Employers and the Stigma Against Online Degrees


For many students, earning a Master’s degree online seems like the best option for them. Money may be tight, and doing schoolwork on their own time may mean that they can continue working their job. Or earning a Master’s degree online may mean that they can go ahead and start a family without having to worry about childcare. Or they may be able to fulfill their dream of traveling and still earn an education. The reasons are limitless. However, students who are considering earning a Master’s degree online should be aware that some employers see it as being worth less than a degree earned by a student at a traditional university.

One reason that employers may believe this is because they feel that the interaction between students and their peers and students and their teachers is quite less than at a traditional university. While many online degree programs offer support via chat rooms or email, many employers do not feel that this makes up for the lack of face to face dialogue.

Another reason that employers may feel that a Master’s degree online is not on par with a traditional degree is because the trend is so new. It has only been in the past few years that earning a Master’s degree online has enjoyed the popularity that it does now. Employers may feel that this newer concept has yet to be proven, or that it is impossible to know this early out whether it is successful, and prefer to stick with the old tried and true methods that they have known for years. Or employers may be wary of the ever present threat of diploma mills.

Employers may also feel that online courses do not provide the informative discussions that take place in the classroom. They believe that there are many elements of education that cannot be measured by GPA that takes place just with a student being interactive with other students. This situation is next to impossible to recreate in an online setting. Employers also feel that learning in a traditional class gives the opportunity for spontaneous debates and discussions to crop up, which leads to a more interactive and thorough learning of the subject. They feel that the online student is simply spoon fed the information.

Employers may also feel that students who choose to earn their Master’s degree online are taking the easy way out because it does not require the same commitments as taking a traditional course. This may cause them to doubt the student’s ability to stick with a job and a company long term.


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