It's not always easy to tell the difference. The prospective student should be diligent and research the program they are considered to make sure that it is legitimate. Just because an organization appears in an online search and has a great website, testimonials from prior students, and accreditation logos does not mean that there legitimate or that they have been accredited by the proper agencies. Many of the fake degree diploma mills have websites that look legitimate but they are selling bogus and worthless online fake diploma distance education at a high price. That price is not just in terms of the money that is being spent by the students that the price of a worthless diploma should also be considered. A worthless diploma is one that will not be effective in securing promotional opportunities at work, and better career or additional educational opportunities.
Almost any bogus organization can create a bogus fake degree by setting up a website and submitting it to the search engines. There are no standards that they must adhere to and no set review of their credentials that is required for them to set up a website that appears legitimate.
Prospective students who are looking for accredited online degrees should be diligent in researching programs that they find and are interested in. They should check carefully to make sure that they are accredited by the proper accrediting agencies before paying any money whatsoever. Too many well-meaning students have lost too much money to illegal organizations. When they did lose money there is often no recourse for recovery of those funds.
Students who are looking to advance their careers receive promotions and other online opportunities will find many excellent programs on the Internet. Online study will allow students the opportunity to study at their own pace and in compliance with their own schedules even while they're working in their current positions.