How Employers Regard Online Education

Mar 20, 2013
  |  by Jennifer Cook

Throughout the last century, virtual learning has risen from a simple television program to entire educations and degrees being learned and earned online. In 1953, the University of Houston began to offer educational courses on their public television station, KUHT and by the mid-sixties, more than 100,000 credit hours had been taught via the public station, with most classes being aired in the evening to accommodate working student’s schedules. The same concept of working with student schedules and offering them educational options is applied today through online education and has resulted in the now 6.1 million students taking at least one online class a year.

In 1999, when online education was first fully introduced, many students and employers felt it was an illegitimate way to earn a degree and dismissed the opportunities online education presented. Students continued forward with traditional college courses and employers disregarded job applicants who had listed degrees earned online. However, over the last 13 years, online education has increased and now renowned universities such as Harvard offer online classes. With accredited universities and over 6 million students embracing online learning, how do employers regard an online education today?

Perceptions of Students Educated Through Online Courses

The benefits of earning an online degree for a student are numerous. Students are able to balance family life with an education, work and social activities while setting their own schedules and earning degrees such as a master’s degree in management, at their own pace. These benefits also relate to employers looking for well educated employees.

When online education was first introduced, an employer thought it was a lazy way to earn an education but as time has progressed, employers have begun to see that by students working at their own pace in a nonconventional atmosphere, earning a degree online takes more dedication and determination than in a traditional way.

With most online degree programs being accelerated, degrees earned online showcase the determination and drive students have to succeed and also displays organizational and time balancing skills. Employers know that today, online students are able to handle large workloads, work quickly, properly balance their time and not become easily overwhelmed. 

Perceptions of Online Earned Degrees by Employers

As online education continues to grow in the United States, online degrees can now be awarded for almost any degree field, including more complicated degrees such as an information technology degree, an engineering degree or degrees in the fields of healthcare and business.

It is through these multiple online degree options that numerous workforce fields and employers are beginning to regard online education as a higher form of learning and are actively seeking out students attending online classes. In fact, 62% of business leaders now believe that an education earned online is superior or equal to conventional face-to-face learning methods.

The Outcome of Earning a Degree Online

As employers and students continue to see the value of an education earned online, we expect to see a further rise in online education courses taken and degrees earned. Online students will be able to successfully become experts in their fields and acquire quality jobs with smart and business savvy employers.



Author bio: Jennifer Cook writes on student life, going back to school and online learning technology for When she isn't writing, you can track her down in the library, trying to check out more books than her card allows.



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