Do you want to earn an accredited degree and land a promising job to build your career? With rising tuition fees in traditional universities, it has become challenging for many aspiring learners to pursue a college degree. Hence, more learners are now opting for online education for the various benefits it offers along with the opportunity to earn a recognised degree. But the question that most aspiring students are asking is can you land a lucrative job with an online diploma or degree?
Are online diplomas valuable?
Most students are expecting that the answer will be a definite yes! Let’s face it…online learning has seen an exponential growth in the last decade and the market is expanding further. According to a 2011 Babson Survey Research Group report, 6.1 million learners participated in at least 1 online class in the fall of 2010. This was a 10 per cent rise over the last year and almost 4 times the volume of students pursuing online education a decade ago.
Although some of these learners study in traditional schools which offer specific courses online, most other pursue online courses via leading online education platforms and online institutes that offer most of their degree courses over the internet. However, many are still concerned about the quality of education and the value of an online degree . It is believed that the main issue is that several online universities are primarily run as for-profit establishments.
Do employers prefer online degrees?
But the scenario for online diplomas and degrees are changing drastically. According to the SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management), over the last 5 years the perceptions of employers regarding online learning & training has changed and improved considerably. In a 2010 survey conducted by the SHRM, over 50 per cent of HR managers reported that when 2 applicants with similar experience level apply for the same job, then their degree, whether rewarded by brick-and-mortar universities or online degree programs , would not make much of a difference. Around 79 per cent of the HR managers claimed they hired a candidate who owned an online degree in the last 12 months. However, 66 per cent employers reported that applicants with online diplomas/degrees were not considered as positively as candidates with traditional degrees.
Margaret Fiester, operations manager for the HR Knowledge Center at SHRM, said “HR managers are normally pretty conservative and a little bit cautious. It boils down to how familiar they are [with online education]. If it’s something they haven’t encountered before, if they’re not comfortable, they won’t even give it a second glance. A lot of decisions are made based on name recognition and reputation.”
What about MOOCs?
Although a recognised online diploma can help you get adequate job opportunities in your preferred field, the scenario is much different for MOOCs. The main issue is MOOC institutes do not provide a degree or diploma; they simply offer a certificate of completion, which is simply not enough for most employers.
Richard Garrett, vice president at Eduventures, said “Employers use degrees as a sifting device. For many jobs, if you don’t have a degree, you’re not going to be considered. If we start introducing, ‘Well, I don’t have a degree, but I took this MOOC thing, or a few courses here or there,’ that complicates the lives of HR managers. The MOOC currency isn’t yet clear enough that it will compete with the degree currency.”
The bottom line
I believe the that going for an accredited online programme will not only provide you the right training and a recognised degree, but it will also boost your employability by helping you develop crucial skills. So if you are planning to earn an online degree for bettering your career opportunities, then it’s about time that you get started.
What do you think? Feel free to share your thoughts and views with me by commenting here. I would love to hear from you.
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