare Management
- Human Resource Management
- IT Management
- Business Administration Management
They offer 5 different health degrees which are:
- BSN and post-baccalaureate certificate nursing, which is RN to MSN track
- Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management
- Bachelor of Science in Health Services Coordination
- Bachelor of Science in Nursing, and
- BS in Nursing that is RN to BSN
These are all degrees that typically if you look at the statistics, lead to very good job placements. They offer 10 different technology degrees which include:
- Cybersecurity (combined accelerated IT bachelor’s and master’s degree)
- Cloud Computing
- Computer Science
- Data Management
- Data Analytics
- Information Technology
- Network Engineering and Security
- Network Engineering and Security Cisco Tract
- Network Operations and Security
- Software Development
Western Governors University also offers 10 different education degrees. These are not high paying but they typically have very good placement rates. So if you get an education degree, it’s probably not going to be a super high-paying job. But you will likely have a job because they have extremely low unemployment rates. They offer a BA in elementary education of the ones that you hear about quite a bit on TV.
Who is WGU for?
1. People Who Need High Placement Jobs
Western Governors University is for people who want to get college degrees that have a lot of demand and good placement rates. In many cases, degrees with very high salaries as well.
2. Fast University Education
Also, people who are motivated and want to finish their degrees as fast as possible.
WGU is also great for people who are already working professionals and want to be able to attend an online university that’s flexible so they can get their degree while they’re still working.
3. Those Who Plan to Switch Careers
People do this sometimes because they want to switch careers. Sometimes they do it because they want to get some sort of advancement in the career vertical that they’re already in.
Another common situation is you might be in a career path where you arbitrarily have to have a degree in order to break into it. So, it’s one of those things where you have to have a degree in order to check the box, but in many cases, it doesn’t matter what the degree is. So for instance, a lot of the time if you want to become a flight attendant, many of the big companies require that you have a college degree, and they don’t care which one it is. There are also a lot of government positions that have these requirements.
4. People Who Would Like to Skip Traditional College Experience
The last group of people is relatively rare. Today, a lot of people actually want to skip the traditional college experience and do WGU instead at a young age. This could be somebody who is just graduating from high school and they want to get a degree as fast as possible.
Who WGU is Not for?
Western Governora University maybe legit but as I mentioned earlier, it is not for everyone. WGU is not for people who:
1. Need a Slow Pace Education
WGU is probably not for somebody who wants to finish their degree at a very slow pace over a long period of time.
2. Require Specific Degree
The second type of person who shouldn’t go to WGU is somebody who wants a very specific degree that WGU does not offer.
Now, there are alternative schools that do very similar models to what WGU does, including DeVry and Southern New Hampshire University. There are others like Thomas Edison State University or TESU, Excelsior, and Charter Oak State College. These are just a few.
In some cases, if you want a very specific degree, you could look into those other universities instead.
3. Prioritize Traditional University
Then, the third person who probably should not go to WGU is somebody who really wants to have the traditional college experience. So if you’re somebody who wants to live in the dorms, go to parties, join a sorority or frat, something like that, you want to have that traditional college experience. Maybe WGU isn’t going to be the best choice for you.
4. Have Elite Network of Alumni
The fourth one is people who want to have an elite network of alumni. Somebody who wants to have that Ivy League-level network that you would get if you went to a school like Harvard or Stanford.
Now to be fair, there is a lot of value in that, but most people, like 99% of people, are not going to take advantage of their network anyways. I typically only recommend that to people who are extremely ambitious and want to start a startup-type business that has a billion-dollar evaluation or something along those lines.
Is Western Governors University Worth it?
Well, of course, it depends on you, but generally speaking, yes. Yes, absolutely, yes. WGU is a phenomenal school and it turns out to be the best option for many people.
Maybe in the future, they sell out and decide to start offering useless degrees in order to make more money. If that happens, it will be very sad. But right now, WGU is a phenomenal choice of university. But even if they did start offering useless degrees, at least you’d be able to get them two to three times faster, with one-half to one-third of the price.
WGU is an exciting part of this umbrella term of this new emerging industry that’s happening, known as alternative education. Alternative education is exactly what it sounds like. In recent times, Americans have basically been brainwashed that university and education are the same thing like those two things are synonyms when in reality that’s just not true.
In Switzerland, for instance, college is free, yet only 20 to 25 percent of people choose to go to university. The other 75% of people get educated in alternative ways. So, this is what’s happening in the United States right now. It’s a very exciting force that is basically keeping colleges honest.
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