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Oct 31, 2008
Is Getting an Online Degree the Right Thing to Do?
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Online degrees are popping up all over the internet. What seemed like such a novelty a few years ago has become commonplace today. Online education is even increasing in momentum as more prestigious universities are branching out online. Today, more people are considering taking up online degrees. These degrees are also popular with individuals that aim to work and live abroad. The scenario allows them to stay in their own country while earning a degree that is considered valid by prospective employers abroad.

 

History of Online Education

 

The advent of the internet has spearheaded a lot of changes for the world’s economy. Today, every big company has their own website promoting their products and services. Some can even function on the internet alone and still cash in profits. Movie and Music Companies, non profit organizations, political candidates, etc. are also finding the web extremely useful. It is therefore no surprise when schools and universities take on the internet too.

More than a decade ago, schools started making their own websites. It was a place for students to learn more about the school. The very first sites were single web pages that only contains the school’s address and contact numbers. But as technology improved, so did the look of academic websites. Pretty soon, students were able to contact admissions offices online. A lot of school started offering online enrolments. It was then only natural for colleges and universities to consider offering online classes.

But are online classes any good and how do employers view this kind of learning?

 

What is Online Education

 

Online education is a form of distance learning. This means that a person can take a course online regardless of his location.  He can choose to go to classes in his own time and in the comforts of his own home. Most online students don’t even have to leave home for research. A lot of online schools are now offering their students access to extensive online libraries. Some of these libraries are even more expansive than actual ones.

Some online courses require their students to accomplish on site apprenticeships, but more or less the bulk of the process is served up through online classes.

 

Job Prospects for Online Degree Holders

 

WHAT THE SCHOOLS ARE SAYING

 

One of the biggest questions asked by people considering to take an online degree is whether or not employers will recognize its validity. Most online schools would tell you that present day employers do recognize these kinds of schools. They also say that these degrees are considered to be good as ‘On Site’ ones. On Site degrees are the traditional form of education where students have to go to classes in person.

 

THE EMPLOYER’S POINT OF VIEW

 

The news from employers is slightly more cautious than the school’s. While they are open to the idea of employing people with an online degree, they are still concerned about the quality of education earned from these online schools. As a result, employers recommend that students fully scout out their schools before jumping in. It is also important for a student to choose an online school with an On Site counterpart. This means that the school isn’t found on the internet alone. They must also have a valid educational system outside the internet.

 

Employers are also concerned about the type of degree earned online. Most employers are careful about hiring online graduates of courses that need a considerable amount of laboratory time. Examples of these courses are engineering, law and the sciences. Online Courses like Business, Art, Information Technology, Computers, Education, etc. are more readily accepted by employers. But, technology is constantly improving. If online schools can have expansive libraries online – who’s to say they can’t have laboratories later on.

 

On the other hand, employers are more accommodating to applicants who take post graduate courses online. They view it as a great way for people to participate in continuing education without comprising their daily schedules.

 

Hiring Skilled Imports with Online Degrees

 

A number of people who take online courses are those who live outside the country where the school is located. A lot of American and European schools accept these students with open arms. And once the students finish their degrees, they can work in their own countries or they can choose to work and live abroad.

 

Those who choose to stay in their own country often gain the respect of employers especially when they learn that the applicant has a degree from a respected online school. Foreign online degree holders can also look for jobs in other countries. They can work and live in any part of the world and become skilled immigrants. Immigrants and expats with degrees from respectable and well known online schools have an edge over other  applicants.

 

In conclusion, it is safe to say that employers locally and abroad are open to hiring applicants with online degrees. The important thing is that the degrees should have been earned from a respectable school and not from an online diploma mill.


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