Will employers value your online degree?

Employers see online degrees as the equivalent of traditional degrees only under certain conditions. 

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  1. Crimson Wife says:

    At my last paid position, I was a hiring manager and my employer’s policy was to automatically reject candidates with degrees from for-profit online schools because they were seen as “diploma mills”. Online programs run by respected non-profit B&M colleges were fine.

    • Mark Roulo says:

      Did the policy also automatically reject candidates without a degree?

    • Of course those are for direct hire positions. Positions for which contracting’s an option have been and continue to be the wild west proving that degrees are more a defensive strategy by human resources then a means of determining the likelihood of competence.

      • Mark Roulo says:

        “Of course those are for direct hire positions.”


        In CW’s case, yes. Where I currently work (and in the groups that I deal with), the technical hiring managers request that ALL resume’s get forwarded. We don’t let HR screen out any. A few months ago, I interviewed someone without a college degree for a programming position. I suspect we’d consider folks with an on-line degree as well.


        I do think my employer is a bit unusual, though.

  2. I think in general that article is accurate.

    But some employers take some online degrees more seriously than others. For instance, most federal agencies that I’m aware of seem to value degrees from AMU and APU about as much as degrees from most traditional colleges even though they don’t have traditional campuses and are for-profit.

    • Michael E. Lopez says:

      I believe that most governmental agencies are forbidden from making the distinction so long as the institution is accredited.

      • Michael E. Lopez says:

        I should clarify: This isn’t necessarily so in hiring DECISIONS where a spot is being filled from an applicant pool and there is discretion. The SEC will obviously take a Harvard Law grad over someone from Nu-Online College of Law, ceteris paribus.

        But in terms of *qualification* for things, public agencies aren’t allowed to draw those sorts of distinctions. If a teacher gets her Master’s degree from a Cracker Jack box, she gets the pay bump.

        And really, if you’re applying for a run-of-the-mill public sinecure, no one REALLY cares where you went to college as long as you meet the qualifications. What they care is how many times a week your Dad has lunch with their boss.

  3. Online University classes will always, at best, be considered supplementary to actual face-to-face teaching and learning. Anyone who’s tried both will understand why – especially as a teacher.

    • If only the case you didn’t make were as persuasive as you are certain…

      There are actually a number of quite good reasons why on-line classes are the future not the least of which is their potential to drastically lower the cost of education as they’ve already started to do.

      Then there’s the relative ease of first determining what makes an exceptional on-line class just that and replicating the quality. Creators of on-line classes are strongly motivated to extract the best qualities of successful on-line classes to use in their own creations.

      Besides, history’s shown repeatedly that “always” is a rather shorter period of time then is very often assumed to be the case. I this case I suspect “always” is probably no more two to three years in the future.