Are online degrees accepted by employers?
Online degrees are increasingly getting recognized by employers. However, there are certain factors that influence recognition. Read this post to learn more.
Are online degrees accepted by employers?
The learning system transitioned offline to online as the pandemic raised the red flag. Both students and educational institutions began to prefer online degree programs. It became easier for both educators and students to access e-learning courses without leaving the comfort of their homes. However, one common question among students is whether online degrees are worth it. And it is frequently debated whether degrees obtained virtually earn recognition in the job market.
So, this blog is here to answer one of the most frequently asked questions: Do employers recognize online courses? Let's find out.
The Trend of Online Degree Programs
Before accessing if employees accept online degree programs, let us shed some light on the current trend in this field.
With the rise of online learning, virtual degrees are becoming an extremely popular choice for learners. According to a KPMG and Google study, the value of reskilling and online certification stands at 93 USD, making it one of the largest categories in the online learning industry. The Indian e-learning industry stood at INR 91.41 billion in 2019, and it is expected to grow to INR 312.13 billion by 2026.
In terms of online degree programs, there has been a surge in online BBA and MBA programs. Aside from that, courses in digital marketing, big data, and business analytics remained the most popular virtual programs. Furthermore, many students in India's K12 education system have turned to online platforms to obtain supplementary education and extra classes. This trend is expected to accelerate as technological advancements permeate the educational landscape.
Aside from traditional degree programs, companies such as Google offer online certificate courses in professional fields such as digital marketing. Because of the affiliation of these online courses, Indian employers have begun to accept them as proof of employees' skills and knowledge.
Types of online degrees
Employers' acceptance of your online degree is highly dependent on the type of degree course you have pursued. Some online degrees are indeed more popular than others. As a result, we've compiled a list of two categories of online degrees available in India.
100% Online Courses
The Indian education landscape began focusing on offering 100 percent online degree courses in 2020. Although mostly the result of the pandemic, this transition was made possible due to the UGC policies implemented in 2018.
Under full online degree programs, learners must attend classes online, including virtual meetings, interactions, and exams. However, there is no set schedule most of the time, and students can learn at their own pace. After completing the program, learners are given an e-certificate, and, in some cases, certificates are mailed to their physical address.
The length of a UGC online degree varies according to whether it is a bachelor's or master's degree. The former usually lasts three years, while the latter lasts two years.
Aside from the fully online courses, some educational institutions offer hybrid courses that combine online and on-campus teaching methods. Hybrid courses provide students with theoretical knowledge and much-needed face-to-face practical experience.
Does an online degree have value in the market?
Despite numerous examples of how online degrees have emerged as the latest market trend, there are still some reservations. In practice, students frequently wonder whether an online degree is worth it and whether it will have real market value.
Almost everything can now be personalized, thanks to the internet. As a result, it is now simple to pursue a virtual degree program at an Indian or foreign university sitting in the comfort of your home. As the trend takes off, a virtual degree from reputed and well-known institutions readily gets value in the real job market. According to research, approximately 82% of business owners regard an online degree as having the same value as an on-campus degree. However, you must learn to distinguish between unaccredited "degree mills" and scams. Such institutions would lead you to nothing but a dead end.
That being said, we are not denying that proof of a valid degree is important in landing a job. However, it is not the only deciding factor. When an employer looks at your CV, they will focus on the skills you acquired in addition to your degree. So, below, we have stated some of the factors that influence employers when accepting online degrees.
Are online courses recognized by employers?
Let's face the elephant in the room! Do employers really accept or recognize online courses with an open mind?
Well, it would be wrong to answer in a straight 'yes' or 'no,' as several factors influence their decision. Before we go any further, remember that whenever an employer comes across a CV from someone with an online degree, they search for factors other than just the degree. Sone of those factors has been discussed below.
Factors that influence employers' acceptance of online degrees
Your skill level
As previously stated, employers nowadays seek skilled and talented employees who are well-versed in their respective industries. Therefore, what skills you learned, are those applicable to the job demands, and if you have gained practical experiences are more important in the real job scenario.
Hence, it's not about how you got your education as it is about what you got in today's world. Always remember that the benchmark is your expertise or talent, not how you obtained a degree.
Accreditation of the program
If your degree program is not accredited or affiliated with any official body, all of your knowledge and skills will be ignored. According to one study, more than 55% of Indian employers consider the accreditation and reputation of an education institute when evaluating a candidate's qualifications. Employers prefer UGC online degrees in India or those accredited by AICTE and other official bodies. Remember that businesses will look to see if the course is properly certified or affiliated while reviewing your credentials. As a result, only choose an online degree program from a reputable and recognized institution.
The field of study
Although degrees earned online have gained popularity in recent years, there are a few fields of study where a virtual degree is preferable. In some courses, classes conducted online are sufficient, whereas, for some others, practical exposures are a must. As a result, before deciding whether to take an online or offline course, consider your course's needs. Apart from that, keep in mind that the importance of your online degree is highly influenced by how your employer perceives your learning style. In this regard, it is worth noting that approximately 70% of organizations have indicated that they have hired more candidates with an online degree in 2020.
Because courses recognized by government bodies such as UGC, AICTE, and others are more valuable in India, the course duration must correspond to the ones stated by them. It is a deciding factor that employers frequently consider when reviewing a candidate's credentials. As a result, a three-year bachelor's online degree course after the 12th and a two-year master's degree program are deemed ideal. However, the duration of diploma and certificate courses may differ. Therefore, it is always advisable to select an institution that is affiliated and offers courses in accordance with the standards established by the affiliating body. Employers place a higher value on such degrees.
Because online courses are becoming more popular, the bright side is that employers now value degrees earned online. These degrees frequently demonstrate a learner's ambition, perseverance, and synchronization. As a result, earning a degree or a professional certificate through online classes could be a viable option. People's perceptions are changing, and online degrees earned from an affiliated and reputable institution are becoming more widely recognized and accepted by employers.