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Will Employers Accept My Online Business Degree?

Doubts about the legitimacy of online degrees continue to unsettle some, but an increasing number of students are taking online courses or enrolling in online degree programs. As the number of interested students continues to rise, more colleges and universities are incorporating online classes and degree programs into their offerings. Many traditional brick-and-mortar universities have rolled out online degree programs of their own, adding legitimacy to this mode of education.

In fact, employers are already beginning to recognize the legitimacy of online programs, realizing that talented and skilled professionals are earning degrees online, sometimes from very reputable institutions. In a survey conducted by the online institution Excelsior College and Zogby International, 83% of executives said that an online degree is as credible as one earned through a traditional campus-based program. Employers weigh factors such as the accreditation of the college or university, the quality of its graduates, and the reputation of the institution in determining the legitimacy of an online degree. However, while the sheer number of online students has silenced some naysayers, some employers remain more skeptical of online institutions than others.

As you consider whether an online business degree is right for you, keep in mind that online undergraduate business students receive diplomas that are identical to those received by students who attend a brick-and-mortar campus. Reputable schools hold their online classes and their traditional classes to identical standards, requiring the same curriculum and course work from students in both settings.

Online programs also offer opportunities to network with others, although this may not occur to the same extent that it does in the traditional setting. Online students may seek networking opportunities through study groups and discussion threads, where they can interact with their classmates. Some programs capitalize on the opportunities that social media platforms provide. Some schools manage online groups on sites like Facebook so that students can communicate with each other and set up opportunities to connect outside of the workspace. However, students who enroll in an on-campus program may find greater opportunities to meet employers and visit companies.

It is imperative that students interested in online programs do their homework before selecting a program. Students should confirm that the online programs are accredited by legitimate bodies. Some institutions may lack the appropriate accreditation or may even be considered “degree mills.” A degree from institutions like these will not translate to greater opportunities upon completion of the program.

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