"Best" Online Degree if already a college graduate

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Beezthree
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"Best" Online Degree if already a college graduate

Post by Beezthree » Mon Jun 06, 2011 5:26 pm

has anyone done it here? (online)

are there places with better reputations than others?

is the univ of phoenix totally worthless or is it something that is being taken more seriously nowadays?

what degree would probably be the most useful to build a resume if one already has a degree? business? computer science?

note: i am in the television industry and already have a degree. just looking to build my skills/resume in any way possible (ie. doesn't have to be anything associated with my current job, just looking for something that is as appealing and forward thinking as possible to broaden my horizons)

thanks.

bluto
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Post by bluto » Mon Jun 06, 2011 5:43 pm

From my experience, online for-profit degrees are great if all you need is a rubber-stamped credential. If you actually need to learn a new field or skill, look elsewhere. I imagine there are good online degrees out there, but not at the for profit places.

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SpecialK22
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Post by SpecialK22 » Tue Jun 07, 2011 4:23 am

With so many schools offering online degrees nowadays, you have a wide range of options to choose from. If reputation matters, there are several well-regarded state and private universities which also offer online degrees. USC, Stanford, UNC, Penn St, Northwestern and many, many others offer some of their Master's degrees in an online format.

The University of Phoenix, being the largest university in the US, has come under fire mostly due to its aggressive enrollment practices. While some of these cases were loathsome, as far as I know the University of Phoenix's academic programs have still maintained a level of quality sufficient to keep legitimate accreditations. Their classes do, however, rely on a different learning style--a style heavily focused around team learning/group projects--than most traditional universities. Lastly, the University of Phoenix is a fairly expensive school given its average at best reputation, and there are many other substantially cheaper alternatives nowadays.

Which degree is most useful depends on your career field and interests. I'm not familiar enough with your industry in order to comment.

stan1
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Post by stan1 » Tue Jun 07, 2011 7:09 am

As with investing, costs matter.

If you are going into debt for (or spending) $50-100K (and ++), there should be a name like Stanford, MIT, Harvard, or Yale associated with that debt and you should be positioned to take advantage of it after you graduate. This likely means leaving your current employer, and possibly moving.

Otherwise, go to your local state university. Take advantage of any tuition reimbursement programs your employer offers if you are so fortunate. Consider finding an employer who offers tuition reimbursement.

The only time I have ever recommended an online degree program to one of my employees is a situation where he had frequent work related travel that had to be done to do his job. Some of the professors at the local state university had a zero tolerance policy for absences from class (more than one class missed = incomplete). That wasn't going to work.

Spending twice as much for an online degrees as a degree would cost at your local state university IMHO just doesn't add up. You are paying for the marketing costs associated with convincing people that they are better off at the online university than the local state university.

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JupiterJones
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Post by JupiterJones » Tue Jun 07, 2011 9:21 am

stan1 wrote:Spending twice as much for an online degrees as a degree would cost at your local state university IMHO just doesn't add up. You are paying for the marketing costs associated with convincing people that they are better off at the online university than the local state university.


It's not either/or. There are state universities that offer degrees online, and for quite reasonable prices in some cases.

It's a best-of-both-worlds solution, IMNSHO. You get a "real" degree from a fully-accredited institution with a bricks-and-mortar presence (and often a football team to root for!). But you get the flexibility of online classes and the expanded choice that comes with losing the requirement that your school be physically nearby.

Of course, you have to be a certain type of student to really benefit from distance learning. It helps to be good at self-directed learning, finding things out on your own, motivating yourself, etc.

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Re: "Best" Online Degree if already a college grad

Post by Boglenaut » Tue Jun 07, 2011 9:53 am

Beezthree wrote:

is the univ of phoenix totally worthless or is it something that is being taken more seriously nowadays?


If I were the hiring manager, I'd count that as a negative, not worthless.

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Re: "Best" Online Degree if already a college grad

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Tue Jun 07, 2011 10:20 am

Boglenaut wrote:
Beezthree wrote:

is the univ of phoenix totally worthless or is it something that is being taken more seriously nowadays?


If I were the hiring manager, I'd count that as a negative, not worthless.


+1 - Online degree = paper mill. You can have any degree you want for X dollars, no need to show up, no need to actually show you are doing the work, just submit something - could be prepared by someone else.

I knew someone who pursued the U of Phoneix online MBA program - his idea of getting a job was to read a book at the bookstore so he appeared knowledgeable, bs his way into the job and then rely on the sheeple to carry him. This was in the heyday of institutional mortgages - turns out his boss also "graduated" from U of Phoenix and knew less than him. :roll:

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Post by SpecialK22 » Tue Jun 07, 2011 11:48 am

Online education is so prevalent these days that I doubt there is any more stigma associated with it, even amongst the most conservative of educators or employers. Nearly every university offers at least some classes in an online format--and many more offer degrees online.

As to the University of Phoenix, it still is a regionally accredited institution. While I have many issues with higher education in general, I would hope that the accrediting bodies are not so corrupt as to allow an institution which grants degrees without any standards to maintain accreditation.

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Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Tue Jun 07, 2011 11:54 am

SpecialK22 wrote:Online education is so prevalent these days that I doubt there is any more stigma associated with it, even amongst the most conservative of educators or employers. Nearly every university offers at least some classes in an online format--and many more offer degrees online.

As to the University of Phoenix, it still is a regionally accredited institution. While I have many issues with higher education in general, I would hope that the accrediting bodies are not so corrupt as to allow an institution which grants degrees without any standards to maintain accreditation.


In my line of work - we treat those paper mills as suspect. I don't care how "prevalent" it is - have you seen anyone of high stature list their educational backround as coming from an online university? Subprime mortgages were prevalent during the housing boom - we all know where that landed us. Place two individuals together - one from a bricks n mortar institution and one from their house taking an online course, I can guarantee you more than 9 out of 10 times, the bricks n mortar graduate will come out ahead in procuring the job.

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Post by jahol000 » Tue Jun 07, 2011 12:01 pm

As an executive in a Fortune 200 company, I've observed a continuing strong bias against candidates sporting degrees from for-profit institutions. We get hundreds of resumes for individual positions. Fair or not, a common culling technique is to weed out those with credentials from such schools. Having a degree from a strong traditional program (coupled with relevant experience, depending on the position) will often get you through the first cut.

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Post by SpecialK22 » Tue Jun 07, 2011 12:12 pm

GRT2BOUTDOORS wrote:In my line of work - we treat those paper mills as suspect. I don't care how "prevalent" it is - have you seen anyone of high stature list their educational backround as coming from an online university? Subprime mortgages were prevalent during the housing boom - we all know where that landed us. Place two individuals together - one from a bricks n mortar institution and one from their house taking an online course, I can guarantee you more than 9 out of 10 times, the bricks n mortar graduate will come out ahead in procuring the job.


I don't think you are understanding my argument: many brick and mortar institutions offer online degrees and virtually all offer online classes. The prevalence of online degrees from many universities--state, non-profit and for-profit--is why I would say that a stigma no longer exists.

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SpecialK22
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Post by SpecialK22 » Tue Jun 07, 2011 12:15 pm

jahol000 wrote:As an executive in a Fortune 200 company, I've observed a continuing strong bias against candidates sporting degrees from for-profit institutions.


This isn't meant as a jab, but is your HR department able to identify amongst the thousands of universities which ones are for-profits, non-profits or state universities? University of Phoenix and ITT Tech probably stick out fairly well, but there are many others.

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JupiterJones
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Post by JupiterJones » Tue Jun 07, 2011 12:49 pm

SpecialK22 wrote:I don't think you are understanding my argument: many brick and mortar institutions offer online degrees and virtually all offer online classes. The prevalence of online degrees from many universities--state, non-profit and for-profit--is why I would say that a stigma no longer exists.


Well I think the fact that GRT2B and other posters do hold so many misconceptions illustrates that there still is a stigma, for now.

But yes, an online degree doesn't necessarily come from an online institution. Nor does it necessarily come from a for-profit institution, for that matter.

I think the day will soon come when pretty much everyone getting a degree--from anywhere--will have taken online courses for at least some portion of their academic requirements. That portion will increase year by year, with fully-online degrees becoming more and more common. Rising costs and a rising comfort with technology are making it pretty much inevitable.

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Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Tue Jun 07, 2011 1:49 pm

SpecialK22 wrote:
jahol000 wrote:As an executive in a Fortune 200 company, I've observed a continuing strong bias against candidates sporting degrees from for-profit institutions.


This isn't meant as a jab, but is your HR department able to identify amongst the thousands of universities which ones are for-profits, non-profits or state universities? University of Phoenix and ITT Tech probably stick out fairly well, but there are many others.


A good HR department will research educational institutions and be able to distinguish between the for-profits, non-profits and state/local universities. Furthermore, there is usually a preference of recruiting from the alma mata's of current employees.
Let's say hypothetically you land the interview, the question arises which location you attended classes or a particular instructor taken - how would you approach it then? Attended an online university - let me deceive the interviewer?

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Post by monkey_business » Tue Jun 07, 2011 1:51 pm

For those of you who look down on online degrees: is it the fact that they're online that you look down on, or is it only if it is from a for-profit institution? For example, Carnegie Mellon, a B&M school (and a good one at that), offers online graduate degrees. Would you look down on a prospective job candidate if he/she had an online degree from Carnegie Mellon?

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Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Tue Jun 07, 2011 2:47 pm

monkey_business wrote:For those of you who look down on online degrees: is it the fact that they're online that you look down on, or is it only if it is from a for-profit institution? For example, Carnegie Mellon, a B&M school (and a good one at that), offers online graduate degrees. Would you look down on a prospective job candidate if he/she had an online degree from Carnegie Mellon?


Irrespective of who offers the class/course, IMO I feel that individual self-study is lacking in learning how to interact one on one or in a large real-life setting. Online - just like this forum - participants are able to pick up knowledge in a variety of subjects, however, as in this thread, you'll notice that thoughts may be misconstrued and it is very impersonal.

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Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Tue Jun 07, 2011 2:48 pm

jenny345 wrote:
A good HR department will research educational institutions and be able to distinguish between the for-profits, non-profits and state/local universities.


Are you speaking hypothetically or from actual experience? The HR department where I last worked never in a million years researched anyone's degree and except for my first job, no one has ever asked about my degree other than to see if I had one. My husband has had the same experience.


Actual experience - we verify everything. I've seen folks terminated for things one might deem as minor, but if you fib you will be out the door regardless of your production.
Last edited by Grt2bOutdoors on Tue Jun 07, 2011 10:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by monkey_business » Tue Jun 07, 2011 3:13 pm

GRT2BOUTDOORS wrote:
monkey_business wrote:For those of you who look down on online degrees: is it the fact that they're online that you look down on, or is it only if it is from a for-profit institution? For example, Carnegie Mellon, a B&M school (and a good one at that), offers online graduate degrees. Would you look down on a prospective job candidate if he/she had an online degree from Carnegie Mellon?


Irrespective of who offers the class/course, IMO I feel that individual self-study is lacking in learning how to interact one on one or in a large real-life setting. Online - just like this forum - participants are able to pick up knowledge in a variety of subjects, however, as in this thread, you'll notice that thoughts may be misconstrued and it is very impersonal.


Don't you think that's highly dependent on the specific course of study? I can easily see your point for something like an MBA, where direct interaction and live group involvement might be key, but what if I am pursuing something like an MS in math? Would my online course of study in math be worse? The online programs offered by some B&M schools such as Carnegie Mellon I mentioned above, are identical to the 'physical' programs they offer, i.e. same faculty, assignments, lectures, tests, etc.

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Post by Wind power » Tue Jun 07, 2011 4:36 pm

LOL, This is an interesting conversation!
While I have my undergrad and MA from a B&M school, I do however teach some history courses online at two seperate colleges.

Often times, students do in fact fail the class.

Every now and then I catch someone cheating...they too fail. LOL, once I caught a wannabe social worker and an actual minister cheating..they failed too.

While some do indeed cheat, I often reduce this chance by shuffling the test questions on each student and having the test timed. Essays and classroom discussions are a big part of the grading system too.

You can always tell if a student is actually trying, regardless of the school they attend...there are bums out there probably even at Harvard.

For the record, I'm not a big fan of for profit schools

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Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Tue Jun 07, 2011 10:17 pm

jenny345 wrote:
I've seen folks terminated for things one my deem as minor, but if you fib you will be out the door regardless of your production.


Getting a degree from an accredited school offering online classes is not a fib.

A good HR department will research educational institutions and be able to distinguish between the for-profits, non-profits and state/local universities.


Do you think the HR department at most places would know the difference in quality of education between the following schools -

Western New England College
Western Washington University
Western Connecticut State University
Southwestern University
Western Michigan University (WMU)
Western Governors University (WGU)
Southwestern College


Let me clarify - when I mentioned the word "fib" it was meant in the context of an interviewee stating they attended so and so university as in the brick and mortar location when in reality they attended a different institution, whether it be online or in TimBukTu. The reality is if an interviewee is caught being dishonest in an interview, what potential employer would want to hire a candidate that is willing to be unethical?

As for the verification process - I don't know how they do it, but certain companies do perform backround checks on employees and that means verifying everything. I speak from my personal experience.

Nice list of schools you post - I just don't have the time right now to verify them.
Perhaps another time? :wink:

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Post by SpecialK22 » Tue Jun 07, 2011 10:42 pm

GRT2BOUTDOORS wrote:Let me clarify - when I mentioned the word "fib" it was meant in the context of an interviewee stating they attended so and so university as in the brick and mortar location when in reality they attended a different institution, whether it be online or in TimBukTu. The reality is if an interviewee is caught being dishonest in an interview, what potential employer would want to hire a candidate that is willing to be unethical?


Sorry, I'm still trying to follow your argument. If someone flat out lies about his credentials, I agree that employers would not want to hire him. But how does taking classes online somehow automatically translate into lying about academic credentials? Is someone lying by saying they are a Penn St graduate if that Penn St degree was earned solely by taking online classes through Penn St while that person was living in Illinois?

* Sorry if I created a straw man, but that is what your argument appears like to me.

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Re: "Best" Online Degree if already a college grad

Post by natureexplorer » Tue Jun 07, 2011 10:47 pm

Beezthree wrote:"Least useless" Online Degree if already a college graduate
Corrected that for you.

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Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Tue Jun 07, 2011 11:40 pm

jenny345 wrote:
Let me clarify - when I mentioned the word "fib" it was meant in the context of an interviewee stating they attended so and so university as in the brick and mortar location when in reality they attended a different institution, whether it be online or in TimBukTu.


I am not following your logic.

If someone earns a distance learning MBA from Carnegie Mellon -

http://tepper.cmu.edu/mba/mba-progr ... index.aspx

and puts that degree on their resume, then you are saying they are being dishonest and won't pass the employee verification background checks?


No - I did not say that.

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Post by stan1 » Tue Jun 07, 2011 11:50 pm

As a hiring manager, I agree that an online degree from a non-profit B&M university looks better on a resume than a degree from a for-profit university (online or B&M). If you want to get an online degree, getting it through a B&M non-profit is the way to go. If the fact that it is an online degree is caught during an interview with a hiring manager you can at least talk your way through it citing your experience rather than having it filtered out by a computer or an HR person. Don't lie, just don't disclose that its online vs B&M unless your degree is titled "Online BA in English" instead of "BA in English". Before you start a program you should ask if the transcript will differentiate between an online and B&M degree; usually the answer is "no" (and this is usually stated on the school's website as this is a FAQ).

The main thing I look for is relevant experience and a proven track record. Degrees are secondary after you've had your first or second job in most (but not all) fields.

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Post by CFM300 » Wed Jun 08, 2011 9:03 am

When I'm hiring for a position, if a person lists a degree from a university, I assume they actually attended that institution, bricks and mortar. And I believe they assume that I will assume that. Thus, I do regard their behavior as deceptive when I have to ask questions to learn that they in fact earned their degree online. I believe online degrees should be designated as such. E.g.,

M.S., Applied Statistics, Penn State University (online)

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Re: .

Post by JupiterJones » Wed Jun 08, 2011 11:59 am

CFM300 wrote:When I'm hiring for a position, if a person lists a degree from a university, I assume they actually attended that institution, bricks and mortar. And I believe they assume that I will assume that. Thus, I do regard their behavior as deceptive when I have to ask questions to learn that they in fact earned their degree online.


Wow. It's not really fair to label someone as behaving deceptively just because you jumped to an incorrect conclusion, is it?

Why blame someone else for your own outmoded assumptions?


I believe online degrees should be designated as such. E.g.,

M.S., Applied Statistics, Penn State University (online)


That would imply a difference between the online and B&M degrees as a credential. In cases where the awarding institution itself doesn't even make the distinction, what's the point?

Of course, you're perfectly free to specify as much in any application process over which you have control.

But what about degrees where only a portion of the classes were taken online? Would you have a certain cutoff percentage--say, 50%--beyond which they would have specify "online"? Or would even a single drop of online learning taint the entire degree? :lol

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SpecialK22
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Post by SpecialK22 » Wed Jun 08, 2011 1:48 pm

For the OP: elearners.com is one of the better sites out there for finding information concerning online education. I hope it helps.

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Post by ladders11 » Wed Jun 08, 2011 2:17 pm

I feel like real universities offering online degrees is going to grow significantly, and interviewers will be asking questions to determine online or not. For those who put locations on their resume, what is appropriate to put after the university, if the degree were earned online? Could putting Penn State, State College PA represent misdirection if the degree were earned online? For those who intend to go online and not tell anyone it was online, I give you five years before the world catches up and gets more specific on you.

Meanwhile, as someone who learns independently, I could probably learn as much or more in an online program; but, I must acknowledge that most people are extroverts, learn in groups and learn from their favorite professors, and would struggle with independent learning. For example, this is a population that can't balance a checkbook or maintain decent credit, let alone manage their stocks and bonds - because nobody teaches it to you, you have to take initiative and do it yourself. I don't see this debate being settled anytime soon - many will devalue your online program because they wouldn't learn as much that way.

Like others, I think the for-profit colleges are quite overpriced to the extent that it is not worth going. I also think that the most valuable graduate degrees are technical in nature (Masters in Accounting) and not general (Masters in Business) - this is important because the difficult & worthwhile degrees aren't offered online. Lots offer the MBA online but very very few offer the Masters in Accounting online. The general degrees aren't paying off.

If you're bored/just want to learn, then go ahead and buy used textbooks online in any subject you want and knock yourself out. But don't spend for a degree without a clear path to a ROI.

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Post by HornedToad » Wed Jun 08, 2011 2:26 pm

Online is ok as long as it's not for-profit and preferably the school also has a non-online component.

Some schools don't do anything different on the transcript to show the degree was from an online program.

Ala if I got an online degree from Carnegie Mellon, or the like then that is valuable.

University of Phoenix, not so much.

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Post by SpecialK22 » Wed Jun 08, 2011 2:59 pm

ladders11 wrote:I also think that the most valuable graduate degrees are technical in nature (Masters in Accounting) and not general (Masters in Business) - this is important because the difficult & worthwhile degrees aren't offered online. Lots offer the MBA online but very very few offer the Masters in Accounting online. The general degrees aren't paying off.


I agree that online MBAs are some of the most common online graduate programs offered; however, there are many technical graduate degrees also offered online--particularly in the areas of engineering, computer science and information technology/systems. Some of these online degrees come from well-regarded institutions--Johns Hopkins, Stanford and Northwestern, for example. There are also a few Master's in Accounting/Accountancy programs offered online. Several of these are for-profits, but UConn does offer their own in a completely online format.

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Post by stan1 » Wed Jun 08, 2011 8:28 pm

If you do get an online degree from a B&M school you have to be prepared for questions like:

"So you went to Stanford, how did you like living in Palo Alto? My aunt owned the flower shop on University Avenue for 30 years."

At that point you need a long list of accomplishments to back up your experience unless you can honestly respond "Really, I walked past it every day for 2 years!"

If you go the online route, be prepared to handle situations where the fact that your degree is online has to be disclosed.

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Post by eriehiker » Wed Jun 08, 2011 9:18 pm

Michigan community colleges maintain a website/clearinghouse for all online cc courses available in the state. The offerings closely approximate the first two years of a university degree.

It is possible to transfer these credits to, say, the University of Michigan and earn a prestigious and relatively inexpensive degree.

Campuses like Eastern Michigan University and Western Michigan University offer online and distance classes beyond the first two years. So it is possible to earn a traditional B&M degree that is 50% and maybe 75% online.

The situation also blurs when one considers the number of high schools that offer dual enrollment programs. Students regularly leave HS with a year or more in college credits.

Many traditional degrees today are composed of credits from five, ten or more institutions.

And with the cost of college, it is foolish for students not to consider alternative credit streams when pursuing credentials.

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Post by stan1 » Wed Jun 08, 2011 9:31 pm

jenny345 wrote:
If you go the online route, be prepared to handle situations where the fact that your degree is online has to be disclosed.


You are coming from the assumption that an online degree is inferior. Maybe other managers would feel differently. Perhaps others would feel that an online degree is a sign of someone being able to work independently.

For many of the careers in computer science or accounting where much of the work is done sitting at a computer anyway, I don't see why there would be a stigma.

It is unfortunate there is not more hard data on this issue available. Though in the future there will at least be some stats on the for profit schools -

http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_thelookou ... r-new-rule


My point is this: You won't know whether the hiring manager is predisposed towards, against, or is neutral with respect to online/for-profit degrees until you are in the middle of an interview. If the hiring manager asks you flat out whether your degree is online you need to have a practiced and polished answer that ties back to your hopefully strong accomplishments and experience. If you become defensive you will probably not get the job.

Truthfully, the Computer Scientists and Accountants most likely to rise into management in an organization are the ones who have the best people skills. I don't think people learn people skills from online classes -- and I don't think those of us posting here learn people skills from posting in internet forums. People do learn people skills in B&M settings and of course in work settings because they are forced to interact. I'm not sure whether people learn critical thinking skills from online classes. I agree we need some more research over time to understand how effective online classes are. I have taken hundreds of hours of online training over the years and I can tell you that I remember very little of it. I know to use Google if I really need information.

As I've posted before, I use experience and results/accomplishments as my primary hiring criteria since I do not hire entry level personnel. Degrees are a minor factor. I would never hire someone simply because they had a degree from Stanford or MIT, nor eliminate someone because their degree was online/for-profit. I value people who can work well with other people in addition to working independently.
Last edited by stan1 on Wed Jun 08, 2011 9:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Wind power » Wed Jun 08, 2011 9:33 pm

These online degree questions always open up a can of worms.
While there are many degree snobs out there, many will even go as far as to parrot why their Ivy League school is better than another...most of this noise is simply vanity.
I will repeat I have taught many students in the online format who were not worth cannon fodder and many who were excellent students.

OP, I would try to avoid for profit schools, for obvious reasons....some folks like to cal them degree mills, which is actually an inaccurate term.....they do have Regional Accreditation,....easy maybe, bottom feeders-possibly but degree mills they are not. However they do solicit comments from many degree snobs who enjoy drumming on them while elevating their fragile psychological needs. We've all seen the type, they drive the big Hummer, talk loud and try to make sense out of thier life by the toys they surround themselves with.

So at the end of the day you will not overcome the bias for online schools, especially, especially, especially, the for profits.

Probably the best site to have your question answered is Degreeinfo.com, now there is a bit of bias for online programs, over there but there are many knowledgeable folks there who can help you out.
All the best,
Wind Power

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Post by CFM300 » Thu Jun 09, 2011 12:07 am

JupiterJones wrote:Wow. It's not really fair to label someone as behaving deceptively just because you jumped to an incorrect conclusion, is it? Why blame someone else for your own outmoded assumptions?

If I say I've been to the Parthenon, am I being deceptive if I've only been here? http://nashville.gov/parthenon/

If I say I saw Sandel's lectures at Harvard, when in fact all I did was watch these videos on my computer in Pascagoula, Mississippi, am I being deceptive? http://justiceharvard.org/

There's a conversational convention -- which certainly extends to resumes -- that one provide ALL RELEVANT INFORMATION. By omitting information that you know may well lead your audience to make incorrect inferences, you are at fault, not your audience.

One final example:

Suppose you ask me where I went to college, and I reply, "Cornell." Would you be at fault for "jumping to an incorrect conclusion," if you thought I attended an Ivy League school? When you learn that I actually attended Cornell College (in Mt. Vernon, Iowa), would I be right to tell you that you shouldn't blame me "for your own outmoded assumptions"?

So again: if you list the following on your resume,

M.S., Applied Statistics, Penn State University

you know full well that most people are going to assume that you lived in College Station. Since you know that, it is incumbent on you to prevent that foreseeable mis-perception. If you don't, then I have to wonder why. Either you didn't realize that some people would infer you attended the bricks and mortar institution, or you did, and you don't care (perhaps, in fact, that's exactly what you wanted). In either case, I don't want you working for me.

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Re: .

Post by dh » Thu Jun 09, 2011 9:18 am

CFM300 wrote:
JupiterJones wrote:Wow. It's not really fair to label someone as behaving deceptively just because you jumped to an incorrect conclusion, is it? Why blame someone else for your own outmoded assumptions?


So again: if you list the following on your resume,

M.S., Applied Statistics, Penn State University

you know full well that most people are going to assume that you lived in College Station.


This is a fascinating thread. If Penn State University awarded the degree, then it is a degree from PSU regardless of the pedagogical delivery format. Why on earth would they care where the person lived? (Side note. No one would assume that a person graduating from Penn State lived in College Station ... College Station is in Texas).

Your Cornell example is a different animal (it was hilarious, I had tears running out of my eyes). Cornell University (New York) and Cornell College (Iowa) are two different institutions.

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"Best" Online Degree if already a college graduate

Post by johnubc » Thu Jun 09, 2011 9:44 am

CFM300 wrote:When I'm hiring for a position, if a person lists a degree from a university, I assume they actually attended that institution, bricks and mortar. And I believe they assume that I will assume that. Thus, I do regard their behavior as deceptive when I have to ask questions to learn that they in fact earned their degree online. I believe online degrees should be designated as such. E.g.,

M.S., Applied Statistics, Penn State University (online)


Wow! I do not know how I would represent my degree - with some online, brick and mortar, and both classes - Would you also want me to indicate the campus that I was at, most of the time, but not all the time?

My feeling is that it is up to the University to distinguish between degrees, if they so desire - in todays mobile world with telecommuting being so embraced, it is only natural that the University world go on line.

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Re: .

Post by CFM300 » Thu Jun 09, 2011 10:05 am

dh wrote:Cornell University (New York) and Cornell College (Iowa) are two different institutions.

I agree. And traditional (bricks and mortar) and distance education (online) are two different programs.

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Post by JupiterJones » Thu Jun 09, 2011 10:19 am

stan1 wrote:If you do get an online degree from a B&M school you have to be prepared for questions like:

"So you went to Stanford, how did you like living in Palo Alto? My aunt owned the flower shop on University Avenue for 30 years."

At that point you need a long list of accomplishments to back up your experience unless you can honestly respond "Really, I walked past it every day for 2 years!"

If you go the online route, be prepared to handle situations where the fact that your degree is online has to be disclosed.


You seem to be coming from the mindset that an online degree doesn't "count" as much as the same degree from the same school, taken in person. And that it therefore needs to be "backed up" with an additional list of justifying accomplishments that the equivalent B&M student wouldn't have to provide.

That it's something to be hidden, with fingers crossed, hoping that your cover isn't blown! :D

Which is silly, quite frankly. If an interviewer asked me the question you posed, what would be wrong with just clarifying that you didn't live in Palo Alto while you took the classes? I really don't see the big deal.

In fact, if you resume also listed where you were working at the time, it would be pretty obvious that you didn't live in Palo Alto while taking your Stanford classes, wouldn't it?

JJ
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Re: "Best" Online Degree if already a college grad

Post by CFM300 » Thu Jun 09, 2011 10:32 am

johnubc wrote:Would you also want me to indicate the campus that I was at, most of the time, but not all the time?

Absolutely. Isn't the University of California, Berkeley significantly different from the University of California, Merced? Isn't the University of Wisconin, Madison significantly different from the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse?

johnubc wrote:My feeling is that it is up to the University to distinguish between degrees, if they so desire

And I disagree. I've interviewed candidates who list degrees from American and British universities, even though they've never even been to America or England! Earning an online British degree in India, or an online American degree in Chile is significantly different from earning the same degree in the actual bricks and mortar setting. The applicants know this, and are in fact, intentionally trying to deceive employers, hoping to get an interview.

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Post by dh » Thu Jun 09, 2011 10:35 am

jenny345 wrote:
I agree. And traditional (bricks and mortar) and distance education (online) are two different programs.


Not any more. Check out the course catalogs for the past year. Many B&M colleges offer both online and in person courses these days. What if someone went in person to 50% of the classes and took 50% percent online? Which program are they in?


That is right, Jenny. I teach in a program where we regularly offer multiple sections of the same course every semester: sections offered completely on-line; sections offered in a traditional classroom format; and to muddy the waters completely - "hybrid classes" where students meet in a traditional classrooms on specified dates (often Saturdays) AND do online work via Blackboard. The content is the same and meet our professional accreditation standards. There are semesters when students take "traditional" classes and online classes. Same university, same program, no distinction.

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Post by CFM300 » Thu Jun 09, 2011 10:36 am

jenny345 wrote:
I agree. And traditional (bricks and mortar) and distance education (online) are two different programs.

Not any more. Check out the course catalogs for the past year. Many B&M colleges offer both online and in person courses these days. What if someone went in person to 50% of the classes and took 50% percent online? Which program are they in?

I guess they're in a 50% traditional and 50% online. Why not indicate on their resume that half their coursework was completed online?

Isn't that the real question here? Why aren't people willing to indicate on their resumes that their degrees were earned online? If it's no big deal, fine. Then indicate it.

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Post by CFM300 » Thu Jun 09, 2011 10:39 am

JupiterJones wrote:If an interviewer asked me the question you posed, what would be wrong with just clarifying that you didn't live in Palo Alto while you took the classes? I really don't see the big deal.

And again: you are thus exactly the sort of person I don't want to hire. Someone who thinks that completing an online program through Stanford is the same as being in the intellectual milieu in Palo Alto.

And to the extent that I think this way, you probably wouldn't want to work for me either, so it's all good! :D

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Post by CFM300 » Thu Jun 09, 2011 11:01 am

jenny345 wrote:
Isn't the University of Wisconin, Madison significantly different from the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse?


I suspect of you took a survey of people across the U.S. outside of Wisconsin, 99% probably wouldn't know the difference.


Perhaps. But the difference is substantial nonetheless.

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Re: .

Post by JupiterJones » Thu Jun 09, 2011 11:26 am

CFM300 wrote:There's a conversational convention -- which certainly extends to resumes -- that one provide ALL RELEVANT INFORMATION.


But the fact that the classes that led to your degree were taken online rather than in person is not relevant.

By which I mean, how the person received the credential is irrelevant when it doesn't affect the meaning of the credential. The person really does have the listed degree, and it's the same degree anyone else would get taking the same classes in person. No one is being mislead.

In a sense, distance learning is the screwcap wine of higher education. Bear with me a moment...

For a long, long time, the cork was simply part of the whole traditional wine experience. Screwcaps were what crappy wine used. If a waiter brought out a bottle of wine you agreed to purchase and it turned out to have a screwcap, you'd feel mislead that such an important distinction wasn't made apparent. And you'd have been justified in that.

But times have changed. Corks have their advantages, but in many ways, a screwcap is a superior enclosure. About a decade ago, several "good" winemakers realized this and started bottling their quality wine with screwcaps.

It was the same wine, from the same grapes, made by the same people... it just had a slightly different delivery system.

Predictably, consumers responded poorly at first. They still clung to the conception that screwcaps meant "plonk". They just couldn't wrap their minds around it being any other way. It went against all those years of wine experience!

Now it's fairly well-accepted among knowledgable wine drinkers--even preferred by some! If a waiter brought out a good, midpriced bottle that turned out to have a screwcap, and you complained about being "mislead" and made a big ruckus about how you expected a cork, well... you'd pretty much be demonstrating your wine ignorance to everyone in the restaurant.

JJ
Last edited by JupiterJones on Thu Jun 09, 2011 11:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by JupiterJones » Thu Jun 09, 2011 11:30 am

CFM300 wrote:And again: you are thus exactly the sort of person I don't want to hire. Someone who thinks that completing an online program through Stanford is the same as being in the intellectual milieu in Palo Alto.

And to the extent that I think this way, you probably wouldn't want to work for me either, so it's all good! :D


Heh, heh, I was just thinking the same thing. In fact, when I read that bit about "the intellectual milieu in Palo Alto", I literally rolled my eyes.

So yeah, I guess it is a two-way screening tool. 8-)

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Post by ladders11 » Thu Jun 09, 2011 12:39 pm

CFM300 wrote:And again: you are thus exactly the sort of person I don't want to hire. Someone who thinks that completing an online program through Stanford is the same as being in the intellectual milieu in Palo Alto.

And to the extent that I think this way, you probably wouldn't want to work for me either, so it's all good! :D


Yes, the intellectual milieu in Palo Alto. LOL!!!!!!!!

This is what I mean about introverts and extroverts. We have different learning styles, and we think our style is "right" when it is if fact only right for us. Extroverts outnumber introverts by 3 to 1. Hence, online degrees will be inferior according to roughly 75% of the population without evidence to the contrary. Of course, the process where we all assess the validity of someone else's degree using our own opinions is inherently faulty.

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Post by HornedToad » Thu Jun 09, 2011 2:31 pm

CFM300 wrote:
JupiterJones wrote:If an interviewer asked me the question you posed, what would be wrong with just clarifying that you didn't live in Palo Alto while you took the classes? I really don't see the big deal.

And again: you are thus exactly the sort of person I don't want to hire. Someone who thinks that completing an online program through Stanford is the same as being in the intellectual milieu in Palo Alto.

And to the extent that I think this way, you probably wouldn't want to work for me either, so it's all good! :D


So should the person also say what kind of distance learning they took?

University of Baloony, Online: Live Lectures
University of Cheese, Online: Recorded Lectures
University of Bread, 65% in person, 35% online

I understand *to you* that it's a big deal whether someone received a degree online or not. But to many people, and many schools, the method of delivery is turning more and more irrelevant. It's simply not part of the standard resume format to list the method of receiving a degree. It's not. Perhaps it should be based on how important it is to you, but someone shouldn't be punished for having a standard resume format and not listing that they took the classes online.

You can make the same argument for undergraduate degrees and MBAs. Should someone list that they went to a JC for 2 years and only went to Stanford for 2 years even though their degree is from Stanford. What about taking non-Stanford summer classes as part of their degree.

Part time MBA vs. Full-Time MBA?

Etc. etc.

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Post by Default User BR » Thu Jun 09, 2011 7:33 pm

CFM300 wrote:And again: you are thus exactly the sort of person I don't want to hire. Someone who thinks that completing an online program through Stanford is the same as being in the intellectual milieu in Palo Alto.

Frankly, that's nonsensical. What if a student attended in person but lived at home in a different city, commuting in for classes? Is that person somehow dishonest about the degree?

The good thing is, I wouldn't want to work for a company that had someone like you doing the interviews.


Brian

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Post by CFM300 » Thu Jun 09, 2011 8:46 pm

Default User BR wrote:Frankly, that's nonsensical. What if a student attended in person but lived at home in a different city, commuting in for classes? Is that person somehow dishonest about the degree?

When I referred to the intellectual milieu of Palo Alto, I meant the Stanford campus. It was to contrast the experience of someone earning an online degree from Stanford while living in Barrow, Alaska or Kathmandu, Nepal. And if you think that watching lectures online is the same as attending classes at Stanford, well, that's just further evidence that you're not the sort of person I'm looking to hire.

Default User BR wrote:The good thing is, I wouldn't want to work for a company that had someone like you doing the interviews.

I'm not just the interviewer, I'm the owner.

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