Online education has had a rise in popularity and it’s development. Recently, not many places would accept online degrees as a valid alternative, in recent years, however, traditional and residential institutions have started to offer many online courses increasing the popularity of online study and giving better access to higher education.
Over the last decade, the majority of employers from most industries are now beginning to embrace online education. This is mainly due to the number of trusted schools and universities now offering these online degree programs. Online education is now considered the norm for a lot of employers and online course enrollment is on the climb for the 10th year in a row with no signs of slowing down any time soon.
What employers are wanting to see in an online degree is the accreditation of the university or learning institution, the quality of its graduates, alongside its reputation. While there are some employers that still don’t recognise online degrees, these are minimal when compared to the rest of the industry.
The Department of Education states that “students in online conditions performed modestly better, on average than those learning the same material through traditional face-to-face instruction.” They also found that “the effectiveness of online learning approaches appears quite broad across different content and learner types.”
These statements back up the claim by universities that online degrees are just as good as those that take place in classroom environments. In some cases, online education courses can have better outcomes than those taking place on campus. Also, online courses can allow students who are limited due to where they live, the time they have on their hands and the opportunities available to them to obtain the qualifications they desire as well as helping them to learn and develop.
We did an article on how ‘effective’ online education really is, you can see it here.
If you’re planning to do an online course instead of university then you should consider these points when choosing your online degree:
If they have a physical campus they are usually viewed as more ‘credible’. You should be careful applying to courses that are not offered by a respected institute as they may not be as credible and you could be turned away by employers.
You need to be careful when applying for an online degree as there are some out there that may catch you out. Some courses advertise that you can pass within a couple of months but usually, these are not seen as credible by most employers and they may not teach you everything you need to learn.
For employers, accreditation is essential for an institute to be credible to them. When choosing a degree to pursue, you must make sure that the University or Institute you will be doing it through has been accredited by the British Council of Education.
When pursuing your career, make sure that you research what employers in your desired industry think of graduates from the institute you will be doing your degree with. For example, research topics like job placement rates to help you determine graduate quality.
The majority of businesses nowadays see online degrees provided by institutions that are well-known as being equivalent to those that are earned on-campus. If you choose to do an online degree that isn’t provided by an institution, most businesses are familiar with (or the institution isn’t known for its quality of graduates) then your degree may not be seen as equivalent or ‘hold the same value’.
Employers are also more likely to accept an online degree from a university that provides on-site courses with online learning. Most businesses agree that online degrees provided by a well-known institute are just as favourable as on-site courses. This isn’t the case when it comes to degrees that are operated by institutes that are solely online, even if they are accredited.
This reason for this is because most employers believe that well-known institutions and universities dedicate the same time and attention to developing online courses as they do for those held on-site. Those that operate online only are usually seen as unreliable or just not good enough.
More employers than ever are beginning to agree that online degrees are reputable and a good alternative to traditional degree programs. If you are close to completing your online degree or you have already done so, you should know the right way to display your education to get the best results. Even though online courses are becoming more acceptable, it is still a good idea to be mindful of how you describe your education so that it comes across in the most positive way possible.
To those that may be unfamiliar with online degrees or the value of them, you can mention a few things to help describe your education and how online degrees stand up to traditional ones.
First of all, you should mention the skills you have learnt. This can be anything from time management to techniques you have learnt and given in appropriate detail. You should also show industry-accepted accreditation and trade qualifications you have earned through the course as well as any hands-on experience if you have any.
If you had any mentoring partnerships or workshops that you participated in through the course you should also mention these as they can help your case. Showing that you have experience is the key and most employers, even if they aren’t familiar with the value of online courses, will respect the qualifications that you have earned.
A final point to note is that you should embrace what makes an online degree different from other programs. You could point out that to finish an online degree you need good time management, organisational skills and a motivated personality to ensure that you keep on top of the workload.
These are all traits that employers look for when considering hiring someone. Overall, you should be able to show how your online degree has contributed to your ability to learn and work independently. You should explain to your potential employers that the challenges you have faced through online education are exactly the reason you are ready for the job.