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  • Writer's pictureDr. Cindy Atchley, PhD, MBA

How Employers View Online Education: A Changing Perspective

Not so long ago, the mention of an online degree on a résumé might have raised eyebrows. Fast forward to today, and the landscape of higher education and employer perceptions has dramatically changed. With the rise of reputable universities offering online courses and the COVID-19 pandemic normalizing remote learning and work, how do employers now view online education? Let's delve into this shifting perspective.


Recognition of Reputable institutions

Many prestigious universities, from Harvard to Stanford, now offer online courses, programs, and degrees. When employers recognize the name of a respected institution on a résumé, the medium of education (online or in-person) often becomes secondary to the institution's reputation.


Focus on Skills Over Medium

The digital transformation of many industries means skills, especially those related to technology, are in high demand. Employers are becoming more interested in what you can do (your skills and capabilities) rather than how you learned it. If your online course has equipped you with the relevant skills, that's a major point in your favor.


Understanding of Modern Life’s Demands

Today’s employers understand that people seek education while balancing other responsibilities, such as work, family, and personal commitments. Online education is often pursued by those showing initiative, time-management skills, and a commitment to personal development despite life's challenges.


Concerns about Course Quality

While the perception of online education has improved, not all online courses are created equal. Employers may still scrutinize the quality of the online course or program. Accreditation, faculty qualifications, course content, and the institution's overall reputation play a role in this assessment.


Appreciation for Soft Skills

Online education often demands a high degree of self-motivation, discipline, and time-management. Employers appreciate these qualities, recognizing that someone who can successfully complete an online degree possesses attributes beneficial in the workplace.


The Importance of Networking and Extracurriculars

One concern employer’s might have is whether online students have the same networking and team collaboration opportunities as their on-campus counterparts. Highlighting group projects, online discussions, and any extracurricular activities or internships can assuage these concerns.


Continuous Learning and Upgradation

Many professionals turn to online education for upskilling or reskilling. Employers value this commitment to continuous learning, seeing it as an indication of a proactive and dedicated employee. Many adults also use online education as a way to finish a degree started earlier in life.

While the tide is turning in favor of online education, candidates should be proactive in positioning their online degrees in the best light. This can be achieved by emphasizing the skills gained, the rigor of the program, any hands-on experiences, and the soft skills honed during the online educational journey.


Ultimately, in a world that's rapidly embracing digital transformation, online education is carving its rightful place, and employers are taking notice. ACC Worldwide Learns’ Mastering Online Academic Skills will teach potential online students to fully take advantage of the online learning environment.

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