Are Online College Graduates Better or Worse Hires Than Traditional Students?

by Michael Haberman on September 20, 2016 · 1 comment


I believe that online degrees and other nontraditional educational opportunities such as MOOCs are gaining in importance. The modern HR professional ignores them at their own peril. Today’s post is written by Vera Marie Reed. Vera is  freelance writer living in Glendale, California. This mother of two specializes in education and parenting content. When she’s not delivering expert advice, you can find her reading, writing, arts, going to museums and doing craft projects with her children.

 

There are plenty of reasons to get an online degree. You may be looking to make a career change and don’t have the time to attend a traditional college program. You may not want to be stuck in debt for years after entering the workforce. The reasons to pursue an online degree are endless.

Online college graduates have fallen into a “not quite as good” category in the past. However, HR recruiters and corporate gatekeepers are saying online college degrees are no longer as stigmatic as before. In fact, having an online degree may help you as a potential candidate in some cases.

There are still areas traditional college graduates will have over the online student. Networking potential businesses sometimes seek out in a job candidate, or hands on skills are still possible strikes against the online grad. However, in the digital age, obtaining a degree online has value.

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What are Recruiters Saying About Online College Graduates?

In 2009, Cleveland State University found that many HR and corporate recruiters had negative attitudes toward online degrees. Much of the stigma came about due to unaccredited programs. However, times have certainly changed.

Online college graduates and the degrees they hold are more accepted today, according to vice president of Manpower, Susan Fontana. Online college graduates are now showing potential employers promise.

Mary Massad, the division president for recruiting firm Insperity told Daily News that 75 percent of the businesses they recruit for don’t mind online degrees. This is a much different outlook to the way online college graduates were welcomed before. What is making the difference?

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Online College Graduates Showcase Positive Work Ethic

The new positive light may come from the ability of a potential candidate to not only earn a degree online, but their ability to hold a job at the same time as well. This is showing HR and corporate recruiters what potential candidates really have to offer. Especially when it comes to work ethic.

The growth of online course offerings by established, and often prestigious, universities has also helped dispel the online college graduate stigma. MIT, Harvard, and even Johns Hopkins University all joined the eLearning revolution. In fact, a 2013 review found that more than 6.7 million students have taken one online course.

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The Pros of an Online College Degree are Graduate Worthy

If you are thinking about online versus on-campus, there are a variety of pros to support your decision. The biggest is most certainly cost. Many online college graduates will earn a degree and simply not have the debt as traditional students.

Online college graduates also have more time to work, or spend time with their families. Stay at home moms are certainly the core to any family, but they won’t be stay at home for long. Many stay at home moms are hitting the books online to earn a second undergraduate degree, or even a graduate degree.

Online college grads also have the digital era experience many companies crave. If you have earned a degree entirely online, you most certainly know your way around a computer, as well as the latest technology used daily in the corporate office.

In time, the personal and professional experience of a job candidate will outweigh where a degree came from. This has become even more prevalent in the rise of freelance. Many companies are outsourcing to cut costs, and they solely rely on experience and results, regardless of degree.

Ensuring your online program is credible is essential, and the career you strive for will fall into place. The future is bright for online college graduates, and as tech innovations continue to make life easier, the corporate world will surely see more online degrees in the boardroom.


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