Many individuals cannot afford to attend a traditional college. Consequently, most of them take the alternative of pursuing an online bachelor’s degree. However, when attending their online classes, some worry about if companies will take into account their online degree when hiring.
In this article, we will discuss how companies feel about hiring employees with an online bachelor’s degree. This is a valid concern because most employees want a degree that will lead to a better job and future promotions. Consequently, with this information, you will make the right decision about pursuing an online degree.
- How common is an online bachelor’s degree?
- Do employers accept online degrees?
- What should I consider about my online bachelor’s degree when applying for a job?
- How can I market my online degree to employers?
1. How common is an online bachelor’s degree?
In 2018, over 6 million Americans were enrolled in an online college program to earn an online bachelor’s degree. This includes people who were enrolled in at least one online class that counted toward a degree. The number of online students has increased in recent years for a variety of reasons.
More traditional educational institutions are offering online classes and degrees. Also, the technology for delivering online class content has advanced. Consequently, nonprofit colleges and universities recognized the demand for these programs and sought to compete with for-profit institutions that pioneered the trend.
54% of online bachelor’s degree students are participating in a part-time program. This allows for a better balance between work and personal life. Roughly twice as many online students as in-person students obtain graduate degrees. Approximately 22% of online students are pursuing a master’s degree or higher, in comparison to 11% of students at traditional institutions.
The likelihood of earning an online degree may be higher for those who are cost-conscious. The student will save a lot of money by not having to pay for meal plans, parking, lab fees, facility fees, and dorm rooms on campus. Learn about the average cost of online college here.
2. Do employers accept online degrees?
Online education is becoming more common every year. Online degrees are now provided by numerous reputable colleges and universities. Universities and colleges now provide distance learning options for non-degree and certification programs. Due to these educational institutions’ solid reputations, more employers are now considering them as viable options for education.
Employers are now more likely than in the past to accept an online degree. Aside from the fact that many well-known universities now offer these programs, schools have also improved their course delivery methods, hired online content managers, and managed the technology and interfaces used in the processes.
Despite the empirical evidence, students might still be unsure whether employers of today value online degrees equally to those earned on-campus. Then, what are hiring managers’ true feelings toward an online bachelor’s degree?
For those with online degrees, the news is good:
- 61% of HR leaders are adamant that online learning is as good as or better than more conventional techniques.
- In the previous 12 months, 71% of businesses reported hiring a candidate with an online degree.
- 52% of respondents think that most advanced degrees will eventually be earned online.
- 33% of respondents think that, as a result of technological advancement, online education will ultimately be superior to conventional face-to-face instruction.
3. What should I consider about my online bachelor’s degree when applying for a job?
When applying for a job with an online bachelor’s degree you should consider that:
3.1 Accreditation matters
Online degree programs vary in quality. Employers will still confirm whether the program is accredited by a third-party organization or other authority, even if they generally consider them to be acceptable.
Accreditation means that something has met certain requirements for quality. One program may be accredited within a single educational institution, while another one may not. It is the responsibility of the student to confirm accreditation and investigate the reliability of the accrediting body. Some employers only accept online degrees from credited institutions or programs.
3.2 The institution’s status
Employers now view for-profit online universities negatively due to the numerous scandals surrounding those institutions of higher learning. Even though some online programs no longer use predatory tactics, the stigma still exists.
Low completion rates, questionable hiring procedures, and subpar content are just a few of the ongoing problems with for-profit online degree programs. If several applicants for a job have equivalent levels of experience and abilities, but one has an online bachelor’s degree from a for-profit university, it might be seen as a disadvantage.
3.3 Employers will ask for more information
How employers view online degrees is largely dependent on their level of familiarity with a particular program. Hiring managers cannot possibly be knowledgeable about all the online degrees available. Consequently, they might ask for further information about what is covered by the program. Employers might inquire about the specifics of an online competency-based degree.
To advance to the next level of classes and obtain this degree, students must show that they have mastered a specific set of skills. Once they know what it means, an employer may not see this as a bad thing. A candidate or applicant should view it favorably if a hiring manager or human resources generalist requests more information about the online degree program.
4. How can I market my online degree to employers?
More and more employers concur that an online bachelor’s degree is a respectable and convenient option for traditional degree programs for working professionals looking to improve their employment prospects.
If you recently earned your online degree or will do so soon, it is critical to understand how to frame your education effectively to maximize your chances of finding a job. Even though virtual learning environments are becoming more popular, it does not hurt to be precise when describing your education in a resume or during an in-person pitch.
Here are a few ways to explain the value of your degree to people who may not be familiar with online degrees:
- Mention or list the specific skills you learned from the program.
- Trade certifications or accreditation that has gained industry acceptance.
- Give specifics about practical, hands-on experiences, like co-ops or capstone projects.
- Mention any workshops or mentoring relationships you have taken part in.