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Does an online degree make you suitable for a real-world job?

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Little off-topic today, but it’s an interesting discussion. Can on online degree help you find a *real* job? Like many, I’m a bit skeptical of online degrees. I know University of Phoenix this. Capella University that. But, I just tend to think you get a whole lot more from that classroom interaction. I’m happy to be proved wrong–and, keep in mind, just my opinion. Like I said, it’s an interesting discussion. Would love to hear your thoughts. Let’s hear what today’s guest poster, Tess Pajaron has to say…

In a world of ever increasing digital access from smartphones to tablets and wi-fi everywhere, the shift to online trends is inevitable. And while some people fear this shift, others are making it with leaps and bounds taking advantage of every opportunity they can get to work and live in a digital setting. The dream of accessing your office or classroom from a laptop in a coffee shop or on the beach is a real one for many people in upcoming generations, and for this reason it is no wonder why so many people have opted to free themselves from set hours to work and study how they choose.

Online classrooms have popped up all across the internet. With them has come the doubt that anyone can actually get a decent education without the interaction from a professor or other classmates. And while this may be true, online classrooms are actually gaining a positive reputation that they will be put in closer touch with other students and teachers and can collaborate more effectively online.

The benefits are plentiful for this method of learning, but one other fear that strikes the hearts of every student is whether an online degree can lead to a real world job. While they may enjoy the flexibility of being able to study behind a computer screen, they would prefer to get out and work in an office or in a profession doing what they love. So can an online degree lead to a real world job?

Here are a few reasons why the answer to that question is a resounding yes!

Show off your smarts by picking the right school

While we do live in an age with enhanced digital communications, it does not mean that every institute that pops up on the internet is a valid one. An employer will want to know where you got your degree, and while letting them know it was through an online degree program will not affect how they perceive your education, telling them where the degree was earned from will.

Many well-respected institutions provide their students with options to obtain an online degree. You must do your homework and determine if the place where you want to earn your online degree is one that will make you look like an innovative, outstanding student or one that will hold you back from future employment. To help boost the credibility behind the institution you choose, always add accreditation to your resume to show your employer you did your research.

Online learning is still hands-on

Throughout your class via the internet, you will not be left out in the open to fend for yourself. Instead, you will still work with other students via web-based collaboration. This method of working together and completing projects is one that will be carried into the real world as well.

With more companies doing business online and bridging the geographic gap through internet-based collaboration, you can show your future employers that you have a leg up on the competition because of your already real-world experience working in this setting. In the cover letter and in your interview be sure to make mention of how applicable an online degree is to real world working experience. This will get you a better shot at landing your dream job because of your ability to be versatile in the workplace and innovative in new solutions.

More options for your job search

In the real world, it is expected that people know how to use the internet, can adapt quickly to new technology situations, and are digitally streamlined to work in this day and age. With an online degree, you immediately put your experience into real world job requirements. This experience can open up more doors for you than people who have stuck with a more traditional classroom approach.

Corporations are sending their employees to school to receive certifications and trainings online. This is perceived as leading edge and a more cost-effective time saving approach. With your experience proving that you not only have the ability to earn a degree online, but that you were innovative enough to recognize the benefits to how it could help potential future employers, you will stand out from the crowd.

Don’t be afraid to take your classroom online and work in the digital age. If you choose the right college, your ability to be flexible as well as smart about your approach to schooling will open more doors for you in the long run on the job market.

Tess Pajaron is part of the team behind OpenColleges. She holds a background in business administrative management and a social media enthusiast. She can be also seen on her social media profile at Google+.

Note: Photo courtesy of ax2groin via FlickR Creative Commons.

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Does an online degree make you suitable for a real-world job?

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