Will Employers Respect My Online Degree?
Online degrees suffered a bad reputation for years. Dishonest diploma mills handed out phony degrees and cast a shadow on earning a degree online. Fortunately, perceptions are beginning to change. With the rising popularity of online education and the proliferation of schools offering online degrees, employers and educators alike are being forced to re-examine old ways of thinking about online degrees. According to a 2008 study conducted by Vault, a career information company, 49% of employers indicated they had seen applicants with online degrees and 83% of employers and hiring managers said that online degrees were more acceptable than five years ago.
Savvy employers recognize that students who have taken the time to complete an online education from a reputable school have specific traits that serve them well in the workforce and prepare them for career advancement. Online students have demonstrated that they have excellent organization, self-discipline, and motivation to complete their degree in a self-structured environment. These students have also gained experience working with technology in a day-to-day setting and have had the opportunity to polish their communication skills through online discussions with classmates and instructors. Time management, problem solving, and networking are still other skills that online students receive along with their education. Some graduates, such as those with an MBA, are especially sought by employers as they demonstrate the ability to hold down productive employment while also obtaining a graduate degree. In fact, estimates from a 2005 study indicated that 40% of MBA students were enrolled in accelerated online degree programs.
Now you are considering an online degree and wonder if it will help you earn a respectable career. There are many steps you can take to ensure that your hard work doesn’t go unnoticed when searching for employment, and it can all start before you even begin your education. The first thing you should do is select a school that will look good to employers by ensuring the school has national accreditation. Schools without accreditation are not as appealing, no matter if they offer traditional education or online degrees. The next step is to choose a school that does not include words like "online" or "distance learning" in its name or on the transcripts it issues. You can always ask to see a sample transcript from the school in order to see what your employer will see. Also, think about choosing an online degree from a school that has a physical campus. Perhaps the school offers both online and traditional degrees or a combination of the two. Having a physical campus can not only lend credibility to your degree, but will also ensure that there is always someone available to speak to potential employers who may call for an educational reference. And finally, be sure to do your homework about the school. Find out what type of reputation it has. Speaking to graduates about their experience at the school and finding employment after graduation is an excellent way to make sure you are choosing to spend your time and money wisely.
Featured Online Colleges
Kaplan University - Associate's, Bachelor's, & Master's Degrees. Kaplan University offers college degrees in many of the fastest growing industries in the United States today. With accredited degrees at affordable prices, Kaplan makes it easy to get a college degree in just over two years.
University of Phoenix - Associate's, Bachelor's, Master's & Doctorate Degrees. University of Phoenix is one of the world's most respected online universities with a large number of upper level degree plans to choose from. University of Phoenix has classroom classes available as well as being able to take classes from the comfort of your home.