There’s been a lot of discussion and many surveys about whether or not employers view online graduates as equally qualified for jobs as traditional college graduates. The answer depends on who you talk to and is different for each situation. This article focuses on answering this intriguing question: Are there any advantages that graduates of online programs have over graduates of traditional programs in the job market?
Online Specialty Degree Programs
An advantage of an online education is the availability of specialty programs that employers covet. Many of these programs are not offered at the colleges and universities attended by the vast majority of college students. For example, the owner of a company selling products and/or services via the Web may be more interested in hiring someone with an online Internet marketing degree than someone with a traditional marketing degree obtained from an on-campus degree program.
Advantage on Competitors
If your competing with other employees for a promotion that requires an MBA degree, your online specialty MBA may give you an advantage over the competition. For example, if you work for a company in the healthcare industry and a management position requires an MBA, the nearby colleges your competitors are attending may not offer the specialty MBA – Health Care Management degree program you’re taking online.
Online Graduates and Technology
Some employers think online degree programs provide students advantages over traditional programs. One of the primary reasons they give is that the online student is familiar with innovative technologies that are vital to successful companies. Many companies are increasingly using video conferencing and webinars, with which online students have experience.
Online Graduates are Self-Motivated
Many employers realize it takes self-motivation, devotion, and a lot of effort to obtain an online degree, particularly for those who are also working full-time. These are attributes employers are seeking. Individuals who can manage going to school online while working full-time have the attributes needed to work independently and take on extra responsibility in the workplace.
“Employers are more aware of the demand and benefits that tie into the completion of an online degree,” says Kimberly Roberts, MPH, who works as a Health Promotional Specialist and designs and delivers diverse programs and workshops for conferences, corporations and schools. “They identify the technological experience, self discipline and motivation. They also are aware that this educational approach requires efficiency in virtual communication and creativity in seeking resources and networking.” Also, more and more companies are starting to pay their employees to acquire a degree online.
Online students often have specialized degree options that give them the knowledge and skills employers covet. The self-motivation and determination required to complete an online degree are attributes valued by any employer. Consider this before you rule out on online degree program, or before you rule out hiring a a job applicant with an online degree.
This is a guest post by Brian Jenkins who writes about online degree programs, among other topics related to college, for BrainTrack.