Should You Hire Candidates with an Online Degree?

Posted January 2, 2017

The arrival of the web has made doing a number of things easier or even possible, including going after a college degree.

At first, online college degrees were viewed with considerable skepticism. This was mostly due to the rise of so-called "degree mills" - organizations that were more interested in handing over a degree for money than providing a proper education.

However, things have changed as legitimate educational institutions, like MIT and Stanford, have started offering online educational programs.

According to a survey by the Babson Survey Research Group, approximately 7.1 million students took a minimum of one online course from a university in the fall semester of 2012, up from 6.7 million students in the year earlier.

Furthermore, 62.4 percent of colleges and universities provided full online degree programs in 2012, a nearly 30 percent boost from 2002. Since the amount of people getting online degrees has elevated dramatically in the past few years, there is a greater chance you will have online graduates trying to get positions in your business.

Why to consider them

Being open to hiring those with online diplomas can be helpful to your company in several ways.

First of all, you'll have a broader pool of job candidates to select from. It will be quicker to locate good job candidates if you are prepared to accept online graduates, simply because they comprise a considerable percentage of the overall amount of job seekers.

Furthermore, online graduates make a great choice if you want to hire individuals who can take initiative and work on their own. Those with an online degree generally have a high degree of self-discipline, because they finished their degree programs with little supervision. Quite a few pursued their degrees while they were working or raising a child, and they needed to be very driven and self-disciplined to be able to finish their studies.

Hiring managers should also realize that "degree mills" have been facing increased scrutiny of late. While some online institutions still use questionable procedures, recent scrutiny has persuaded many companies to change their ways.

A lot of institutions are now much more discerning in their admissions, and many students are opting for nonprofit schools. In fact, almost 70 percent of online students now acquire online degrees at private nonprofits, public colleges and universities, according to the Society for Human Resource Management.

What to consider

While online degrees are becoming more legitimate, that doesn't mean hiring managers should just accept them at face value. There are several factors a recruiter should consider when thinking about hiring someone with an online degree.

A degree should be from an accredited institution and the program should have included some collaboration among those enrolled, with the latter ensuring that someone isn’t walking into your company without much teamworking experience.

At Ambassador, we help companies with all of their workforce management needs. Contact Ambassador Personnel today to get started on working with a full-service staffing agency as we can help your company find the right candidates to help your business grow!