Stigma against online degrees fades, but slowly
Does an online degree pack the same punch as a traditional degree obtained through classroom attendance? According to a recent Society for Human Resource Management survey: Probably not. Forty-nine percent of hiring officials polled said they vie...
Does an online degree pack the same punch as a traditional degree obtained through classroom attendance?
According to a recent Society for Human Resource Management survey: Probably not.
Forty-nine percent of hiring officials polled said they view an online degree less favorably than a "traditional" degree.
Does that mean online degrees are a waste of time for workers striving to advance their careers?
Again, probably not.
Seventy-nine percent of the human resource officials said their organizations had hired job applicants with online degrees in the past 12 months.
But there's one caveat: That assumes the online degree is from an accredited institution.
The relatively lawless nature of the Internet creates a feeding ground for unscrupulous and less-than-professional opportunists. Buyer beware. In education services, as in product purchases, be sure you're buying quality.
Human resource professionals know the trend lines. As more people seek to augment their credentials by adding advanced degrees, more will turn to online purveyors because of cost and time advantages.
"The majority of surveyed HR professionals said they think online degrees are viewed more favorably today than five years ago," said Mark Schmit, director of research at the society. "And a growing number see individual courses taken online as equally credible to courses taken at traditional universities."
Most hirers said they will consider the online schools' reputations and certifications to help decide how much value they'll give to applicants' education credentials.
The survey also noted that it's getting harder to distinguish between online and traditional educators, as more online companies are offering classroom locations and brick-and-mortar schools are offering online programs.
For now, though, six out of 10 hirers agreed their organizations prefer job applicants with "traditional" degrees over those with online degrees, presuming similar work experience.
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services