Lets face it: what others think about your degree matters. A lot. Students choose to learn online for a variety of reasons including personal fulfillment, career advancement, and love of learning. But, no one wants their online degree to be ridiculed or regarded as less valuable than a degree from a regular school.
If you want a degree thats taken seriously in the workplace, you need to do two things. First, make sure you choose a school that has the proper regional accreditation. Second, if you expect the degree to earn you a promotion, make sure that you choose a program thats appropriate for your workplace situation.
The basics are pretty simple. But, if you want to take it a step further, you can also find ways to present your degree as though it were a typical diploma from any regular school. Of course you should never lie about your school, if an employer presses. However, since some employers still have lingering prejudices and cynicism about online learning, there is no reason for you to publicize the fact that you took your courses through the internet.
If you want a degree thatll look good on resumes and be accepted without question, try the following when selecting an online school:
1. Make sure the school has the proper regional accreditation. Although it may be tempting to try out that new-fangled program at the un-accredited but worthy institution that sent you a brochure, dont. If your goal in getting the degree is to make it work for you in the business world, your best bet is sticking with what is widely accepted.
2. Choose a school without distance learning or online in its name. If you dont want to publicize the fact that you may have been wearing pajamas during class time, choose a school that doesnt tout the fact that its courses are online.
3. Try to find a school that has an active physical campus. Taking online courses from a regular school that just happens to have a few online programs is an easy way to avoid concerns.
4. Investigate the schools track record. Do a little research and get the scoop on any school youre considering. Try talking to current and former students, searching news databases, and scouring the web for sites and message boards that discuss the school. Avoid schools that seem to be having an unusual number of problems. You dont want the school to go out of business or be the spotlight of a scandal.
5. Ask the school for sample transcripts. Survey the transcripts to make sure that your degree will be portrayed in the best possible light. Again, avoid schools that distribute transcripts saying distance learning or online courses, when possible.
6. Make sure the school has a regularly open office. In the off-chance that potential employers or schools want to double-check your records, an office staffed with competent employees can put their fears to rest and assure them of your degrees validity.