How Credible is an Online Degree in Today’s Job Market?

In today’s competitive job market, employers demand a college education and either some industry experience or a graduate degree. Fortunately, it’s easier now than ever to get a degree at an accredited online university to help you get the job you want.

But just how credible is an online degree? Do employers in today’s market recognize a degree from an accredited online degree program? What professions accept online degrees?

Here’s a quick guide to choosing an online university that will give the credentials you need for your career.

What Employers are Saying

At least one third of HR directors receive applications from candidates who have received an online degree. As a result, more and more employers consider degrees from online universities just as valuable as those from traditional colleges.

Another factor in determining how an employer views an online degree is the reputation of the online school. Nearly 80% of HR professionals consider online degrees from an well-known accredited school more credible than one earned at an institution that only offers an online program. Fortunately, most well-known universities offer an accredited online degree program in addition to their on-campus courses.

Does Accreditation Mean Credibility?

While a degree from an accredited online university is certainly more valuable than one from a regular institution, it’s important to know where the online university has received its accreditation. Both the US Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) maintain databases listing the agencies which accredit online universities.

Some state agencies and departments of education only recognize accreditation from specific agencies, so it is important to do this research if you are trying to look for work in either of those professions.

Professions Accepting Online Degrees

Today, more almost 70% of universities and over 90% of 2-year and 4-year colleges offer online degree programs. These institutions typically offer one-third to half of their campus programs as online degree programs in the following disciplines:

  • Engineering
  • Psychology
  • Social Sciences and History
  • Computer and Information Sciences
  • Education
  • Health Professions and Related Sciences
  • Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • Business

Finding the Right Online Degree Program

There are many factors that go into finding the right accredited online university. The first step is to make sure that an online education is the right option for you. Online learning requires a lot of self-motivation and discipline, so be prepared before enrolling in any online university.

Next, you’ll want to find an accredited online degree program from university which is well-established and has a good reputation. An online degree may have less value to an employer if it comes from a school no one has ever heard of.

Here are some other factors to consider when choosing an online degree program:

  • Is the online college recognized by an accreditation agency?
  • What other colleges and universities share the same accreditation?
  • What other colleges and universities offer online degrees in your field?
  • How does the school’s online program differ from the one offered on campus?
  • Does your industry or employer recognize online degrees?

To learn more about earning your degree online, read: Earning Your Associates Degree Online and Earning Your Bachelors Degree Online.