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Hiring Managers Slow to Accept Online Degrees, says Vault

posted 7/17/2008 7:44:06 AM |
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July 15, 2008 11:20 AM Eastern Daylight Time
63% Say They Favor Job Candidates from Traditional Schools

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--While employers and hiring managers are seeing more job applicants with online degrees these days, they’re not exactly clamoring to hire them. According to’s 2008 Online Degrees Survey, while 49% of those who make hiring decisions have encountered applicants with online degrees, a 15 percentage point increase from this survey three years ago, only 19% have actually hired a candidate who only possessed an online degree, a one point decrease from the last survey.

“A candidate with an online degree would have to be truly extraordinary otherwise to merit serious consideration,” said one hiring manager. “I don't think online degrees reflect a serious commitment to education on the part of the degree-holder.”

Vault’s 2008 Online Degrees Survey was conducted in early June and consists of responses from 172 employers and hiring managers working in various industries across the United States.

When asked if they would give equal consideration to job candidates with online degrees and those with degrees from traditional colleges and universities, 63% of survey respondents said they would favor job candidates with traditional degrees while 35% said they would give them equal consideration.

Vault CEO Erik Sorenson said, “Everything has moved online, including education. Though more and more Americans are getting educated online, there is still a bias toward traditional classroom education, especially for high-end careers and top-ranked companies.”

While 83% of employers and hiring managers say that online degrees are more acceptable than they were five years ago, it seems there is still a ways to go before employers fully embrace them.

For specific survey responses, visit

Some applicable stats include:
1. Have you ever encountered a job applicant with an online degree?
Yes - 49 %, No -51 %

2. Have you ever hired a job applicant who only possessed an online degree?
Yes - 19%, No -81%

3. Would you give equal consideration to job candidates with online degrees and job applicants with degrees from traditional colleges and universities?
I would favor candidates with online degrees - 2%, I would favor candidates from traditional schools - 63%, I would give would give equal consideration - 35%

4. Is an online Bachelor's degree as credible as an offline degree?
No not credible and not acceptable - 18%, No not as credible but is acceptable - 59%, Yes 23%

5. Is an online Graduate degree as credible as an offline degree?
No not credible and not acceptable - 18%, No not as credible but is acceptable - 54%, Yes 28%

6. Are online degrees more acceptable today than they were five years ago?
Yes - 83 %, No 17%

[WoW] It is important to note that this survey does not necessarily differentiate between institutions like the University of Phoenix and traditional colleges and universities that offer online graduate programs. Additionally, there are similar sentiments reflected in other surveys when comparing institutions like ATI and DeVry to traditional colleges and universities. Credit hours at institutions like ATI and DeVry are unlikely to transfer to other institutions.

If the institutions advertise on reruns of Walker Texas Ranger or Oprah, one should be wary of the value that a degree or certification holds in the eyes of prospective employer.

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Jul 17 @ 10:13AM  
Damn...........and all that wasted time I put into that online degree....... Oh well......guess i really didnt want to be a brain surgeon anyway....

Jul 17 @ 10:25AM  
Unfortunately, during my six years as a veterans employment counselor, I encountered many clients who came to see me after getting a degree or certification online or at non-traditional colleges and universities. They didn't do their homework and found out belatedly after going deeply into debt that the marketplace had little regard for the institution that they were enrolled at.

I had advised clients seeking a graduate degree to investigate the online educational options being offered by traditional schools as the name of the school is second only to the degree itself in importance when seeking employment.

Jul 17 @ 10:26AM  
I can see it both way...on-line and in real life.......

It's like taking an on-line course for a speeding ticket.....I always have my mom do it for me. So, basically...they can have someone els do the work for them, if they wanted. I'm sure there are some honest people out there. But, I would't put it past others.

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Hiring Managers Slow to Accept Online Degrees, says Vault