How Credible Are Online Degrees? How Employers Evaluate Online Degrees


While the flexibility that studying an online degree offers might be tempting, especially if you have a busy life, the concern of its credibility is always present. Questions such as “are online degrees respected by employers?” or “are online degrees credible?” will pop up if you are interested in pursuing an online degree.

The answer is that a degree earned online has equal value to a degree earned on campus. In order to help you choose the right educational path for you, this article will debunk some common misconceptions concerning online degrees.

The Credibility of Online Degrees: Are They Respected?

With the increasing popularity and effectiveness of remote learning, employers’ perception of online degrees is steadily improving. This is a result of online degrees offering appropriate technology, resources, and practices to successfully complete online education.

Moreover, some of the most popular universities and colleges are embracing remote learning as it offers various benefits that on-campus learning simply cannot. With this in mind, employers and recruiters recognize and respect the value of online degrees.

It is understandable for students to have hesitations towards online degrees; however, with the perspective shift on online education, you do not need to fear future success. Nonetheless, let’s go into more detail about the beliefs employers have about online degrees compared to traditional degrees.

What Employers Think About Online vs. Traditional Degrees


Day by day, we are overcoming the stigma surrounding online education. Online classes are in no way inferior to traditional, face-to-face classroom learning. In fact, with the flexibility offered by remote learning, students who are limited by geography, time, or opportunity are able to obtain a degree.

Additionally, many students pursuing an online degree also have other priorities, such as a full-time job or a family to take care of. Hence, they are required to possess great time management and organizational skills; both skills are seen as essential by employers.

On the other hand, when it comes to fields such as medicine, engineering, law, or architecture, having an online degree might harm your chances of getting a job. Since these fields require hands-on training and lab work, it is hard to earn a degree online.

This is where getting a traditional degree might be the best choice for you. On-campus learning provides you with more program options, a greater level of involvement and interactions, and of course, hands-on practical experience.

How to Present Your Online Degree to Employers

The way you present yourself to possible employers will either make or break your chances of getting the job. That’s why it’s essential to draft a convincing resume and cover letter that maximize your chances to illustrate your education and how it makes you a valuable candidate.

Here is how you do it.

List skills

In a competitive labor market, having vital work skills will differentiate you from others. Online education has proven to help develop crucial skills such as:

  • Time management
  • Digital literacy
  • Problem-solving
  • Organization
  • Communication

Therefore, list them right after the industry-specific skills taught through your online degree.

Share accreditation

Sharing industry-accepted accreditation or trade qualifications will make your resume stand out and help the recruiter make their decision. So any qualification, recognition, or certification is welcomed when applying for a job.

Mention experience

Experience is undoubtedly appreciated by any recruiter, so when presenting your online degree, you should go into detail about hands-on experiences by mainly focusing on the skills and strengths you possess or have gained during these projects. Be sure to mention responsibilities and duties related to the job you are applying for.

Mention workshops

Employers love people interested in furthering their careers and expanding their knowledge. This can be done through different seminars and workshops. However, remember to keep them relevant to the job you are applying for.

Additionally, you should avoid simply listing the courses you have taken. Put in the extra effort and provide context for each workshop together with the results you got from them.

What To Consider in an Online Degree Program


Undoubtedly, when choosing an online degree program, there are a few indicators you need to consider that determine the quality of that online program. Here is what you need to look out for.


Accreditation is one of the first factors you must cross off your checklist before enrolling in an online program. It is important because it validates the program, asserts its credibility, and guarantees the school’s prominence.

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Employers will most likely do a background check to see if your degree is from an accredited institution, especially if it’s unfamiliar.

Student success

Deciding to go through with an online degree program requires a lot of research. You can contact the admissions office to get information on students’ success, graduation, and job placement rates.

Moreover, you can ask your school administration to guide you through the process of online learning, job searching, and applying for possible careers, even though you might be taking a full-online program.

To ensure that the institution has a good reputation and is respected by the labor market, you can research what the employers think of the school’s graduates. This will help you get an idea of whether or not that institution is right for you.

On-campus options

Universities with physical campuses are generally seen as more credible than fully online schools. Something about having a brick-and-mortar location they can go to in case they decide to follow hybrid or on-campus courses makes students more secure and comfortable.

Additionally, a degree from an institution with only a P.O. Box or suite number will create doubts for employers.

Not-for-profit institution

For a long time, for-profit institutions have had a reputation for having low graduation rates, low-quality standards, suspicious admission processes, and high student debt. As a result, it is beneficial for your future employability to choose a non-profit college or university.

These institutions are more likely to be accredited, have great student support services, and have high graduation rates. By enrolling in a non-profit institution, you will be assured that your online degree will be respected by possible employers.


With so many students enrolling in online education, employers are becoming more aware of the benefits and acceptance of online degrees. As long as you earn a degree from an accredited, non-profit institution, you should have no concerns about your employment opportunities.

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