People used to be skeptical of online degrees. Very few universities offered them, and those that did weren’t reputable. You weren’t able to get an online degree from big name schools a couple of years ago.
Times changed, now you can earn online degrees from accredited schools, and they will be as good as regular degrees. Most universities were already offering online programs, but the COVID pandemic sped up this phenomenon.
You get a degree to improve your chances of getting a good job, but if employers don’t respect your degree, there’s no point in getting it. That’s been the issue all these years: it’s not that online universities didn’t offer excellent education, it’s that employers had little faith in them.
In this article, I’ll make a case for online degrees and prove to you they are legit. Keep on reading.
What Makes a Degree Legit?
The last thing you want to do is get a degree that isn’t worth the paper it’s written on. How do you figure out if a school offers a legit degree?
Here’s a list of factors to consider when looking into online programs:
Third party agencies compare the quality of education between schools to give them accreditation. Institutions such as the U.S. Department of Education or the Council of Higher Education Accreditation give official recognition to these agencies.
By earning a degree in an accredited school, you ensure your degree will be considered legit by your employer.
The school’s reputation is crucial for your degree. Earning a degree from a reputable school is important when you look for a job, as a big-name school will drastically improve your chances of getting a job over other candidates.
Luckily for you, even big-name colleges offer online programs nowadays, so you shouldn’t have any issues getting your degree from a respected school.
- Miscellaneous factors
There are red flags in online programs that you must research before enrolling. For example, acceptance rates: are they high or low? High acceptance rates mean the university’s bar for entrance is low, which usually turns into a low graduation rate, which is a sign or poor education quality.
Another potential red flag is the time to complete the program: if it takes less than a year, you’re getting scammed, don’t bother. Online degrees are supposed to be as hard as their offline counterparts, don’t believe those who say they are easy.
I also suggest looking into statistics such as student satisfaction and post-graduation job placement rates.
Do Employers Trust Online Degrees?
Yes and no. The cultural shift is happening right now, so you’ll meet employers who don’t care how you got your degree, and others who think online degrees are fake.
However, there isn’t any actual difference on the degree certificate itself, so unless you specifically mention you earned your degree online, the employer most likely won’t know how you got it.
The Majority Thinks Online Degrees Are Legit
Different institutions conducted studies and surveys to gauge whether employers actually trusted online degrees, and the results have been mostly positive.
A survey by Excelsior College and Zogby International revealed that 61% of CEOs and business owners know about online programs, and 83% of them think that an online degree is as valuable as one earned the traditional way.
Employers care more about the school’s reputation and accreditation than the type of programs it offers, so focus on these when you research online programs.
Some employers Still Distrust Online Degrees
The research above shows us there are still many employers who ignore the existence of online degrees.
It’s unfortunate, but you realize it doesn’t paint the complete picture: most likely these are employers in fields that don’t lend themselves well for online learning. Many jobs still require you to have on-field experience, and online schools can’t accommodate for that.
Psychology is a field that doesn’t lend itself to online learning. You must work with patients and real psychologists to learn.
Why Get an Online Degree?
What is the point of getting an online degree if you risk running into employers who think it’s useless?
- Time constraints
Online degrees are very popular among adults, because they allow for self-paced learning. If you have a job, you most likely don’t have time to attend classes, and online degrees are your only option to further your education.
- Helps if you are shy or a lone wolf
Not everyone feels comfortable in a classroom, and you might have questions you want to ask directly to a professor, but don’t have the gall to do so in class. Or maybe you are just a lone wolf and prefer to do things alone.
Online forums also offer more opportunity for participation. Anyone can chime in and have a say in the discussion, while real-life discussions sometimes don’t due to time limitations.
- Lower costs
Yes, education is priceless, but traditional degree programs are very expensive. Not just the tuition, but also travel and accommodation. Living is expensive, and not everyone can afford it.
Online degrees are cheaper than their real-life counterparts because they allow you and the school to save on costs.
- A better learning environment for some
Online degrees let you learn at your own pace, and some people are more productive when they are left alone. I know because I’m one of those. You might not feel like attending class on some days, or follow a lesson late at night. Online degrees let you do that.
Online degrees are legit, and you can get one to make yourself more appealing on the job market. While some employers ignore their existence, and others don’t think they are trustworthy, most won’t mind where you got your degree.
What matters is getting an excellent education, not how. I gave you all the information to research before applying to a school.
Want to earn an online degree your employers will love? Enroll today and enjoy the advantages of reputable online programs!