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Do employers care if your masters is online?

Do employers care if your masters is online?
Discover whether an online master's degree holds weight in the job market. Learn if employers value your e-learning achievements.

Online master’s degree programs have gained significant popularity as a flexible option for busy individuals seeking to further their education. However, you may wonder whether employers view online degrees in the same light as traditional ones. In this article, we will explore the employers’ perspective on online master’s degrees, backed by factual data, to help you make an informed decision about your educational path.

Key Takeaways:

  • Employers are becoming more accepting of online master’s degrees.
  • Online degrees offer flexibility and practical skills that are valued by employers.
  • Accreditation plays a crucial role in employer perception of online degrees.
  • Emphasizing transferable skills and relevant experiences can enhance the marketability of an online degree.
  • Online degrees from recognized institutions hold equal value to traditional degrees in the eyes of employers.

Types of Online Master’s Degree Programs

Online master’s degree programs offer a range of options to accommodate different needs and preferences. Whether you prefer a fully online program, a hybrid program, or a traditional program with online components, there is a format that suits your learning style.

Fully Online Programs

Fully online programs provide you with the flexibility to learn at your own pace and in your preferred environment. These programs are conducted entirely online, allowing you to access course materials, participate in discussions, and submit assignments without the need for physical interaction. This format is ideal if you require a high level of flexibility due to work or personal commitments.

Hybrid Programs

Hybrid programs combine both online and on-campus instruction, offering a balanced approach to learning. In a hybrid program, you may attend classes on campus for certain courses while completing others online. This format allows for face-to-face interaction with professors and peers, while still providing the flexibility of online learning. Hybrid programs are particularly beneficial for students who value in-person mentoring and collaborative opportunities.

Online Components in Traditional Programs

Many traditional master’s degree programs now offer online components to enhance flexibility for students. These online components may include lectures, discussions, or assignments that can be completed remotely. This format allows you to enjoy the benefits of a traditional program, such as networking opportunities and access to university resources, while also having the flexibility to complete certain aspects of the program online.

No matter which format you choose, online master’s degree programs provide the convenience and flexibility needed to balance your education with your other commitments. Next, we will explore the increasing popularity of online master’s degrees and their acceptance in the job market.

Types of Online Master's Degree Programs

The Increasing Popularity of Online Master’s Degrees

Online learning has experienced significant growth in recent years, becoming a popular choice for individuals seeking flexibility and convenience. This trend is reflected in the increasing number of online learners, particularly in undergraduate programs. In fact, in 2016, over 28% of college learners in the United States were enrolled in at least one online course at a degree-granting institution.

The rising popularity of online degrees is also evident in the number of exclusively online learners earning a bachelor’s degree. With 2.1 million individuals opting for online education, it is clear that online degrees have become widely accepted and prevalent in top institutions.

growth of online learning

This image depicts the growth of online learning and serves as a visual representation of the increasing popularity of online master’s degrees.

The Truth About Online Master’s Degrees vs. Traditional Degrees

When it comes to online education, there has been a long-standing debate about the effectiveness and value of online master’s degrees compared to traditional degrees. However, the Department of Education’s findings on online learning provide concrete evidence that online programs can be just as effective, if not more so, than traditional face-to-face programs.

According to the Department of Education, students in online programs perform on par with or even better than their counterparts in traditional programs. This finding holds true across different content areas and learner types, indicating that online learning is a viable and effective option for earning a master’s degree.

These findings challenge the misconception that online degrees are inferior or lack validity. In fact, online master’s degrees can provide better outcomes for students who face limitations in terms of geography, opportunity, and time. Whether you’re a working professional looking to advance your career or a busy parent juggling multiple responsibilities, an online master’s degree can offer the flexibility and convenience you need.

Online learning has evolved to provide a dynamic and interactive educational experience. With advancements in technology and the ability to engage in virtual discussions, collaborate on projects, and access a wealth of resources, online students have the opportunity to develop the same knowledge and skills as their peers in traditional programs.

To further underscore the equal value of online degrees, it’s crucial to note that many reputable institutions offer online programs that are accredited and recognized by higher education accrediting bodies. These accreditations ensure that the quality of education offered through online master’s degree programs is on par with that of traditional programs.

So, if you’re considering pursuing an online master’s degree, rest assured that it can be a powerful and legitimate pathway to career advancement and personal growth. Don’t let outdated misconceptions hold you back. Embrace the opportunities and benefits that online education offers and take the next step towards achieving your academic and professional goals.

Employer Perception of Online Master’s Degrees

When it comes to online master’s degrees, employers have a positive perspective. According to a recent survey, 61% of HR leaders believe that online learning is of equal or greater quality compared to more traditional methods. This indicates that employers recognize the value and efficacy of online degree programs.

In fact, the number of organizations hiring job applicants with online degrees is on the rise. 71% of organizations reported hiring online degree-holders in the past year alone. This statistic highlights the growing acceptance of online education in the job market.

Furthermore, many employers predict a future where advanced degrees are predominantly completed online. In the same survey, 52% of respondents expressed their belief that most advanced degrees will be pursued and obtained through online learning platforms. This indicates that employers recognize the potential of online education and its role in shaping the future of advanced degrees.

HR leaders' perspective on online degrees

Overall, HR leaders and organizations are increasingly embracing online master’s degrees. With a majority viewing online learning as equal to or even superior to traditional methods, online degree-holders can enter the job market with confidence. As the landscape of education continues to evolve, the recognition and acceptance of online degrees offer promising opportunities for individuals pursuing advanced education.

Factors Influencing Employer Evaluation of Online Degrees

When it comes to evaluating online degrees, employers place a high value on the reputation and brand of the institution. In fact, a staggering 83% of business leaders consider online degrees from reputable institutions to be on par with on-campus degrees. This means that employers recognize the value and quality of online degrees from well-known schools.

Employers also tend to show more favor towards brick-and-mortar schools that offer both online and on-site coursework. They believe that these institutions put equal effort into developing their online programs as they do for their traditional classroom-based courses. By offering a range of educational options, these schools demonstrate their commitment to providing a comprehensive and high-quality learning experience for their students.

To illustrate the significance of the institution’s brand and reputation, consider this: when employers see an online degree from a respected and recognized school, they have confidence in the skills and knowledge acquired by the degree holder. This trust in the institution translates to trust in the graduate’s qualifications and abilities.

Ultimately, the importance of the institution’s brand and reputation cannot be overstated. Employers understand that online degrees from reputable institutions have undergone rigorous academic standards and meet the same high-quality educational requirements as their on-campus counterparts. This recognition further solidifies the value of online degrees in the eyes of employers.

importance of institution's brand and reputation

With the image above, we can see that employers place a significant emphasis on the brand and reputation of the institution when evaluating online degrees. It visually represents the importance of establishing a strong reputation and brand for online programs.

How to Market Your Online Master’s Degree to Employers

When it comes to marketing your online master’s degree to potential employers, showcasing your tangible skills is crucial. Highlighting the specific abilities you acquired during your program can demonstrate your competence and relevance in today’s competitive job market. For instance, if you gained proficiency in project management or fluency in computer programming languages, make sure to emphasize these strengths.

In addition to highlighting your skills, mentioning industry-accepted accreditation can further strengthen your credentials. Employers value degrees from recognized institutions, as it reflects the quality of education you received. Be sure to include any relevant industry certifications or affiliations that your online master’s degree program offers.

Real-world experiences are another asset to emphasize when marketing your online master’s degree. Participating in co-op programs or completing capstone projects can provide practical experiences that employers find valuable. These experiences showcase your ability to apply knowledge and skills acquired during your online program to real-world scenarios.

When describing your online degree program to employers, keep your message concise and focused on the aspects of the program that are most relevant to your desired industry. Highlight the unique advantages and benefits of your online education, such as flexible scheduling, personalized learning, and virtual collaboration.

Remember to highlight the transferable skills developed through online learning, such as time management, self-motivation, and collaboration. These skills are highly valued by employers, as they demonstrate your ability to adapt to remote work environments and effectively contribute to a team.

To summarize, effectively marketing your online master’s degree to employers involves highlighting your tangible skills, industry-accepted accreditation, and real-world experiences. Crafting a concise and compelling description of your online degree program and emphasizing the unique skills developed through online learning can set you apart as a qualified and competitive candidate in today’s job market.

Employers’ Perspective on Online Degree Flexibility

Employers recognize and value the flexibility that online degrees offer. As an online degree-holder, you have demonstrated your ability to effectively manage your time and resources. This includes meeting deadlines and completing coursework while successfully balancing your job responsibilities. Employers are confident in your skills and trust that you can handle multiple tasks without compromising the quality of your work.

This flexibility shows that you have developed strong time management and organizational skills, which are highly valued in the workplace. Your commitment to completing an online degree while fulfilling your professional obligations demonstrates your dedication and ability to prioritize your responsibilities efficiently.

With online degrees becoming more prevalent, employers recognize the advantages of hiring candidates who have successfully completed their education in an online format. They understand that online degree-holders have already proven themselves capable of handling the demands of remote learning, which is increasingly relevant in today’s digital era.

By earning an online degree, you have not only gained a valuable education but also proven your adaptability, self-discipline, and ability to work independently. Employers appreciate these qualities, as they indicate your readiness to contribute to the success of their organization.

Ultimately, the flexibility demonstrated through your online degree gives employers the confidence that you possess the necessary skills to manage your time effectively, complete tasks efficiently, and excel in your professional role.

Skills Acquired from an Online Master’s Degree

Online degree programs provide a robust foundation of transferable skills that are highly valuable in the workplace. As an online student, you will develop expertise in collaboration, project management, and technical proficiency necessary for effective online communication and problem-solving.

Collaboration is a key skill fostered in online learning environments. Through group projects and virtual discussions, you will learn how to collaborate effectively with diverse teams, strengthening your ability to work collaboratively in any professional setting.

Another essential skill developed through online master’s degree programs is project management. Online students are often required to manage their time and resources effectively, ensuring tasks and assignments are completed on time. This honed project management ability demonstrates your strong organizational skills and sets you apart as a proactive problem-solver.

Technical proficiency is integral to online learning, and online degree holders demonstrate higher levels of technical proficiency compared to traditional classroom-based programs. By resolving technical issues independently and utilizing online tools and platforms, you will become adept at navigating digital environments, a crucial skill in the modern workplace.

Overall, an online master’s degree equips you with the skills needed to thrive in today’s professional landscape. The collaborative mindset, project management abilities, and technical expertise gained through online learning ensure that you are well-prepared to contribute effectively to any team or organization.

The Importance of Accreditation to Employers

When it comes to evaluating online degrees, employers place a significant emphasis on accreditation. Accreditation acts as a seal of approval from reputable educational organizations, signifying that a university meets rigorous educational standards. For prospective employees, this recognition is crucial in gaining the confidence of potential employers.

Approximately 92% of employers view online degrees more favorably when they are obtained from recognized schools that also offer traditional, physical programs. This recognition is a testament to the value employers place on accreditation and the assurance it provides.

  1. Employers understand that accredited universities have undergone a thorough evaluation process, which ensures that the education students receive is of high quality. They recognize that accreditation demonstrates a commitment to excellence in teaching and learning.
  2. Accreditation also indicates that the curriculum and programs offered by an institution have been carefully reviewed and deemed relevant to the skills needed in the workforce. Employers value this alignment between education and real-world requirements.
  3. Furthermore, accreditation provides reassurance to employers that online degree-holders possess the necessary knowledge and skills to succeed in the workplace. It serves as a benchmark of competency and ensures that graduates are equipped to meet the demands of their respective fields.
  4. By acknowledging and recognizing the importance of accreditation, employers demonstrate their commitment to hiring individuals with reputable credentials and qualifications. They understand that accredited universities stand out in terms of educational quality.

Therefore, it is imperative for individuals pursuing online degrees to choose accredited institutions. Doing so not only enhances their chances of gaining recognition from employers but also validates the value and credibility of their degree.

Embracing the Future of Online Master’s Degrees

As technology continues to advance, the future of online education looks bright. Online master’s degrees have proven to be a valuable option for both employees and employers, offering numerous benefits that make them a desirable choice.

One of the key advantages of online degrees is the flexibility they provide. With the ability to learn at your own pace and from anywhere, online programs offer unparalleled convenience for busy professionals. This flexibility allows individuals to balance their work, personal commitments, and education, making it easier to pursue a master’s degree without disrupting their careers.

Moreover, online master’s degree programs focus on practical skills that are directly applicable to the modern work landscape. Graduates from these programs possess the digital literacy and technological proficiency required in today’s rapidly evolving job market. With employers increasingly valuing candidates who can adapt to technological advancements, online degree-holders have a competitive edge.

Employers recognize the value of online degrees from recognized schools. Accredited online programs, like those offered by ACU Online, provide employers with confidence in the quality and value of these degrees. As more reputable institutions offer online degrees, employers are increasingly willing to consider candidates with online master’s degrees.

Benefits to Employers

  • Access to a larger talent pool: Online master’s degrees attract a diverse range of students from various backgrounds and locations, allowing employers to tap into a wider talent pool.
  • Cost-effective recruitment: Hiring online degree-holders can be cost-effective for organizations, as these individuals often possess relevant skills and experience.
  • Adaptability: Online degree-holders are adept at navigating virtual work environments, collaborating remotely, and utilizing digital tools, making them valuable assets in a world where remote work is becoming increasingly common.
  • Continuous development: Online master’s degrees promote lifelong learning and show employers that candidates are committed to personal and professional growth.

As the demand for specialized skills and advanced degrees continues to rise, online master’s degrees will play an increasingly important role in higher education. Employers recognize the value and relevance of these degrees and are actively seeking candidates with online qualifications.

With the future of online education looking promising, it’s essential to stay ahead of the curve and consider pursuing an online master’s degree. The benefits to employers, such as access to a larger talent pool and cost-effective recruitment, make candidates with online degrees highly desirable.


Employers today widely accept and value online master’s degrees, recognizing them as being on par with traditional degrees. The flexibility that online degrees offer, combined with the practical skills and accredited programs provided by online institutions, make them an attractive choice for both employers and individuals seeking advanced education.

Individuals with online degrees should focus on effectively marketing their skills and highlighting the unique aspects of their online education when showcasing their qualifications to potential employers. Emphasizing the tangible skills acquired during their program, such as project management or fluency in computer programming languages, can make a significant impact.

With the growing acceptance and recognition of online degrees, individuals can confidently pursue online master’s degrees, knowing that employers value their achievements. As employers continue to embrace the benefits of online education, it is clear that online degrees are here to stay and will continue to be a valuable asset in the job market.


Q: Do employers care if your master’s degree is online?

A: Employers have a positive perception of online master’s degrees and value the flexibility, practical skills, and accredited programs offered by online institutions.

Q: What types of online master’s degree programs are available?

A: Online master’s degree programs come in various formats, including fully online programs, hybrid programs, and traditional programs with online components.

Q: Why are online master’s degrees becoming increasingly popular?

A: The growth of online learning is evident, with over 28% of all U.S. college learners enrolled in at least one online course in 2016. Online degrees offer flexibility and cater to the needs of busy students.

Q: Are online master’s degrees as effective as traditional degrees?

A: The Department of Education has found that online programs perform on par with, or even better than, traditional face-to-face programs. Online degrees are proven to be effective across various content areas and for different types of learners.

Q: How do employers perceive online master’s degrees?

A: Employers have a positive perception of online learning. In a survey, 61% of HR leaders believed that online learning is of equal or greater quality compared to more traditional methods. Additionally, 71% of organizations have hired online degree-holders in the past year.

Q: What factors influence employers’ evaluation of online degrees?

A: Employers place importance on the brand and reputation of the institution. They view online degrees from reputable brick-and-mortar schools and institutions that offer both online and on-site coursework as having the same value as on-campus degrees.

Q: How should I market my online master’s degree to employers?

A: When marketing your online master’s degree, it is essential to emphasize the tangible skills acquired during the program, industry-accepted accreditation, and any real-world experiences. Focus on the aspects of the program that are most relevant to your desired industry.

Q: Why do employers appreciate the flexibility of online degrees?

A: Employers appreciate the flexibility that online degrees offer. Online degree-holders have demonstrated the ability to manage their time effectively, meet deadlines, and balance coursework with job responsibilities.

Q: What skills are acquired from an online master’s degree?

A: Online master’s degree programs instill valuable skills such as collaboration, project management, and technical proficiency in online communication and problem-solving. Online degree-holders are well-equipped to thrive in modern work environments.

Q: How important is accreditation to employers?

A: Employers place importance on accreditation when evaluating online degrees. Accreditation serves as a stamp of approval from educational organizations, ensuring that a university meets high-quality educational standards.

Q: What does the future hold for online master’s degrees?

A: As technology improves, online master’s degrees will continue to be a valuable option for both employees and employers. Employers recognize the benefits of flexibility, practical skills, and accredited programs offered by online institutions.

Q: What is the conclusion on employer perception of online master’s degrees?

A: Online master’s degrees are widely accepted by employers and viewed as equally valuable to traditional degrees. With the growing acceptance and recognition of online degrees, individuals can confidently pursue online master’s degrees knowing that employers value their achievements.

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