Post # 1
I recently graduated from a university with a MA in Communications. The university is a private, traditional university that also offers many of their programs online. My degree, in no way, indicates that I was an online student which I’ve found very handy in avoiding some employer preconceived notions about online education. I, however, find these judgements to be extremely offbase. In my opinion, as long as an education is A) accredited, B) comes from a non-profit, and C) is from a university with a strong academic background/reputation, there seems to be little difference in the value of my education – the modality does not affect my learning capabilites.
What are your thoughts? Do you think there is a negative view of distance education? Do you think this negative/positive reputation is warranted?
Post # 3
I think the issue is that, with so many non-accredited, for-profit programs cropping up out there, sometimes employers have a hard time distinguishing between online degrees from reputable colleges/universities and “certification” type degrees. So they make the (unfair) assumption that only “brick and mortar” degrees are legitimate/worthwhile.
I also think it depends on your field of study. I’m doing an online program for my Masters in Library Sciences right now, and everything I’ve seen in the information studies field is that online programs are very much accepted. In other fields, though, this might not be the case.
Post # 5
I think employeers view long distance education as less than if you actually went to a physical building.
– They view you in pyjamas with a coffee in your hand
– You can “leave” the lesson to go to the bathroom, have a cigarette outside, go pick up the mail, then come back for a few minutes, then cook supper…. they think you can’t stay at the job long enough to finish the task at hand
– They don’t see the discipline in doing online schooling because it is done in your timeline not a real job setting where you have to work for hours in a row
Employers like it when you are disciplined enough to get up in the morning, get out of the house, take a bus or drive your car to a physical building, have the morning study schedule, then break time, then study some more, then lunch, then the afternoon study schedule. then go home. It’s more like a “real” job… And if you can do THAT, then you can do the job.
Post # 6
@happyface: While I understand that this is how online education is viewed, in reality, the same coursework must be completed in the same time frame as a traditional school. Additionally, it could be that students who achieve a degree online may be more apt to teach themselves, be go-getters, and have the ability to adapt to situations in which little guidance is available. Afterall, online students can not ask an instructor a question the moment it arises and are left, in part, to teach themselves difficult concepts from reading and articles with little traditional classroom guidance.
Furthermore, while traditional students prove their ability to get out of the house and work in a classroom enviornment, online students can prove their ability to do this by working part or full time while enrolled in school. Indeed, this experience could be considered more valuable then the classroom experience of a traditional student.
Post # 7
I’ve done some pretty substantial research regarding distance education, and though the job market perception hasn’t been the focus, it does look like there’s still some stigma. I’m in the same field as Mrs. Spring, and I mostly agree with her that online degrees are accepted (I think partially because there are only so many accredited schools in library science and their reputations tend to be well-known, whether online or not), but some older people who may be involved with hiring decisions do seem to have lingering negative views. My personal outlook is that as long as there’s some “real world” experience like an internship or something to back up the coursework, and the qualifiers you mentioned, there’s nothing to say online is any less good than in-person.
Post # 8
@TankGirl: I, too, have done some research in the area, specifically in job market investigation. Unfortunately, it appears that the majority of employers when posed with two identical candidates would choose the traditional student over the online student, even when posed with an option to request more information from the candidate – this raises concerns.