The Truth About How Employers View Your Online Degree

Picture of The Truth About How Employers View Your Online Degree
By Cynthia Dalton
Distance learning students are committed to their coursework, usually for the purpose of advancing in their careers. For this reason, you can expect quality work and diligent participation from students. — Academic Technology Center, Worcester Polytechnic University

Employers’ Evolving Perspective

The last couple of decades have seen an evolution in the field of education. Students can now choose between an online educational program and a brick and mortar institution. The decision for which is an important one — with varying perspectives on the value of each.

For some, brick and mortar is the only way to go — those students right out of high school, displaced workers returning to school, etc. For others, online education may be the better choice — those students juggling work, family, and other commitments who are trying to fit school in while keeping all the plates spinning.

While students might place a high value on online education, maybe an even more important question is — how do employers view online education? Fortunately, employers are increasingly seeing the virtue in employees who complete their education through solid, accredited, online degree programs. And, they are seeing the value for a variety of reasons:

  • Employers have been getting good results from hiring individuals with online degrees, realizing that such individuals are: self-starters, disciplined, tenacious, manage time well, and are highly motivated to succeed. All traits highly valued by employers.
  • Employers need computer literate personnel, and an individual with an online degree has built into their degree attainment proven abilities in regard to online collaboration skills, online research, and the capability to work independently with minimal supervision.
  • With the increasing reliance on web-based applications and collaboration technologies, going virtual is no longer a foreign concept to business owners and HR professionals. In fact, it has also become a handy way to provide ongoing employee training.

Employers Utilize Online Training

Realizing the effectiveness of online education, many employers are utilizing online resources to train personnel. And, employers are well aware that an employee with an online degree is already comfortable with the format and able to advance through such training quickly, with accelerated and positive results.

Writing for, in his article, The Importance Of Ongoing Online Training: 4 Benefits For Your Employees, Christopher Pappas identifies four benefits of ongoing online training employers can expect for their employees:

1. Increases confidence and job satisfaction.
2. Improve knowledge and skill retention.
3. Stay up-to-date on products and procedures.
4. Identify unknown weaknesses and strengths.

Online Learning is Effective

It’s clear that the effectiveness of online learning is winning over the business world. And interestingly, The US Department of Education’s 2009 study, Evaluation of Evidence-Based Practices in Online Learning: A Meta-Analysis and Review of Online Learning Studies, while not suggesting that online instruction is superior to other forms of instruction, states in part:

Students who took all or part of their class online performed better, on average, than those taking the same course through traditional face-to-face instruction. Learning outcomes for students who engaged in online learning exceeded those of students receiving face-to-face instruction, with an average effect size of +0.24 favoring online conditions.

With the utility, convenience, and effectiveness of the virtual world becoming increasingly familiar in the workplace, it’s easy to see why companies of all sizes are embracing this technology, and why, likewise, they are more likely to view a competency-based, accredited, online degree favorably.

What do you think?

  • Have you utilized online training in your workplace?
  • Do you have an online degree or certificate?
  • Have you received tuition reimbursement from your employer for an online degree program?

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