How Do Employers View an Online Degree?

Many people turn to going to school online when their lives are too hectic to commit to a traditional class schedule or they simply live too far away from the school they’d like to attend. Online learning is a great way to wrap school around a busy schedule whether it be a commitment to a full time job or a commitment to a family. However, those who are considering learning online always find themselves wondering how employers view online degrees. Are they acceptable, and do employers view them as being equal in value to traditional degrees?

The Good

Marc Scheer, an education counselor from New York City consulted with CNN on the ins and outs of employers and their views on online degrees. While some employers value each degree equally, there are others that associate lack of reputation, familiarity, and trust with online degrees.

However, employers are very quickly warming up to the idea of hiring job applicants that have online degrees to show for their educational history. Exelsior College and Zogby International conducted a survey that produced interesting results; more than half of small business owners and CEOs interviewed had heard of and were familiar with online degrees. What’s even more exciting was that 83% of those that were surveyed claimed that they saw online degrees to be just as valuable as campus-based, traditional degrees. What they were most concerned with was accreditation, the name of the institution, and the quality of the graduating classes of that institution.

The Bad

Even though the majority of business people interviewed for the survey were in favor of hiring people with online degrees just as much as they would be with those who had traditional degrees, there were a few nay-sayers.

Brandon Mendelson, who was once a business owner himself, reported that under no circumstances would he consider hiring someone who had an online degree to show for their educational experience. He followed up his reasoning by stating that he doesn’t think students that have learned online have received the entire, potential learning experience that they would have received if they had attended a traditional campus and earned a traditional degree.

Furthermore, Mendelson added that he wants someone with the full commitment to their educational experience. He concluded his statement by expressing that there are no longer any excuses for attending school online; a job can pay for school, and schools offer day-care services. He believes that students with traditional degrees have the real edge.

Is it Worth Getting an Online Degree?

Because of the mixed reviews on online degrees, it can seem difficult to decide whether or not pursuing one is right for you. While the majority of employers interviewed in the survey were in favor of hiring applicants that received online degrees, there are still the few left that wouldn’t consider it.

As time moves on and technology advances, the acceptance of online degrees will more than likely only continue to rise. And for now, the chances for a student that learned online of finding an employer after graduation are very high.