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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

How Will an Online Degree Help Your Job Prospects in the Current Economy

Posted by patrick

By Jane Apple

Even though numbers are getting for Wall Street, jobless rates continue to hurt the economy. While job opportunities do exist, the competition is getting tougher as more people in every industry imaginable vie for select positions. Its well known that having a higher education will give most candidates an edge over those without. As online college degree programs gain in popularity due to their convenience and often cost advantage, questions come up concerning how they compare to the traditional campus based university degrees. While the U.S. Department of Labor sees some light at the end of the downtrodden economic tunnel, predicting that all seven of the major job categories will expand in terms of job opportunity over the next decade, many future students will ask themselves if their diploma was earned online or at a campus university?

The Trends: While the internet has been around for some time now, online schools have not. And those that were around didn't draw the same number of applicants as did campus-based schools. In the last seven years though, those numbers have changed. According to a Sloan Consortium survey of online courses the number of people enrolled in online courses has more than doubled since 2002 and that the number of enrollees increased by more than 12 percent last year to nearly 4 million.

While in years past some employers cast a negative eye towards applicants with online degrees, the number of quality online schools has significantly improved the general perception of degrees from these schools.

How Grads with Online College Degrees Can Flourish: Employers concerns over an online degree generally stem from whether or not its from an accredited degree program and the teaching methods utilized. Fortunately for students currently looking for accredited online college degree programs, there are a number of resources to assist with the filtering process. A simple online college search of accredited degree programs will deliver a host of results, including resource sites that show provide information on several accredited colleges at once. Sites including the Council for Higher Education Accreditation's maintain databases of more than 7,000 degree-granting and non-degree-granting institutions in addition to 17,000 programs that are accredited by United States accrediting organizations.

Businesses Educate Online: Online training courses have become more commonplace in businesses " especially large corporations. It saves costs as employers don't have to pay for travel or training facilities, and it classes can often be attended a few hours at a time meaning lost time shouldn't be much of an issue. wrote, Today there's a good chance employees at a large corporation are themselves online students, maybe even the hiring manager. In a 2007 research study by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) over 70% of the respondent companies offered tuition reimbursement for online degrees from regionally accredited colleges,.

Its all about the interview anyway regardless of whether a degree came from an online school or campus based institution, its important to showcase ones academic track record and how it pertains to the position applied for. Showing a potential employer the actual hard copies of transcripts, graded assignments, and research will serve well during the interview showing tangible evidence that highlight an online learning experience.

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