Considering an online degree? If you’re thinking about adding online learning to your plans for after high school, rest assured, many others are making the same choice. The popularity of online education options is at an all-time high.

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Key Takeaways:

  • More employers now see online degrees as credible as traditional ones.
  • Always verify that the online program is accredited by a recognized authority to ensure quality and legitimacy. This is crucial for the degree’s acceptance and value.
  • Choose an online degree that aligns with your career goals and industry standards.

Gone are the days when online degrees were second-best. Today’s virtual classrooms are attracting students of all kinds, from eager undergraduates to seasoned professionals.

Are online master’s degrees taken seriously?

Undergraduate students often choose distance learning for its flexibility and convenience. Many students find that online programs allow them to learn from home and manage their own time, making education more accessible, especially for those with full-time jobs or young children. This adaptability is particularly beneficial for those seeking an undergraduate degree, as it helps overcome barriers related to scheduling and location. Below, you can find useful nuggets of information from professionals in the education sphere.

Josh Prada, an Assistant Professor, Applied Linguistics, IUPUI, commented the following:

  • If you want to go into research I’d advise against it. I know of some great online programs, but research, particularly in some areas, requires supervision and close interaction with your supervisor.
  • Professional MAs lend themselves to online formats better than research MAs.
  • “Universities” such as DeVry, U of Phoenix, and Walden are not considered real universities by most scholars. I’d say don’t even consider them.
  • If you can find a hybrid program go for it. Some programs have face to face summers and online long semesters. Some institutions have intensive summer programs where you spend two summers on campus.
  • Your diploma won’t read “online” on it. In other words, nobody needs to know. (Edit: thanks David Long, for pointing out that some diplomas do include the word “online”). Your transcripts probably will though…in case someone asks for them.
  • If you just want to learn, think of open courses. Coursera, for example, is an option. Many of their courses can actually be put towards an online MA.
  • If you choose to enroll in an online MA, be active, follow the calendar, and be in touch with your cohort mates and your professors. You’ll feel that you’re part of a learning community and that will show when you talk about your degree: and that is taken seriosuly.
  • If you can, meet with other cohort mates in real life. It will give you a sense of partnership that will come in handy when finals roll in.

William Beeman, a Professor and Chair, Department of Anthropology, University of Minnesota is here to share his insights:

What Do Employers Think of Online Degrees?

The perception of online credentials by potential employers can vary, but generally, their views are either neutral or positive. A recent Northeastern University survey found that over 60% of HR managers consider online learning as effective, or even more so, than traditional in-person instruction. Moreover, more than 70% of organizations have hired candidates with online degrees in the past year. Additionally, over half of the respondents believe that most higher degrees will be obtained online in the future.

However, this doesn’t mean that employers won’t have questions about your online degree. It’s important to be ready to discuss why you opted for online education and your reasons for choosing a specific school and program. While you might feel a bit anxious about justifying your choice of online education, as long as your institution is accredited and you have sound reasons for your selection, it’s unlikely to be problematic.

How to Find a Credible Online Degree Program?

Finding a good online program is usually not too hard. Many online courses offered today are of good quality. However, it’s important to check out the school and its programs before you decide to join. This helps make sure your time and money are well spent on getting a good education.

To pick a trustworthy and quality online degree, you should look at two things: accreditation and reputation. Accreditation is very important. It means that an outside group has checked and approved the school’s program. Make sure the accreditation is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and is still valid. Schools often share this information on their websites. You can also ask someone at the school or look up information through the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).

Also, think about how well the school or program is known and respected. There are groups that look at and rank online schools. They share what they find so students can make better choices. These rankings can help you decide where to study by showing which schools are known for being good and reliable.


Is online education effective compared to traditional in-person learning?

The answer may vary due to individual preferences. However, in the modern day and age, online education is highly effective, and studies have shown that it can be even more effective than traditional face-to-face programs. Hybrid learning, which combines online and in-person elements, has been found to be particularly successful.

What do employers generally think of online degrees?

Employers’ perceptions of online degrees are generally positive or neutral. Over 60% of human resource managers perceive online learning as effective or more effective than traditional instruction, and over 70% of organizations have hired someone with an online credential in the last year.

Is the reputation of the school important for online degree acceptance?

Yes, where you earn your online degree matters to employers. A school’s reputation plays a significant role in how your online degree is perceived. If the employer is familiar with the school and has a positive opinion of it, it can be a significant advantage.

What online degrees are available?

Online degree programs are available in numerous academic subjects, including education, fine arts, information technology, healthcare, business, engineering, and more. They are offered at all levels of postsecondary education, from associate’s degrees to PhDs.


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