Wednesday, 11 February 2015

More Employers Are Now Accepting Online Master's Degrees, Say Experts
Nowadays studying online has become one of the most preferable options for most aspiring learners as it offers them high levels of flexibility and convenience to study and work at the same time. After completing her bachelor's degree in 2007, Patricia Samuels from Orlando, Florida decided to pursue an online master's programme in special education. She opted for an online programme as it allowed her to balance a full-time teaching job at a local school and yet focus on her studies. She says “To me, a master's is a master's. Employers care that you have the degree and that you have the knowledge, they don't care if you got it online.”

A Flexible Mode Of Instruction

Samuels is one of many students around the world who are pursuing higher education programmes online to properly juggle their work and education. With the growing popularity of online learning, digital degrees are now getting widely recognised and accepted by universities and employers alike, say experts. However, some specific programmes are more reputed than most others. Hence if you are planning to earn an online degree to earn higher salaries and give your career the needed push, then you need to do some research before you apply for a programme.

According to education experts, when selecting the most suitable online master's degree, you need to focus more on the reputation of the institution and the programme as these are more significant than the mode of learning.

Earning A Degree Is More Important

Catherine Horn, Associate Education Professor at the University of Houston, says “I think we're still in a space where the institution granting the online degree continues to have some sway in at least its perceived value.” The online graduate education programme offered by the university has been ranked top in 2015 by U.S. News. Horn adds that several institutions do not even specify the mode of learning in the transcripts and degrees. Hence school officials and employers can only view the name of the school and the programme.

This is hardly ever important in public school districts even when an online degree is noticeable believe education experts. In the sphere of K-12, online master's degrees are widespread and thus recruiters do not consider them as something different or separate from the norm, adds Horn. Most recruiters and hiring managers who have attended a school or college programme recently have experienced either the blended learning approach or even fully online study. Hence they have the idea that online classes are as challenging as on-campus courses.

Getting The Right Qualifications

Jeff Cravy, the principal of South Whidbey Elementary School, is charged with the responsibility of recruiting teachers for the school in Washington. He says that he does not have any second thoughts about applicants who have earned their degrees online. Cravy adds “I haven't had a bad experience with anyone who has been trained at a specific online college.”

He believes that it is more important whether you have the right credentials and the skills, match the requirements of the position and how well you perform in the interview.

What do you think about online degrees? Are you already pursuing an online programme? Share your views, opinions and experiences with us by commenting below.

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