Do employers value online degrees?

Many Students worry about getting an online degree wondering if they have any value or if the employers and recruiters consider it as a traditional degree. A straight answer to that dilemma is, yes! Most of the employers value online degrees. Some even believe that a few courses are better if they taught online. During these extraordinary times where the whole world is suffering at the hands of a pandemic, students have no choice but to attend online courses. It is obvious for students to doubt the authenticity of online education as many might not be familiar with online coaching. But online degree programs have been serving many students in the course of history. 

There is a common misconception that online education may not be a reliable format. Which isn’t true. Online courses have both strict schedules and flexible schedules, depending on the type of course taken. Online education gives students workable ways to learn a subject. A few universities and educational institutes practice hybrid learning where they provide traditional classroom education and digital training. A student attending traditional courses must undergo a strict schedule and rules. They must attend the course regularly and submit the assignments at the given time. A self-paced course does not have such a strict schedule and it depends on the student as to how they wish to complete their course but they must complete the course. Hybrid learning may not require students to attend the traditional course every day, but they are required to attend the online classes scheduled. Some universities provide only online degrees and some that provide online education programs along with traditional courses. 

An employer when comes across a resume of the person with an online degree looks at factors beyond an online degree. The accreditation of the university, courses attended, quality of education provided by that institute, talent, and skills of the candidate. There are many advantages of online education like expenses staying under control and availability of time to do jobs while pursuing the degree or to take care of the family. With the help of online education, students have the choice of choosing their place to live. They don’t have to live near universities or colleges if they want and choose areas where they can find homes with cheap rent. A few universities offer less expensive online courses and degree programs compared to traditional ones. With online programs, it is feasible for students to find jobs at convenient hours and earn while they attend online courses or if someone has a family with kids, they can spend some valuable time with them. 

Many prestigious universities started providing online degree programs that make a student’s profile desirable. Universities may not mention if the student attended an online-only degree program in their diploma. So there is a chance of employers not caring about the type of program a student took and focusing on the course work and performances. An online course is also a way to improve a student’s time management skills and sharpened focus. For example,  a student who has to work and attend courses online will learn to balance both and this in turn improves his skills in managing time. 

There are even a few disadvantages that needed to be discussed here. Although online degree programs have become feasible and many prestigious universities encourage that idea, employers are still reluctant to consider profiles with online degrees. Their unvarying opinion of online degrees being a low-quality education might lose a potential candidate who has the necessary skills. Even if such an employer doesn’t notice if it was an online degree before hiring, they might change their opinion on the employee if they find out later. There may not be a supportive work environment for the candidate. All because the employer cares more about the tradition more than the potential of the candidate. 

There is another disadvantage in pursuing an online degree. Failing to find the right university. Students in search of online programs might sometimes come across universities or institutes that provide low-quality education with a low fee structure. Not having proper awareness, students choose such universities or institutes just so they can save some money. But they carry a reputation that the money and time invested would be a waste and their profiles are ignored. Students might think they are learning something but it may not be of proper quality. Such Universities and institutions will eventually fall under government radar and they are prone to fall into probation and blacklist.  

A few employers might often find it hard to consider candidates with an online degree because the student is trained by being at home or any other place but a classroom. His solitary education may not apply to opportunities that involve collaboration. They must work extra hard so they can prove that even without traditional education, they were able to do the work asked of them by staying motivated and using the advantage of the time they have in their hands. 

Online education is a fast-growing method parallel to traditional education. The future is bright for virtual classes. It depends on the students how wisely they use this opportunity. Students must make sure that the college they chose has good accreditation and reputation in online programs. Cross-checking the programs and getting in touch with students who graduated from that college to get their feedback on it. These connections will help in creating a strong bond with alumni networks which would help the students in search of jobs later. It is also important that they show their skill set in their profile that they would be an option no one can ignore. Listing out the skills acquired by the program that would be eye candy to the market or the job they are applying to. Students must use the time they get with online education and get more parallel certifications like workshops and short courses so they can be helpful for the profile to shine. 


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Blog Post written by:
Pavan Turaga
Intern
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