How to Make Employers Take Your Online Degree Seriously

by Online Education Specialist · 2 comments

As more and more Americans turn to higher education to advance their careers, they look for degree options that allow them to earn a high quality education without upending their already busy schedules. The two universities in the United States with the highest enrollment rates in 2009, University of Phoenix and Kaplan University, are also known for offering extensive and exclusively online degree programs. Even with these growing numbers, some employers are still hesitant to take an online degree seriously. A 2010 poll among members of the Society for Human Resource Management, conducted by, showed that less than half of human resource managers polled believed that an online degree is equal in credibility to a traditional one. Part of the stigma comes from the belief that students are not challenged enough in online classrooms. Because they are not forced to interact face-to-face with professors and classmates, some believed that it is far easier to cheat at exams and assignments.

So how can you show your employer that you put in the same hours and dedication as someone who graduated from a traditional school? After all, you worked hard for your online degree and put in the necessary hard work to gain the skills and knowledge needed to be successful in your chosen field. Here are some ways to make your current or future employer take your online degree seriously:

Accreditation is Key

Accrediting organizations in your field of study award accreditation to institutions that adhere to strict guidelines, such as offering current curricula, employing credentialed faculty members, and adhering to state and federal guidelines for licensure or practice. For online schools with multiple campus sites, such as the aforementioned University of Phoenix, state or regional accreditation is of equal importance as this determines your ability to practice your career where you live.

When looking at resumes, employers will search for candidates with degrees from accredited institutions. In addition to giving your degree legitimacy, accreditation can also give you an advantage over some of your traditional postgraduate competition. Not all schools are accredited by the same associations, and some accreditations are more distinguished than others. For example, only one-third of business schools worldwide are accredited by AACSB International (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business), which has been the premier accreditor of business institutions since 1916. Accreditation from certain organizations will make you more appealing to employers.

Most online schools will provide their accrediting information in brochures, on their website, or at information seminars. If you are unsure about a school’s accreditation status, contact the school or the accrediting organization. The U.S. Department of Education’s accreditation database provides a list of state, regional and national accreditation organizations of all disciplines.

Get to Know Your Faculty

In many cases, your online faculty will be the same experienced and dedicated professionals who teach on campus. Therefore, it is in your best interest to develop relationships with your instructors, even if you never meet them face to face. By building relationships with your professors, you create a network of contacts and references that can only make your degree look better. Be sure to stay in touch with your instructors once classes finish and after graduation, as a reference letter may be the proof your employer needs that your online degree is legitimate.

Do the Homework on Your Competition

In addition to reading up on your class assignments, you should also read up on what the traditional programs in your field offer. Are you taking the same courses as your traditional degree counterparts? Are your lectures the same amount of time? Does your amount of field experience equal theirs? Make the most of the opportunities your school offers through internships, on-campus seminars and study abroad programs. Your employer will realize that just because you took classes at home, it doesn’t mean you didn’t have the same rich, interactive learning experience as your peers.

As more traditional schools offer online degree programs and as more employers and hiring managers accept the credibility of online education, it is important for you to know that your degree is valuable. If you take your online degree seriously, your employer will, too.

Mariana Ashley is a freelance writer who particularly enjoys writing about online colleges. She loves receiving reader feedback, which can be directed to mariana.ashley031

Related posts:

  1. What Are The Mistakes in Online Education The Students Often Do?
  2. How Online University Students Can Make Friendship Each Other?
  3. 5 Sure-Fire Ways to Check the Validity of an Online Program/School
  4. How To Choose the Best Online Education
  5. A Good Online Degree Program Is Hard to Find?

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

belly June 1, 2011 at 5:53 pm

Nice post share.


Jeff June 28, 2011 at 8:22 am

I have always wondered about this. It would seem that getting a degree from an online institution would be a risk, but now many are offering masters and even Ph.D’s online. I have also heard rumors that several prestigious Universities are beginning to offer “only” online degrees. Should be interesting.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: