Have you reached the limits of your current role, but you can’t advance until you achieve a higher level of education? Are you hoping to switch careers, but can’t do it without the kind of education you can only get from a degree program? Would you like more opportunities for advancement, training, partnership, entrepreneurship or travel? If you answered yes to any of those questions, an online degree might be right for you. Yet many prospective students are afraid if they pursue an online degree, employers might not respect it, and all that hard work might therefore be invalidated.
Here’s the question: Is there reason to worry? Do employers care where you got your degree? Or do they just care you have what it takes to get the job done? Let’s explore that now:
The Short Answer: Online Degrees Are a Go
The stigma attached to online degrees is a holdover from when many of the options were unaccredited. When a program isn’t overseen by an accrediting third party, then obviously the quality of the program is likely to be lower – if not guaranteed.
Today that’s no longer the case. Many institutions of higher learning that started as on-campus locations now offer online degree programs. They are thoroughly vetted by third parties and taught by the same faculty who teach classes in person.
This has engendered a widespread acceptance of online education, mostly because employers would rather have employees with a higher level of knowledge than employees who are stuck with a current skill set due to an imagined stigma about online education. Employers recognize other benefits as well.
Many companies changed their minds about online degrees when they realized that if their workers attended school remotely, they wouldn’t have to lose them to full-time educational programs. If your employer values you and knows that you want to go to school, they’ll probably try to make it happen instead of disparaging the degree.
Many employers, again in an effort to retain good workers, will offer tuition reimbursement to students if they agree to stay on a certain amount of time after they earn the degree. This is not only a fantastic deal for people who like their jobs but want to increase their education, it also proves that employers are in favor of online learning.
Know the Limits
Not every employer is comfortable with online degrees. Some are stuck in thinking “old school” on this new school system. Make sure you know how your employer feels before you embark on a program of education. You don’t want to discover after earning the degree that it doesn’t do anything for you at your company.
Online Degrees and You
In the end, whether or not you choose to pursue an online degree is up to you. The real question isn’t “Should I pursue an online degree?” but rather “Which online degree will work for me?”
The answer is, again, up to you. It will depend on your current career, whether you want to stay in that industry or change it, your current educational level and desired degree, what your employers are hoping to see, your location, your passions – and so on and so forth.
If, for instance, you’re interested in earning useful business and management skills, a Master of Science in Management might be the degree for you. On the other hand, perhaps you’re looking for skills more related to entrepreneurship or international finance, in which case a targeted MBA might be more your speed. Hoping to hit the pinnacle of your nursing career? A Doctor of Nursing Practice degree is a safe bet.
Get in Touch Today
Whatever the case, Abilene Christian University is here to help you achieve your goals. We have offered quality, Christ-centered education to our students for more than a century now. We have a place for you to learn and grow as a worker and person – on-campus or online. Please feel free to get in touch with us at any time at 855-219-7300 or acu.edu/online.