The advent of new technologies has brought about many changes in our day-to-day lives. One area that has been massively impacted by technology, particularly web 2.0 is education. Back in the mid and late 20th century, getting a University Degree meant going into a University to dedicate yourself to learning a chosen discipline, staying the course for four years, and getting your degree at the end of a four-year period. Nowadays, however, everything depends on your preference.
Instead of going to a University to learn on campus full time, you can just take your computer, log in, and start learning anything you like. Things have become that easy for the student. For employers, the opinion remains divided. Companies, especially those that are not in tech used to frown upon online degrees.
In the early 21st century, most people would joke about online degrees and it was the general notion that people with online degrees were less educated than those with traditional degrees from long-established colleges and Universities. The main reason for the mocking of online degrees was the rapid popularization and development of online diploma mills, an online organization that dished out unaccredited diplomas to people who passed a few quizzes. With time, some of these diploma mills started dishing out degrees as well leading to such a situation where online degrees started being frowned upon.
As of 2019, however, a lot has changed and a lot of progress has been made. As compared to the pre-2010 period, where hiring managers and employers frowned upon online degrees, their opinion towards them is getting positive. The shift in their opinion can be attributed to the involvement of some of the world’s top Universities in the online degree industry.
Some of the involved Universities include Harvard, MIT, BIT, Howard, Cambridge, and many others. These Universities are collaborating with companies like Coursera to offer students from all over the world access to MOOC’s or Massive Open Online Courses, which come with a certified transcript and certificate signed off by the University.
Although these MOOC’s are not bigger than a traditional degree, they go a long way in showcasing a candidate’s commitment to continuous learning and personal investment, something that a lot of companies value.
In addition, nowadays, with the advent of technology, many employers now understand that having a degree is not enough. The needs of the workplace are changing and the information known by employees when they get out of university is fast becoming irrelevant. By working through an online degree, employees and candidates alike are able to bolster their skills to become more relevant in the workplace, which in turn helps the company progress.
To conclude, the Center for the Future of Higher Education and Talent Strategy in the US ran a survey on HR Managers to hear their opinions on online degrees. One of their key findings was that 16% of students enrolled in the US are doing Online Degrees, the biggest percentage so far. This high enrollment of students in online degree programs has been influencing employer perception positively causing them to let go of the stigma towards online degree programs.Are online degrees respected? Poll & know all of your concern regarding online degree and credentials