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Online degree programs are becoming increasingly popular, particularly in the U.S. Institutions like the University of Phoenix are gaining popularity, and many American colleges and universities are now offering their own online programs. Bachelor’s degrees, master’s, even Ph.Ds are now being offered in an online program.

Besides the well-known online schools like University of Phoenix, many public and private colleges and universities have started to offer online programs. Many online degrees; however, are not full bachelor’s or associate’s degrees, but rather are certificates.

Many colleges have yet to embrace full programs offered online, but a great deal of online courses are popping up in curricula. Still, a vast majority of degree work is conducted in lectures or labs.

So, how do these new online courses affect my hiring decisions?

Here are some tips for evaluating online programs during the hiring process:

  • As a general rule, review and assign value to coursework as it applies to your specific need. Be careful not to accept an online degree based solely on face value. A “degree” doesn’t necessarily lend itself to the type of coursework and experience required for your needs.
  • Research the granting institution for credibility and certifications, if appropriate.
  • Review specific coursework, including hours and assignments within the courses. These details can give you specific insight into the value of a candidate’s online education.

Should I disqualify candidates with an online degree or diploma?

Heed the suggestions above to determine the validity and value of a specific online program to your organizational needs. Barring professions like doctors, lawyers, engineers, nurses and architects, more value should be placed on a candidate’s specific knowledge base and real-world experience, more than the style or name of any degree.

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