Will an Online Degree Help Your Career?

Posted December 27, 2016

In 2009, a study by researchers at Cleveland State University revealed many hiring managers, executives and others responsible for making personnel decisions had strong negative views of online degrees. Some hiring personnel have blamed the stigma on the rise of so-called "diploma mills" - unaccredited programs that were more interested in making money than providing a quality education.

However, that perception has changed, thanks in large part to schools like MIT, Stanford and Johns Hopkins offering courses online.

If an organization really comprehends the nature of today's online education, its hiring managers realize that it's an intelligent use of time, contributes to the global spread of ideas and helps workers develop solutions to issues they may not have had any experience with in the past.

If you are considering an online degree, there are a few things you need to think about before signing up for your first class.

Is it accredited?

The bad stigma attached to online degrees was started by unaccredited programs, so steer clear of these at all costs.

Accreditation involves a legitimate authority validating that a school meets its stringent educational standards. The accrediting organization, in turn, should be accepted by the Department of Education or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.

Another way to avoid getting an online degree that doesn't carry much weight is to enroll in an online program from a traditional college or university with a long, proud tradition.

Have a sound reason

If you do decide to pursue an online degree, you should do so out of necessity, not because you don’t want to get off your couch in the middle of winter.

Whether it’s because you’re going to school and working full time, raising a child or caring for a sick loved one – employers want to hear a good reason why you could not make it into a brick-and-mortar classroom on a regular basis.

Having a sound reason like the ones listed above not only helps validate your degree, it also might impress an employer who’s looking for someone with a passionate drive to succeed.

Find a program that includes collaboration

One of the benefits of getting an education in person is the ability work with classmates on group projects, and that experience is an enormous part of what companies look for today, the ability to work within a team, to be a solid team player and collaborate effectively. Just as essential to an organization is the ability to understand a range of viewpoints when working with other people.

Many online programs call for collaborative learning, but it usually takes a little more effort to show a company that this was happening.

At Ambassador Personnel, we work with all job candidates who are looking to advance their career by connecting them with the right employment opportunities. Contact Ambassador Personnel today to get started on working with a full-service staffing agency!