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How to Choose an Employment-Friendly Online College


Receiving an online degree can take just as much effort, and in some cases, more tuition and time than seeking a degree at a traditional school. It can definitely be worth it. But, if you want your degree to help you attain employment, get promotion, or go further in your career, you'll want to make sure that the online college you choose is equal to the task.

A Degree from a Bad Online College is Worse Than No Degree At All

Most employers distinguish between those who have college degrees and those who do not. In most situations, a degree from an online school will be enough to satisfy the basic requirement of having a degree.

However, be aware that a degree from an unaccredited school or a diploma mill is not acceptable to include on a resume or give as a qualification for obtaining a job or gaining a promotion. In some high-profile cases, employees that received promotions early in their careers due to holding credentials from a diploma mill were outed and fired in the public eye decades later.

In some states, it is illegal to even list a diploma mill degree when seeking employment. Don't risk your job over a work-free diploma, and be sure to check any online school's accreditation before applying.

Some Accredited Online Colleges Are Better Than Others

Many quality schools that provide distance learning programs have traditional school programs as well, but this is not always the case. All good schools care about the quality and reputation of their programs. They will not attach their names and reputations to programs that are poorly regarded because that would harm and lessen the reputation of their traditional degree programs as well. Well respected university's care about their name and will avoid diluting their reputation in order to gain a few more students.

Quality schools will generally not differentiate students based on where they took the course. A degree from a good school should not have the words "distance program" on top of it. Schools that differentiate are sending the message that those that acquired their online degrees did not receive the same education as those that attended their traditional brick and mortar campus.

Quality programs will try to ensure that the work performed by students in their online courses is in parity to that done by students on campus. Employers will be reassured if during an interview you are able to point out that you did the same kind of assignments, watched the same kind of lectures and took the same tests as the students that physically attended the same institution.

It is far easier to get employment with degrees from good institutions. One advantage of distance education is that is enables students who for geographic reasons would not otherwise be able to attend well regarded institutions to do so. If you're deciding on a degree program, invest the time and money in a program from a school with a well-regarded name and reputation.

Asynchronous Programs Allow You to Work on Your Own

While some online colleges offer broadcast lectures, virtual meetings, and teleconferencing, most working people prefer the convenience of asynchronous programs. These allow students to work at their own pace, whenever they are able to log in to a computer. You may be given deadlines, but for the most part you should be able to fit your course load into your busy work and family life.

You Can Ask Your Employer to Pay for Your Online Degree (and He Might Say Yes)

Another advantage of obtaining a distance education is the convenience it offers to those that are already employed. In many cases it can be possible to have your employer help pay for the education which in the long-run will make you a more productive and valuable employee. You're happy, your employer is happy, and everybody wins.
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