Once youve earned a career-oriented degree from an accredited, quality institution, its time to enter the job market. Graduates of online programs, however, may feel timid at presenting their online degrees to employers, afraid that they may be laughed out of the interview for taking classes over the Internet. While online learners are faced with some unique challenges, distance learning is becoming more common, and it is possible to find a reputable, fulfilling job with your online degree.
Get the support of your current employer before enrolling
One of the most legitimate ways to earn a degree online is through your current employer. Online students can take advantage of tuition reimbursement programs and ask their employer to sponsor their professional training and advanced education. If an employer is involved in the distance learning process, he or she will understand the schools accreditation, degree offerings, online environment and diploma delivery. This method of earning a degree online is also useful if you decide to leave your job and expect a new employer to credit your online training. The new boss will be more likely to accept your degree if your former employer approved.
Show the value of your degree
If you earned a distance degree on your own, its important that you know all the facts about your degree and can answer any questions that your future employer might ask. You should know the accreditation status of your school and be able to explain how and why your particular degree is legitimate. Offer to show the hiring manager any accreditation certificates or websites for proof of its credibility. If you enrolled in a program that is sponsored by a traditional campus, be sure to reveal this information, as it may convince skeptical hiring managers about the quality of your degree. Many degrees earned from distance programs that are also available at traditional brick and mortar campuses will look exactly the same as the traditional degree earned by on campus students.
Another way to maximize your online degree is to describe how completing an entire program through an independent study format is a testament to your ambition, self-discipline, organization, and ability to set and achieve goals. Earning a degree online by yourself takes more motivation than showing up to classes when you already live on campus. Your self-initiative will be a strong selling point to an employer looking for responsible, dedicated job candidates.
Emphasize the relevance of your degree for the practice
Degree programs designed for adult learners are offered to prepare students for real jobs in the current workforce. Students learn career-specific skills that can be applied to the real world as soon as they graduate. Make sure your employer understands the skills and tasks you are capable of, based on your online training. Some online degrees require students to complete internships or residencies, and if you have on-the-job work experience, include it on your resume and in your interview. Proving that you can work alone with technology, as well as contribute to a traditional work environment, should make you a valuable asset to the office.