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The Employer's Perception About Online Degrees: Yay or Nay?

written by: Laurie Patsalides•edited by: Laurie Patsalides•updated: 12/6/2011

Prospective online students do not want to risk getting a bogus degree, nor should they risk being rejected for a job once they graduate. How marketable are you if you earn an online degree?

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    So, Can I Get a Job With This Degree?

    One of the ongoing debates is, do employers perceive that those with an online degree are just as capable, or are they reluctant to hire someone with an online degree? Let's explore both sides of the debate so you can make an informed decision about how marketable you will be if you earn such a degree and whether or not you should enjoy the benefits of getting an online education.

    The Yay:

    This prospective employer would look at the applicant's ability to discipline him or herself to obtain an online degree. He or she may even consider this to be an asset to achieving company goals, because the online student shows self-determination and that he or she is able to complete assignments.

    The fact that an online learner is most times already employed shows determination and discipline, qualities many employers are looking for. Also, this employer is aware that online degrees from accepted regionally accredited colleges are equal to their counterparts from traditional schools. This employer recognizes the rigor it takes to complete an online degree program. This employer would appreciate the skill it takes to work in a computer based society. This employer would also embrace employee reimbursement for college credit.

    The Nay:

    This employer distrusts a degree earned online. Degree mills have clouded this potential employers perspective, and rightfully so. If this employer is unaware of legitimate online degree programs, then he or she may find your education to be somewhat shady. The employers who know the least about an online education will likely be the most skeptical, and perception can be difficult to change. The concern may also be that the potential employee has limited human interaction, an essential part of the work environment. They feel the candidate will have limited communication and problem solving skills as a result of earning a degree online.

    One thing to consider is, the employer will look not only at a degree and where it was obtained from, but will consider past employment history and credibility based upon a formal interview. As with any degree, one will establish his or her credentials and references over time.

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    The Bottom Line

    The truth of the matter is, anyone can skirt through an education. Coming from a state college, I have seen students who manage to "get by," happy to earn a 2.0 average and still market for (and even receive) the same position as I. One of the major components of the school's reputation and credibility is the accreditation it does or does not hold.

    Another issue to consider is the credentials of the faculty at the college. Be wary of colleges who hire mostly adjunct professors. You are paying a lot for your education, make sure you get your money's worth.

    Also, if you already employed, then it is best to check with your own employer, or the place where you desire to be interviewed and hired before pursuing a degree online. There are websites to help you to find credible and reputable colleges in your search, Bright Hub is one. We work diligently to educate the readers not only about employer perceptions of online degrees, but also of how to succeed in an online environment, accreditation and much more.

Online Learning and Job Potential

Learn about how online learning can affect your job potential with the benefits of learning online for future employment and employer perceptions of online degrees.
  1. Advantages of Learning Online for the Future Employee
  2. The Employer's Perception About Online Degrees: Yay or Nay?