woman working on a laptop

There are quite a few stereotypes and misconceptions concerning online degrees and courses. Professionals want to choose options that appeal to employers; and employers want professionals that are qualified for the job. Online degrees are associated with the widespread belief that students are not provided the career-focused education that they need in their respective field. Factors that must be taken into account however, are accessibility and the personal lives of students. Considering these factors, let us delve into what an online degree really entails.

How Do Online Degrees Work?

Online degree programs allow students to complete courses remotely, rather than on campus. Online degrees vary based on the institution, and are often scheduled in two options: rigid or flexible. Flexible scheduling affords students the ability to work at a personalized pace, as long as all work is submitted within a particular timeframe. Rigid classes operate much like classes on campus, requiring work to be submitted according to strict due dates.

Why Do Students Choose Online Degree Programs?

A comprehensive study done in 2012 by The Learning house Inc. and Alsatian Market Research highlights the top eight reasons students elect to complete online degrees. These reasons are:

  • Balance
  • Portable access to learning
  • Accelerated courses
  • Lower costs
  • Faster completion
  • Many degree options
  • Availability of accredited institutions
  • Self-paced learning

These reasons indicate that not only do students have the desire to graduate faster than traditional programs, they understand which learning methods work best for them. Balanced and self-paced learning places the individual student at the center of their degree, without fear of moving to quickly or slowly for others in a classroom setting. Lower costs are also extremely important, because even with financial aid, traditional courses may still be too expensive for students. It is important that these students recognize online degrees as a way to get a quality education that is still affordable.

How Do Employers Feel About Online Degrees?

The negative stigma associated with online degrees is rapidly declining. Susan Fontana, Regional Vice President of a global recruiting firm, Manpower, weighed in on this issue in a US News report. Fontana notes that not only have opinions changed in the past 10 years with the acceptance of online degrees becoming widespread, she also says that students who earned online degrees can have an advantage in the employment process. Susan explains, “When you think about balancing a job and the needs of a family with school, that says a lot about the discipline of a person.” This balance illustrates a willingness to achieve, and also allows students to seamlessly integrate the skills that they are learning. Employers understand that more and more students are enrolling in online courses, so many are abandoning the negative views of the past.

When considering an online degree, factors such as school reputation and programs offered need to be taken into account to ensure that students will be considered top prospects in their field of interest. Online degrees prove to have benefits tailored to each individual student, boosting their productivity.

Established institutions such as Stevenson University are able to provide online students a quality, private education. For more information, please contact us at gps-inquiry@stevenson.edu