Thanks to the internet, students all around the world are now able to access courses and complete college degrees right from their homes. For many students, this has opened up a world of wonderful possibilities.
But as the world continues to progress and the job market becomes more competitive, it’s natural to wonder how online degrees are perceived by employers. Are online degrees as valuable as traditional degrees? Do employers take them seriously?
In this blog post, we’ll explore the answers to these and other questions.
How Do Employers View Online Degrees?
The value of an online degree is highly dependent on the institution that awarded it. Internationally accredited universities offering online programs have the same rigorous standards as traditional schools, and their online degrees typically carry the same weight with employers.
However, degrees from unaccredited colleges will likely not be seen as valid or trustworthy. While these schools will certainly be less expensive and quicker to complete, they lack academic standards, leading to inadequate instruction and training for your career field. Before choosing an online program, it is crucial to research the institution for its credentials and accreditation.
The Versatility of an Online Degree
Recent surveys show that an increasing number of employers are accepting and even preferring candidates with online degrees. This is largely in response to the evolving job market, where employers are looking for candidates who can demonstrate their flexibility, technological proficiency, and self-discipline.
Students who pursue online degrees demonstrate these and other abilities, which has increased their marketability. In a study conducted by Northeastern University, 90% of employers responded that they believe an online degree is just as credible as a traditional degree, if not more so.
Given that today’s online learning programs offer students the opportunity to independently learn in various formats and platforms is a clear sign of their versatility. From the perspective of an employer, this is a strong indicator of employees’ ability to adapt and succeed in different contexts.
An online degree has several unique benefits that traditional degrees do not. One of these benefits is flexibility. Because online programs are designed to accommodate working professionals and/or those with familial obligations, it benefits employers to have employees fit school into their schedule without interfering with their work responsibilities.
The flexibility of an online degree can also be a significant advantage for those who want to advance their career or change fields while maintaining other commitments. Employers appreciate this flexibility as there is minimal interference during times of transition.
Additionally, students who are getting an engineering degree online while maintaining their full time job duties can begin applying new skills as they prepare for advancement. This is a win-win for everyone.
As an online student, you possess a number of desirable qualities, such as self-motivation, effective time management, and organizational skills. Fostered by the structure of online programs, these skills are developed through ongoing discipline with completing lessons and assignments and meeting deadlines without the in-person guidance of a professor.
Employers take note of these qualities and look favorably upon students who demonstrate responsibility and diligence. Many of the skills practiced during online learning are also easily transferable to any job setting and are greatly valued by employers.
Many online programs are competency-based, meaning students work at their own pace and move on only when they’ve mastered the learning material. Rather than waiting for a semester to end, students have the flexibility to gain experience in their chosen career fields as soon as they have demonstrated proficiency. This process is valued by employers and often draws their interest to candidates who have obtained the necessary skills in a resourceful way.
While each employer has a different view when it comes to the value of online degrees versus traditional degrees, acceptance of online degrees has risen over recent years. Some of the most important considerations made by employers include school accreditation, demonstration of skills, and level of competency-based learning, among other things. As the popularity of online degrees grows, so too does employers’ acceptance of this learning model.