The Fear of Online Degrees Looking Bad
As long as you attend a regionally accredited school and earn your degree in a field that employers value, employers typically won’t mind that your coursework was done online – this includes degrees such as nurse practitioner, data science, software engineering or physician assistant programs.
Pursuing an online degree requires some technological know-how and self-discipline. Read on to gain more insight into online learning.
Lack of Interpersonal Communication
Online learning has become a mainstream option, and many individuals know someone who earned a degree online. Gradually it has also become more acceptable in the workplace since traditional colleges now offer online degrees; yet employers may have their doubts. Here are a few potential stumbling blocks that may impede an online degree from being taken seriously in employers’ eyes.
Lack of Communication Skills
An integral aspect of online education is being able to communicate effectively with instructors and fellow students via email, chat rooms, forums and 1:1 instructor feedback. While this may prove challenging for some individuals, hybrid classes may offer hybrid instruction where some classes take place online while other take place face-to-face.
Fear of not being able to communicate with professors or fellow students can make earning an online degree an intimidating prospect, leading some to consider alternative courses or not even attempt them at all. There is also the misconception that online degrees don’t require as much hard work or oversight compared to traditional college education; in truth, virtual classes hold just as much oversight and have rigorous standards set up to hold students accountable for their work.
Employers tend to view degrees in English, Sociology or general studies with little relevance for employment as “soft.” To stand out amongst competition and achieve your career goals more quickly and efficiently, select an online degree program with a focused career goal in mind.
As part of your degree program, it’s also advisable to participate in other experiences outside of class that will make you stand out – volunteer work, extracurricular activities and internships can be useful ways of showing employers you have a well-rounded education and will be capable of fulfilling the responsibilities in the workplace.
Reputations of for-profit schools offering degrees with few requirements or standards have damaged the image of online education among some employers who have had bad experiences with diploma mills; as more reputable, accredited universities start offering online degrees this perception will change.
Lack of Industry Experience
One of the major concerns surrounding online degrees is their potential value in terms of employment. Although this was initially true, as more employers accepted them more quickly. This was particularly evident among accredited colleges and universities offering online degrees.
As part of any job application process, it’s essential to remember that degrees alone are just one component in finding employment. Other elements, including work history, references and soft skills play equally vital roles. Furthermore, many individuals earn online degrees purely as resume-boosting measures, rather than career paths.
Online degrees have quickly gained in acceptance within the workforce as more students study at accredited universities, with studies conducted by The New York Times revealing that employers do not view an education obtained via distance learning as being inferior to one obtained traditionally at a traditional college or university.
Online degrees offer another major benefit – honing students’ technology skills. Working with forums, communicating with professors and submitting assignments online; as well as dealing with technical glitches are all valued by many businesses. Furthermore, many degrees utilize web-based workflow applications that mimic how projects are managed in the workplace.
Job placement rates of graduates is seen as the ultimate indicator of quality online degrees, since this demonstrates that schools invest time and money to help graduates secure employment post-graduation; something all employers look out for when recruiting talent.
Employers’ perceptions of online degrees differ widely. Some may continue to view them as second-tier credentials while others embrace them as equal to traditional college or university degrees. Hiring managers, recruiters and HR specialists often have an immense effect on company policies; therefore it would be unwise to predict how an employer will react when presented with evidence of online study.
Lack of Social Interaction
Online education has become much more mainstream over the years, enabling more individuals to earn bachelor’s, master’s or doctorate degrees from an accredited university without leaving home or anywhere with internet connection. Online degrees have leveled the playing field for student access to higher education while simultaneously eliminating some stigma surrounding these degrees – however there are certain considerations you should keep in mind when selecting an online degree program.
One of the main issues associated with online learning is a lack of social interaction between teachers and fellow students. College life offers numerous opportunities for interaction among classmates, which makes adapting to an online format challenging for some students. Some colleges provide hybrid classes which combine classroom instruction with online coursework to address this challenge.
But it is important to remember that just because online students don’t interact directly with teachers or classmates in person doesn’t mean they don’t have social interactions opportunities. Many universities provide chat rooms and forums so students can communicate amongst themselves; professors may be available by phone or email for any queries that arise; some colleges even provide campus centers so students can visit if necessary.
Another misconception surrounding online degrees is that employers view them as less valuable than traditional ones. This belief is untrue; most employers believe online degrees to be just as valid; in fact, according to research conducted at Northeastern University over 74% think an online bachelor’s or graduate degree earned remotely is as valid as one earned physically.
Online education has grown increasingly popular over time, and should certainly be considered when exploring ways to broaden your horizons. You will certainly gain much from your courses, while growing as an individual as well. Just ensure you choose a quality program and work hard; an online degree can be just as valid as any other form of academic credentials.
Lack of Personal Attention
Online learning has become more mainstream at top universities, particularly evening and weekend college programs. While people once derided evening/weekend college programs as “gypsy colleges”, hiring managers now view online students as equally respected by employers than those attending traditional in-seat classes at traditional schools. Success depends on hard work from both parties involved – excelling in an online class requires great self-discipline to achieve excellence.
Finding a program with 24-hour chat, phone and email support for its students can also be useful, so they can reach out if they have questions or require help with coursework. Students should complete reading assignments on time while participating regularly in discussions as these tend to be where most learning occurs.
Some may worry that online degrees won’t be taken as seriously by employers compared to degrees obtained at traditional universities; this assumption, however, can often prove incorrect: so long as an accredited online college provides relevant degrees for student’s career plans they will likely be treated equally by employers.
Students should avoid enrolling in online programs that do not provide clear and ample information regarding financial aid options and schools that pressure students into incurring large amounts of debt to gain admission to their program.
If you have doubts about online degrees, take some classes at your local community college before enrolling in an online degree program. That way, you’ll gain a clearer idea of how an online degree fits into your lifestyle, and whether or not it suits your individual needs. Furthermore, opt for programs offering hybrid courses so that you can test both formats to see which suits best for your needs.