Many students perceive the attractiveness of conducting online studies, which are often faster and more convenient than their traditional counterparts on campus. But students are worried about whether their decision will affect how prospective employers perceive their education. Online programs vary drastically in quality and reputation depending on the school, and the same can be said for traditional colleges. Are online masters programs respected?
The future is now
Online learning is nothing new. In 2011, approximately 6.7 million people, or one-third of all students, participated in at least one online class. Almost all traditional residential colleges now have online courses, and about a third of them offer full-time studies online. As online degrees are becoming more common, employers have been forced to accept them and they realize that distance learning can be just as effective as sitting in a classroom (see our list of top masters programs).
That said, some employers are lagging behind and don’t understand distance learning, so it goes without saying that your degree was obtained online when applying for a job.
What employers respect about online master’s degree
One thing that catches the eye of a potential employer about a candidate who has earned an online Master’s Degree is the level of commitment and dedication required to continue studying while working full-time and dealing with family matters.
Employers more often admire features and skills such as time management, motivation and computer skills. They can generally respect your perseverance and self-discipline. In addition, they will see that you have the ability to learn independently, which can successfully translate into the workplace, because you have demonstrated the ability to work with little or no supervision.
Tips for finding a respected online diploma
If you want to go back to online school, think about these six things to evaluate a high quality online study program.
Is the school you are thinking of in the usual location or is it just online? Schools with physical campuses are seen as more reliable. If the school only has a PO Box or apartment number, employers will see it as a red flag.
The Department of Education says accreditation is essential for credibility. Make sure the school you are going to attend has been recognized by the Higher education accreditation. Diplomas are usually accredited by fake agencies.
- How fast can you get a degree?
Watch out for schools that offer the opportunity to get a diploma in a few months
- Quality of school graduates
Check data and information on what employers think about school graduates. One of the statistics that will help you determine the quality of the graduate are the employment rates, which can be found using the school comparison tool at NerdWallet.