Guest post*: The value of an online degree in the workplace

Just a few years ago, employers may not have thought much of online degrees or may not have known what to think of them. These days, online degrees are a lot more reputable. Prestigious universities such as Columbia in the U.S. and Oxford in England now offer online degree programs. The list goes on, with higher education bigwigs from MIT, Harvard, and others all offering free online classes for students around the world from their open courseware sites. So, some of the best schools in the world are embracing online education, and the way people view this form of education is definitely shifting.

If you’re a recent graduate of an online university, you may be struggling with other recent grads to secure your dream job. Fortunately, it’s likely that you’ll find your online degree serves you well in the job market. Here are three important advantages an online degree brings to the table in terms of your career:

1 An online degree shows you’re self-motivated

Employers know online graduates can handle the job. As an online student, you have to be incredibly self-motivated to achieve your academic goals. You have to carve time out of your busy schedule to listen to lectures, complete assignments, and study for tests. You might need to work full-time while in school and still muster up the energy to complete all your course work. Traditional colleges provide a lot more structure in terms of schedule than online colleges do. So, online students have to be driven to succeed.

2 Your online schooling prepares you well

Some research suggests that online students actually learn more from their classes than their offline peers. High quality, accredited online schools teach you most of what you need to know to thrive in your chosen field. They also often teach you to manage your time well, think in a more critical manner, and solve problems independently.

3 A diploma from an online school proves you’re committed to education

Most students enroll in online degree programs because they want to and because they’re committed to furthering their careers as well as expanding their minds. Although college students who enroll in traditional, offline programs often do so for similar reasons, some of them do just go to college because it’s what expected of them after secondary school.

Since many online students are a tad older and more aware of what they want out of life, their enrollment at online schools often signals their desire to become more skilled, talented, and knowledgeable workers. Employers look for job seekers who are ready to learn and adapt, and those with online degrees often fit the bill.

* Our guest Mary Crum is a freelance writer and professional blogger who enjoys writing about pedagogy, technology, and distance learning at online institutions around the world. Right now, she works for online colleges in Alaska to try to increase awareness about the benefits of learning online. Please leave your comments and questions below. Mary appreciates your feedback!

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