The Career Benefits From Online College

The Career Benefits From Online College

Going to online college provides several major career benefits including regular practice in value, modern workplace skills, and the power to balance work and education. In the early days of online education, it was common for hiring companies to express skepticism about the value of this emergent learning strategy. Was an online degree really as good as a degree from a traditional college? Some employers had their doubts. But online education has evolved dramatically in just the last decade, and so too have employer attitudes on the subject. In fact, there are a few clear career benefits to attending online college that may actually make it the preferable path forward, both for you and for your current or future employer.

To seize these benefits right away, check out The Best Online Colleges 2022. If you’d like to learn more, find out how going to online college can provide you with a critical advantage in today’s job market.

IvyWise, college admissions consulting experts
AD
IvyWise, college admissions consulting experts
AD

Do employers respect online college degrees?

Employers have come increasingly to respect the value of an online degree. To some extent, the question above is actually somewhat passé. In fact, for many job hunters, the question of learning medium may never even come up during the interview process, unless of course, you wish to highlight the amazing skills and knowledge you’ve gained just because you chose to pursue your degree online.

According to the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), employer attitudes toward online degrees have evolved considerably over the last decade, and especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Enrollment in online undergraduate and graduate programs spiked dramatically between 2020 and 2021, highlighting its increasingly ingrained status in higher education. According to GMAC’s 2021 Corporate Recruiters Survey, roughly 63% of prospective employers either held a neutral or favorable view of online education.

The vast majority of those surveyed viewed online education as equal to in-person education (or held no view at all…which is effectively the same thing if you happen to be a job seeker with an online degree).

Of course, it helps to go to a great school, the kind where you’ll connect with brilliant classmates, learn under influential professors, and ultimately enjoy a high-quality educational experience. All of these factors can significantly improve your post-graduate career prospects, when you attend college in-person or online. Make sure you know what to look for in a great online education, from accreditation and curriculum to student services and academic support structures.

If you are interested in furthering your education (and career!) with an advanced degree, did you know that your employer may be willing to pay for online grad school? Find out more in our article How to Get Your Employer to Pay For Online Grad School.

Back to Top

Achieving Work-School Balance

Online college is more than just beneficial to students who must work. It may actually be the only option for those who wish to advance their skills or credentials but who can’t afford to take a step away from the workplace. Online college offers a pathway that won’t deprive you of your income or disrupt the progress you’ve already made in your career.

One of the great career benefits of pursuing your degree online is the opportunity it provides for continuity. Career advisory company Pongo Résumé points out that “by keeping your job, you won’t have a work gap on your résumé—something future employers could view negatively, even if it was to return to school.”

Back to Top

Finding Programs Designed With Your Career in Mind

In addition to being tailored to the scheduling demands of working adults, many online degree programs are designed with the learning goals of working adults in mind as well. This means that online education can come in many forms, and can be built to advance very specific career-related goals. According to Pongo Résumé Many schools now offer single courses for alumni needing to update their knowledge, certificates in new skill areas or leading-edge degrees in fields that promise to be the hot careers of the future, such as medical information, green technologies and cyber security.

You may even consider an accredited competency-based education (CBE) degree program. For instance, CBE-based schools like Western Governors University provide a model of education that is unique to the online medium, and is meant to train students entirely in areas that correlate to career goals.

CBE programs don’t waste your time on electives or prerequisites. You only study subjects that connect to your career. With an online CBE program, you can get right down to the business of building skills and earning your degree.

Back to Top

Building Valuable 21st Century Work Skills

For all the discussion about whether or not employers respect online degrees, it may be overlooked that many employers actually place a premium on the specific skills and abilities attained through online education. According to the University of St. Augustine for Health Services, Online learning can help boost both the soft skills and technical skills employers want to see from applicants. Nearly half of employers say they are unable to find candidates with the skills they need.

Successful completion of an online degree program requires the demonstration of valuable 21st Century Skills like communication, collaboration, and technical competence. Some online employers may view your successful navigation of the online educational experience as evidence that you have these skills and are ready to apply them in the workplace.

Back to Top

Making Your Time Work For You

In addition to the workplace skills that you must apply to earn an online degree, there are certain practical abilities that must inevitably factor into your success. Time management is one of these. On one side of the coin, online education is your ticket to educational freedom and flexibility. But the price of this independence is discipline. Organization, planning, focus, and efficiency are all essential to earning an online degree.

So in addition to refining these skills in anticipation of future workplace responsibilities, your online degree will provide employers with practical evidence of your abilities. Indeed, According to Northeastern University, Online classes keep you on a regular schedule of making and meeting deadlines, allowing you to practice managing your time and staying productive week-to-week. Employers often appreciate the time management skills needed to complete an online degree program and view these skills as a valuable asset in potential employees.

Back to Top

Demonstrated Remote Capabilities

Life in the shadow of a pandemic demonstrated that telecommuting is a valuable skill, one that benefits your employer. Certainly, more American workers than ever before were required to tap into their remote working capabilities over the last two years. But the adjustment isn’t always a quick and easy one. Some employees may struggle to channel the discipline, communication skills, self-pacing, or technical agility needed to remotely perform functions once completed in an office setting.

By contrast, graduates of online college or grad school programs will face no such difficulties. According to Northeastern University, Learning to work with others in a virtual environment can make you a more effective leader. You’ll develop critical leadership skills by utilizing specialized knowledge, creating efficient processes, and making decisions about best communication practices, such as what should be discussed in-person or electronically.

In an era where telecommuting is becoming a far more mainstream experience, graduates of online college may actually be at an advantage as we all adjust to the rapidly changing 21st Century workplace.

All of this helps to underscore the importance of choosing an online college that actually offers a full range of career services. Evidence suggests that students graduating from online schools with career service departments or designated career service advisors enjoy greater opportunity and success in the job market. For more, check out The Importance of Career Services for Online College Students

Connect with Prepory for college admissions counseling
AD
Connect with Prepory for college admissions counseling
AD

0 Comments

Want to leave a comment? Then sign up now!