Guest Author - Elizabeth Stuttard
Many students wonder whether employers will accept an online degree as being legitimate and as good as a degree from a bricks and mortar school. It is important to students who are about to begin a degree program to know the answer to this question, since a degree requires a lot of time, effort and money. Students who have just graduated also want to know the answer since they are ready to move into the work force, and need to know if their online degree will make it more difficult to get the job they are hoping for.
If you have worries that it will be a problem, the best way to dispel those doubts is to talk to some employers in the field in which you are hoping to work. You could also talk or e-mail people in the human resource department of companies to find out if the company has hired others with online degrees. If you are already working, it will be very easy to check with your present employer to get their viewpoint about an online education. As well, you could talk to alumni of your online university to find out what their experiences have been. With the social media websites such as Facebook, Linked In and Twitter that are so accessible today, it is quite easy to get answers to these types of questions.
In fact, it seems that most employers accept online degrees as readily as bricks and mortar degrees. Even regular colleges and universities have reputations that their graduates have to deal with when applying for jobs. Online colleges and universities also have their advantages and their disadvantages when seen from an employer’s perspective. Therefore some employers will be looking at those advantages and have an increased likelihood of hiring you. Others will be thinking of the disadvantages and be less likely to hire you. The most important thing for you to do is to make sure that you have a degree from an accredited school.
Online degrees are not new to most employers today. Many employers will now have hired at least one person with an online degree. I am sure that some of those employers have hired someone who earned their degree online who was not suitable for the job. That may mean that employer will be reticent about hiring another online graduate. However, it will depend on the reason the employee was not suitable. It may have been factors other than that online degree that caused the problems, in which case the employer would not be worried about hiring another online graduate. However, if problems were caused by someone with a degree from a diploma mill, then the employer will definitely be reluctant to hire someone else with an online degree. On the other hand, perhaps they will just check more carefully that the degree is from an accredited school, or ask you to prove that it is.
Since online learning is so common today, everyone knows one or more people who are taking their degree online. Sometimes that will be a family member or a friend. "Everyone" includes employers, so they are much more likely to know how much effort goes into that online education. If you do run into an employer’s reluctance, you may have to point out all the advantages of your online degree in an interview but you will still have a good chance of getting that job you want in your field.