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4 Questions Employers Ask About Job Applicants With Online Degrees

U.S. News and World Report
Employers may inquire about program’s legitimacy and a student’s experience working in a team.

Employers used to be more hesitant to consider hiring job applicants who earned their degrees online. But that perception has changed in the past few years, recruiters say.

“I think employers, generally speaking, are getting more inclined, more receptive to looking at people with online degrees – ​especially in experienced roles that they’re looking to fill. However, it’s still a mixed bag; it’s a broad range,” says Kip Harrell, vice president of client talent acquisition for Govig & Associates, an executive search firm.

“Schools got better at the delivery models, and hiring managers, particularly in the technology industries, became much more comfortable with it,” says Nicole Cox, chief recruitment officer at Decision Toolbox, a national recruitment firm.

This increasing acceptance is good news for online students, especially as career preparation remains their primary motivation for turning to distance learning in the first place, according to the results of a2015 survey conducted by Aslanian Market Research and the Learning House. Roughly three-quarters of survey respondents said they chose online learning to change or boost their careers, find a job or keep their skills up to date.

As with any hiring process, an employer will consider several other qualities beyond the type of degree an applicant earned. Still, employers who are aware that job candidates completed their degrees online will likely want to verify that the quality of their education is the same as they would have received in person.

Recruiters and experts say the following questions are regularly asked of online students during the job interview process. Prospective online students should keep these questions in mind when selecting a program to ensure that they are an appealing candidate to employers once they graduate.