For several years employers viewed online degrees as "not quite as authentic" as one from a "brick and mortar" college.
But that definitely has changed as the Internet has taken over our lives in every way.
A new survey conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and commissioned by eLearners.com (http://www.elearners.com), a web resource of EducationDynamics, which connects prospective students with online degrees, found that 79 percent of organizations had hired a job applicant with an online degree in the last 12 months. 87 percent of HR professionals also reported that online degrees are viewed more favorably today than they were five years ago.
"HR professionals' growing support of online education is simply a case of supply and demand," said Helen MacDermott, Content Director for eLearners.com. "As companies seek talented workers with education, they are finding that talent pool among the graduates of online colleges, who have chosen a mode of education that allows them to balance life, work and school. This has been particularly true in the current economic doldrums."
In fact, human resource professionals indicate, in the past few years, they have seen a tremendous influx of job applicants who received their degrees online. Of the SHRM members surveyed, 72 percent agreed that the current economic recession has led to an increase in the number of applicants with online degrees.
The SHRM survey, which questioned 449 randomly selected HR professionals, was designed to measure the perception of online higher educational programs and its graduates. Other highlights from the research, include:
? For A Majority, The Type of Degree Doesn't Matter
The research found that if two applicants with the same job experience were applying for the same job, more than half (55 percent) of human resource professionals said it would not matter if the applicant's degree came from an online or traditional degree program. That number climbs to 64 percent when asked about hiring applicants with associate's degrees.
? Graduates of Traditional Degree Programs Do Not Have Greater Self-Discipline, Time-Management Skills or Motivation Than Online Graduates
Seven in ten respondents (70 percent) disagreed with the statement that graduates of traditional degree programs have greater self-discipline than students who graduated from online degree programs.
Seven in ten (70 percent) respondents disagreed that graduates of traditional degree programs have better time-management skills than online graduates.
Nearly 7 in 10 (66 percent) respondents disagreed that graduates of traditional degree programs are more motivated than students who graduated from online degree programs.
Online Education Isn't Easy
Acknowledging the fact that online education is no easier than traditional coursework, 60 percent of respondents disagreed with the statement that online education is easier than traditional, face-to-face education.
An Online Degree is Credible
More than 60 percent of respondents (62 percent) disagreed that an online degree credential from a reputable institution with name recognition is less credible than a traditional degree.
All Courses Are Equal
73 percent of respondents said individual courses taken online are equally credible to traditional (i.e. brick-and-mortar) university courses.
"Keeping America competitive requires an educated workforce," continued MacDermott. "These findings demonstrate that HR professionals are acknowledging and embracing online education's role in meeting America's talent demands."