Should You Hire a Candidate with an Online Degree?

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In the past, online learning was seen as an easy way out, as people could earn a flashy degree without much of a time or financial investment. However, things have drastically changed. As of 2012, 62.4 percent of colleges and universities offered fully online programs — representing a nearly 30 percent increase from 10 years earlier in 2002. In fact, the prestigious U.S. News & World Report even started a Best Online Programs ranking in early 2015.

Distance learning is here to stay, so if you’ve been shying away from candidates with an online degree, you’re missing out. Many prestigious schools now offer fully online programs, such as Indiana University—Bloomington and the University of North Carolina — Chapel Hill, allowing students to get a first-class education, without having to physically be on campus.

3 Reasons to Hire Candidates with an Online Degree

Still not convinced you should hire someone with an online degree? Learn three reasons why it’s time to ditch this outdated belief once and for all:

  1. Online Learners Are Incredibly Self Disciplined. When a person earns their degree online, they don’t have the structure of a traditional classroom to keep them up-to-speed on their coursework. Therefore, they must set aside time to study and remember when assignments are due. If a candidate has successfully completed this type of study, you can be certain they’re a self-starter who takes deadlines seriously — and what’s not to like about that?
  2. They’re Problem Solvers. Online learners are used to being on their own and not relying on others when the going gets a little rough. If they had a technical issue or needed help understanding a confusing concept from class, they had to find a solution to overcome the obstacle. This highly transferrable skill will definitely be an asset to the team, as you can be sure they’ll pitch in and help during a crisis.
  3. You’ll Have More Candidates to Choose From. An overwhelming 1 in 4 students, or a total of 5.4 million people, took at least one online class in 2012. If you exclude all of these people, your candidate selection pool will be seriously drained. Don’t limit your options just because of an archaic conviction that online degrees are inferior to those earned the traditional route.

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