With job prospects becoming increasingly bleak, many students are turning to online education to increase their individual marketability. The only question is whether this additional online education is bolstering or stifling their chances of getting a better job. Do traditional degrees hold more weight in hiring sessions than those received online? The answer lies in determining the qualifications that online schools possess, whether online education provides mastery and whether human resource staff looks unfavourably on the application of an online graduate.
How are online universities accredited? Many individuals, including those who choose to attend online schools, believe that hold more weight in the hiring process. Yet, all schools are held to the same standards by the organization responsible for accreditation. The Council for Higher Education Accreditation, or CHEA, is a non-profit organization whose review is voluntarily accepted by institutes of higher education.
This organization reviews a school’s capabilities through several, universal criteria. The CHEA examines a school’s performance and assesses a cumulative rating by examining five major areas:
-expected student capabilities following graduation,
-academic support structure,
-faculty accreditation and
-services provided to students.
How are online degrees perceived? Even those who attend online colleges and universities consider there to be slight stigma towards their applications. Yet, some find that certain industries look at online degrees as evidence of self-determination and an ability to learn without help. Computer programmers, for instance, are known for their independence and online-oriented work style.
An employer survey conducted in 2005 by Vault Incorporated showed that some 85% of business owners believed online degrees held just as much merit as traditional university degrees. Unfortunately, business owners are not always in charge of hiring. Human resource professionals often hold differing opinions where online degrees are concerned. Some staffing specialists have remarked on the inability for an online degree to afford dictation experience. Other human resource managers claim that online degrees don’t provide enough collaborative experience with other classmates. These individuals often provide the final word on hiring, which can hinge on a personal assessment of worth.
Yet, there are those hiring specialists who hold that a degree is a degree. These individuals believe that a job which requires an MBA,BSc or PhD should be filled by someone who has gone through the necessary coursework to obtain that designation. This mindset further establishes the increased marketability that many professionals seek when pursuing an online degree. The estimation of an online learning experience is also being expanded by corporate e-learning efforts.
Many professional should expect to find themselves placed within online courses during their careers. The usage of online coursework to increase employee capabilities undermines many of the negative attitudes that some staffing specialists may hold.
What value is gained from an online degree? 40% of students who attend online schools believe they are obtaining an education equivalent to a traditional university. Many online schools claim that proper mastery assessments and educational services are the only fundamental university necessities. These online universities profess the importance of a proper educational foundation that mirrors those found in traditional schools.
Online universities claim to provide equivalent educational resources via:
– expanded online libraries,
– writing and literature labs,
– mathematics labs that tutor in remedial and advanced coursework and
– faculty that strives to create educational experiences similar to traditional class work.
About the Author: Karen Falgore is an Online Ambassador for Liberty University, the largest online Christian college in the world. A native of Virginia, Karen revels in the state’s history and spends time exploring its many national and state parks.