This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience. More info

Are Online Degrees Accepted by Employers? Survey Results You Might Not Expect!

Lynda Bean was a full-time instructor at a community college when she began online classes a few years ago. Balancing limited free time and a demanding 9-5 work schedule, Bean needed a degree program that would be academically rigorous but geographically convenient. She found exactly what she was looking for in the dental hygiene program at Oregon Institute of Technology.

“The online degree was beneficial to me along with my affiliation with the community college,” Bean said. “[The affiliation] allowed me to fulfill several internships … colleagues also helped with expertise and supplies that I needed for several classes.”

Bean couldn’t have known it then, but she was part of a growing trend toward online degrees in higher education. In fact, online degree-seeker enrollments have steadily increased year over year—in 2003 total enrollments in the United States were holding steady at 11.7 percent, but by 2011, enrollments had risen to 32 percent.

Charlene Jimenez has a similar story. She landed a teaching job at Rio Salado College after completing an online graduate degree. “I completed my master of arts in creative writing through the University of Denver’s online degree program,” she says.

Survey says …

Naysayers who disregard online education and try to discredit it’s pathway to student success are slowly but surely being silenced by the statistics.

Rasmussen College conducted a survey of more than 100 middle and senior management positions across all industries. While just 18 percent of respondents said they would be extremely likely to hire an online degree graduate, an additional 28.5 percent said they’d be very likely to do so. All told, almost half of all managers polled didn’t appear concerned about where the applicant earned his or her degree.


Moreover, a recent survey by members of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) found that 79 percent of participants had already hired a candidate with an online degree over the previous 12 months.

“Rarely do employers question the authority of online programs in today’s world,” said Susan Fontana, regional vice president of global recruiting firm, Manpower. She said, there was a lot more hemming and hawing ten years ago with the lack of accreditation behind online degree programs.

Accreditation continues to be a problem that plagues many online students—but it shouldn’t. Finding the answer can be as simple as double checking the program’s website or calling the school directly.

Online education is growing

Online bachelor’s degrees can actually be an advantage to employers seeking trustworthy and reliable candidates. Many students enrolled in online degree programs are doing so because they’re already working a full-time job. Add to the mix a family, children and other commitments and you’re talking about students who already demonstrate a great deal of discipline.

Not to mention, online students are coming in droves. More than 6.7 million students are taking at least one online course, according to a 2011 survey conducted by Babson Survey Research Group. In fact, the survey shows a 10 percent year-over-year increase in online enrollments—that is five times greater than the overall growth rate across all of higher education!

Even big-named colleges and universities are jumping on board the online education train. Stanford, Duke and MIT offer some of the most popular online programs in the country.

“Learning is no longer limited to four walls—learning can happen anywhere—and it already is happening everywhere, every day,” said Todd Hitchcock, senior vice president of online solutions at Pearson Learning Solutions.

The bottom line

Online courses and degrees offer a great opportunity for people to not only enhance their skill set, but to have the flexibility they need balance their studies with work and raising a family. After all, what employer would look down on candidates with proven multitasking skills and computer savvy?

Not only that, but colleges and universities are embracing online education by building their own programs and offering massive open online courses (MOOCs). It’s safe to say online education is here to stay.

Want to learn more about the online classroom? Take a look at the ways to get your feet wet with online education to better prepare you for an online degree. If you’re interested in diving right in, take a look at the online degree offerings at Rasmussen College.

Kendall Bird

Kendall is a Social Media Strategist at Collegis Education who is focused on bringing awareness and engagement to Rasmussen College's social media properties. She is passionate about helping others, the power of education and building strategies that put the needs of students first. 


Related Content

This piece of ad content was created by Rasmussen College to support its educational programs. Rasmussen College may not prepare students for all positions featured within this content. Please visit for a list of programs offered. External links provided on are for reference only. Rasmussen College does not guarantee, approve, control, or specifically endorse the information or products available on websites linked to, and is not endorsed by website owners, authors and/or organizations referenced. Rasmussen College is a regionally accredited private college.

logo-accreditation-acen logo-accreditation-ccne chart-credential-laddering-healthcare-management 0 Credits 90 Credits 180 Credits 48 Credits Start Here HIGH SCHOOL GRADS Start Here TRANSFER STUDENTS Start Here SECOND DEGREE PURSUERS End Here ASSOCIATE’S DEGREE Start Here MASTER’S DEGREE PURSUERS End Here BACHELOR’S DEGREE End Here MASTER’S DEGREE chart-credential-laddering-rsb 0 Credits Start Here HIGH SCHOOL GRADS Start Here TRANSFER STUDENTS 90 Credits Start Here SECOND DEGREE PURSUERS End Here ASSOCIATE'S DEGREE 180 Credits End Here BACHELOR'S DEGREE chart-credential-laddering-rsd 0 Credits Start Here HIGH SCHOOL GRADS Start Here TRANSFER STUDENTS 91 Credits Start Here SECOND DEGREE PURSUERS End Here ASSOCIATE'S DEGREE 181 Credits End Here BACHELOR'S DEGREE chart-credential-laddering-rsjs 0 Credits Start Here HIGH SCHOOL GRADS Start Here TRANSFER STUDENTS 91 Credits Start Here SECOND DEGREE PURSUERS End Here ASSOCIATE'S DEGREE 180 Credits End Here BACHELOR'S DEGREE chart-credential-laddering-rsn 0 Credits Start Here HIGH SCHOOL GRADS Start Here TRANSFER STUDENTS 91 Credits Start Here SECOND DEGREE PURSUERS End Here ASSOCIATE'S DEGREE 181 Credits End Here BACHELOR'S DEGREE icon-colored-outline-bank icon-colored-outline-certificate icon-colored-outline-circle-dollar-sign icon-colored-outline-folder-search icon-colored-outline-hand-heart icon-colored-outline-head-blocks icon-colored-outline-head-cog icon-colored-outline-head-heart icon-colored-outline-health-plus-leaves icon-colored-outline-hospital icon-colored-outline-light-bulb-analytics icon-colored-outline-magnifying-glass icon-colored-outline-monitor-healthcare icon-colored-outline-monitor-paper-search icon-colored-outline-nurse-rays icon-colored-outline-padlock-shield icon-colored-advance icon-colored-arrows-cross-curve icon-colored-build icon-colored-bulb-analytics icon-colored-certificate icon-colored-continual-developement icon-colored-folder-mortarboard icon-colored-globe-pen icon-colored-growth icon-colored-hand-bubble icon-colored-head-blocks icon-colored-head-cog icon-colored-laptop-cbe-skyscraper icon-colored-laptop-webpage icon-colored-location-pin icon-colored-monitor-paper-scan icon-colored-national icon-colored-person-whiteboard icon-colored-police-light icon-colored-prep icon-colored-presenter icon-colored-regional icon-colored-save-time icon-colored-skyscraper icon-colored-state icon-colored-student-centered icon-colored-support icon-colored-world-experience icon-camera icon-filter icon-info-circle icon-mail-forward icon-play-solid icon-quote-mark-left icon-quote-mark-right icon-share-square-o icon-spinner icon-tag ras-logo-flame ras-logo-horizontal ras-logo-stacked icon-bank icon-general-chart icon-general-connect icon-general-degree icon-general-discuss icon-general-email icon-general-find icon-general-hat icon-general-heart icon-general-laptop-building icon-general-laptop icon-general-leader icon-general-map icon-general-money icon-general-paperwork icon-general-people icon-general-phone icon-general-speak-out icon-head-heart icon-mglass icon-scales icon-simple-chat icon-simple-desktop icon-simple-find icon-simple-hamburger icon-simple-phone icon-testimonial-quotes icon-social-facebook-square-colored icon-social-facebook-square icon-social-facebook icon-social-google-plus-square icon-social-google-plus icon-social-instagram icon-social-linkedin-square-colored icon-social-linkedin-square icon-social-linkedin icon-social-pinterest-p icon-social-twitter-square icon-social-twitter icon-social-youtube-play-colored icon-social-youtube-play icon-util-checkbox-white icon-util-checkbox icon-util-checked-white icon-util-checked icon-util-chevron-down icon-util-chevron-left icon-util-chevron-right icon-util-chevron-up icon-util-language-switch icon-util-loading icon-util-open-window-button icon-util-open-window-link icon-util-pdf-button icon-util-pdf-link icon-util-refresh icon-util-x