How Do Employers View an Online Degree?

As little as four years ago, employers were negatively influenced by learning that a job-seeker received his or her degree from an online degree program. According to a study by Cleveland State University done in 2009, employers had a negative perception of degrees given online. With the number of online degree diploma mills popping up without accreditation, they were right to be leery about hiring an employee with one of those degrees. Most employers are not concerned about how the degree was received but whether the candidate has one at all.

Brick and Mortar vs Online Only

There are many degree programs for the student who wants to receive his or her degree online. These days the number of accredited degree programs from reputable schools has increased. Students must do their research to ensure that the school has a regional accreditation.

Many employers will recognize a legitimate school that has a brick and mortar campus and never question whether the candidate attended the campus in person. Reputable schools such as MIT, Stanford and Harvard have entered the arena of online degree courses which gives online courses even more legitimacy.

When choosing an online school, it’s recommended that the student choose one that is accredited and has a brick and mortar location as well. When employers recognize the school, they are less likely to question whether the candidate attended classes online or through the campus. Another point to consider when choosing a school is the field of study. A popular business school will be recognizable and an employer won’t question the mode of learning. Many schools have a blended curriculum so that students can benefit from a flexible class schedule.

Same Degree

The degree is the same whether a student attends the classes on the campus or in an online setting. The classes may be in a different format but the knowledge is the same whether the student is receiving an Associate degree or a Bachelor degree from an online establishment or a brick and mortar campus. The knowledge that is gained from either type of degree program is essential to a candidate’s prospects for finding a job.

Shows Determination

While some candidates want to downplay the fact that they received their degree from an online course, others will want to emphasize it. When a student has the determination to work and go to school along with family obligations, it shows the employer that this is a candidate who has discipline and drive. A great quality that employers want when they’re searching for a new employee. Employers know that with advanced degrees, the candidate had to juggle obligations and use their time wisely. These can be key skills the candidate will want to highlight during the interview process.

Employers, recruiters and managers are more concerned about the fact that a candidate has a degree, the work experience and the drive and passion to perform the job than about where the degree was received. As long as the school is accredited and the degree wasn’t received from a diploma mill, the candidate shouldn’t worry about whether their degree came from an online school.

Featured Degree Programs