What do Employers Think about Online Degrees?

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Many students are reluctant to pursue a degree through distance learning because they fear future employers will not think their degree is worth anything. However, times have drastically changed, and online education has many benefits for those that choose to take advantage of them.

Since the beginning of the 21st century, the benefits of online learning have attracted more and more students. However, many others restrained from pursuing an online degree because they weren’t regarded as equally qualified as an on-campus degree. 

Luckily, times have changed throughout the 2010’s and many employers have come to the conclusion that what really matters are the abilities a potential employee can offer rather than where she or he earned the degree. 

8 Things Employers think about Online Degrees

1. The majority of employers accept online degrees nowadays
During recent years, the acceptance towards online degrees has increased tremendously. This is so because many well-known universities now offer distance learning programmes, so their quality is not questionable anymore. 

2. Accreditation goes a long way
If you earned your degree at a lesser-known university, employers will certainly verify that it is accredited. They will have an outside authority ensure the programme’s quality and the school’s reputation. For that reason, make sure you earn your degree at a respectable university so that the chances of it being questioned will reduce.

3. Employers prefer nonprofit over profit 
Some employers are still refraining from accepting degrees earned at for-profit institutions. This happens because they have faced backlash about completion rates and recruitment practices in recent years. Fortunately, this perception is slowly fading away together with criticism.

4. Many are not familiar with competency-based education
There are many employers who aren’t acquainted with competency-based education programmes: A programme that requires students to demonstrate mastery of specific skills. However, even though some employers don’t know this kind of programme, they feel interested in learning more about the option when a potential employer with this kind of qualification applies for a job.

5. Employers usually don’t know a degree was earned online instantly
Potential employees are the ones to inform employers they earned their degree through distance learning in job interviews, generally because they are asked how they managed their time to study and work. So, employers won’t judge your degree before they see you because they most probably won’t know.

6. Many respect Time Management skills
One of the reasons why students choose to study online is because they don’t have the time to attend classes the regular way, either because they need to take care of their family or they have a job. This means they need to master time management skills in order to take care of everything, which is viewed positively by many employers because the flexibility employees could offer the company is generally very appealing.

7. Some employers will wonder about your communication and collaboration skills
Being able to teamwork is one of the most sought after skills in an employee. For this reason, they may ask whether the student had the same opportunities for teamwork and for student interaction as an on-campus programme would have.

8. An employer won’t probably base a hiring decision solely on the online degree
If an employer is interested in hiring you, they won’t decide not to just because of your online degree. There are many other aspects employers take into consideration before deciding. 

Some other aspects employers focus their attention on are: references, abilities, intellect, talent, working history, among others. If you still fear employers’ perceptions on your online degree, make sure you excel in all the other aspects and you will be fine.

Things are changing and perspectives on online degrees are becoming more and more positive because many employees who have earned online degrees have shown they can do as well as an on-campus educated employer.

Are you interested in studying online? The following are universities that offer online programmes in South Africa.

University of Johannesburg
University of South Africa
University of the Witwatersrand

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