What Is An Online degree?

onlinecollegeFor a number of years, the idea of an online degree was almost laughable. As more and more students found themselves studying online, they also found themselves facing a number of possible scams. A handful of schools popped up with big promises, but some of those schools couldn’t deliver on those promises. As bad reviews spread, those colleges changed names and reemerged, making it difficult for students to differentiate between a good and a bad school. The way in which employers view online degrees depends on the field and where the individual studied.

What is an Online Degree Program?

An online degree program is essentially a degree that you earn without ever leaving your home. As long as you have access to the Internet and a computer, you can complete your assignments, do simple projects and meet with your professors online. Most online schools now use a system like Blackboard, which lets you post questions, read comments from other students and respond to your classmates. Some schools operate solely online, while other schools have a traditional college campus and also offer online courses.

Benefits of Online Degrees

Studying online lets you study topics that you cannot study in real life. If you live in a small town, you might find that you would need to move hours away to study a specific topic. You can now study marine biology, human anatomy, information technology or any other topic that interests you from the comfort of your own home. You also have the chance to work on your degree around your own schedule. Many men and women opt for online programs because they need to take care of their children and can’t attend traditional college classes. Others choose online programs because they want to continue working a full-time job.

Traditional vs. Online Schools

Before you enroll in any college program, you need to look at the school and its program. Employers typically look more favorably at applicants who take online classes from a traditional school. For example, you might take online classes offered by a large public university in your state. The difference between the two schools often boils down to a simple campus, but it can also involve accreditation as well. An online only school might lack the necessary accreditation that your employer requires. Ask the school about transferring credits to another college. A school without the proper accreditation won’t let you transfer credits.

Job Outlook

According to theĀ Society for Human Resource Management, employers now look more favorably at those with online degrees than they did in the past. SHRM conducted a survey that found that nearly 80 percent of respondents hired someone with an online degree, but the survey also found that more than 60 percent of employers preferred hiring those with a traditional degree. Some jobs, including those in the nursing and technology fields, give more weight to those with an online degree. Working while finishing your degree shows that you have time management skills and can multitask with ease.

As the number of poor online colleges drops, employers changed the way they previously thought about online degrees. With more students now enrolling in online programs, those employers will need to adjust their way of thinking again, and at least one study found that more employers now approve of and hire those applicants who studied online.