Should You Hire Someone With An Online Degree?

Wow! You think you’ve found the hire of your dreams. They look great on paper and they breezed through the interview. There’s just one problem. They earned their degree online. You’d really like to offer them the position, but you’re not sure if you should hire someone with an online degree.

Well, mull no more. There are a host of reasons to embrace online education and give that excellent candidate a try.

Online Learners Possess Unique Abilities

Earning an online degree is no easy feat. It not only requires an incredible amount of dedication and the ability to maintain focus in an, oftentimes, incredibly distracting setting, but pursuing a distance education also demonstrates a wealth of other skills.

Online learners must master the art of prioritizing, managing their time effectively, taking initiative and motivating themselves, collaborating with others online, working independently, and staying organized. They must also possess top-notch computer skills and be very internet savvy.

And your candidate earned their degree without the distraction–and subsequent hangovers–of frat parties, dorm room antics, and college pub crawls.

Should You Hire Someone With An Online Degree?

Online Degrees are Gaining Acceptance

There is empirical evidence that supports the theory that online degrees from accredited programs are equal to–and, in some cases, superior to–their “bricks and mortar” counterparts. In fact, CBS’s “What’s an Online MBA Worth?” notes that the U.S. Department of Education’s “Evaluation of Evidence-Based Practices in Online Learning” found that “students in online-learning conditions performed better on tests and earned higher grades than those who received face-to-face instruction.”

Furthermore, you will in no way be breaking new ground by hiring someone who holds an online degree. More and more employers are realizing that the graduates of distance learning programs have earned the exact same degree as their classroom-attending counterparts. Franklin University’s “The Truth About Online Degrees: 5 Common Myths Busted” states that a survey of the Society for Human Resource Management showed that 79% of those asked had hired someone with an online degree in the previous year.

And, you will likely see a sharp increase in the number of job candidates that hold online degrees. According to USA Today‘s “Online Education Degrees Skyrocket,” “four big universities, operating mostly online, have quickly become the largest education schools in the USA.” Yes, it seems that the nation’s students are clamoring for distance ed.

But Remember that Not All Online Degrees are Equal

When it comes to honoring online degrees, it is important to realize that they are not all created equal. An important step in evaluating the worth of a degree is determining if it was received from an accredited school. A great way to do this is to input the school’s name into the U.S. Department of Education’s Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs.

Plus, some degree programs lend themselves better to online study. “Best Online Degrees Programs, by Enrollment” lists the most popular offerings with Business Administration or Management taking top honors.”

It is also best to select candidates who have graduated from an institution that does not bear the words “continuing” or “distance” education in its name. A degree from a recognized college or university that has an actual bricks and mortar campus is likely the best contender.

So don’t let that dream candidate’s online degree prevent you from hiring someone who may just prove to be one of your company’s greatest assets.

Would you hire someone with an online degree? Why or why not?

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