I was asked recently about online degrees by one of my friends.  She asked if a two people were up for the same teaching position and one applicant had a degree from a university and the other had a degree from an online school would the person with the degree from a university get the job over the applicant with the online degree?  What do you think?

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Personally, basing my decision on that alone, I would be more apt to hire the person from the actual university. Given, I don't know if it's possible to get a Education degree through online course work, if it is, would they even be doing fieldwork or student teaching? With the person from the university, I know for sure that they have gone through fieldwork and student teaching and many more hours in the field.

I would think that the person who has the degree from a university has a better chance of getting the job. It might also depend on whether the online school is an accredited school. There are all kinds of different things that could be a factor when it comes to getting hired over someone else though.

(I have not looked up any reliable statistics on this though, so this is kind of opinionated)


Larry's reply speaks to a surprisingly common problem today: awareness of educational options.  You can in fact get an online degree in education.  I'm studying towards one right now and I am finding the education as, or more, rigorous than previous on-campus work, albeit in the field of physics and not education.  Post University

However, the certification process for each individual state, student teaching and other pre-requisite testing and field materials are another matter entirely.  If the applicant has kept sufficient track of all their work and everything checks out there is no reason to give preference to the "traditionally" educated applicant.  In my opinion it should be more likely that the non-traditional student with verifiable education, work and references get the job.  Technology is not going away and such an applicant is more comfortable with and better able to appropriately use it in the education process.

But at this point in history it is still more likely for the offline applicant to get the job.  Things are starting to change, it's coming


Patrick Maher


It would be the preference in hiring some one that the bachelor's degree came from an actual university. I would be reluctant to hire some one whose initial degree came from an online university. The interaction factor and socialization factors with peers (in person) would be a concern for me with a person who attended an online university for initial degree. How can you tell if they can collaborate and interact effectively with peers. As a person who attends an online university they can do so online but can they deal and interact with the individuals and their respective personalities and attitudes whether student, fellow teacher, staff, or administrator.

The master's degree can come from either in my opinion provided it is an accredited university which focuses on rigor and relevance.  


Of course this is my thought. 

It really depends on who is hiring, how comfortable is that person with technology, and what are the content expectations.

It also depends on the professional and educational bias of the person hiring.

It is a falacy to believe that just because you have a professor in the classroom, students will interact and collaborate with instructor and peers.

Learning online requires a tremendous determination, great time management skills, self starting ability, and... passion! All skills required in any F2F classroom:) Learning online also requires an uncanny ability to "read" virtual personalities, and navigate cultural differences that are not visible or heard. Online learning also promotes collaborative skills and enhanced technology skills. The F2F factor may not be there 24/7, but the interactions occur via phone conversations and emails - all means of interactions of the 21st century generation enrolled in a F2F environment.

Reality is that most principals haven't set foot in a classroom for years- they have no understanding of the student population from the technological aspects. Principals may know about the latest technology system and how the school district is going to pay for it. But these principals don't really know their clientele, the 21st century student... an individual born with techie extensions, more comfortable receiving teacher's instructions via texting than via chalk and board.

And for that constituency, the professional with online exposure and collaborative skills should be considered first in the hiring process.


I agree with everyone above - it really depends on a number of factors. If the applicant has work experience, strong references, etc, this have just as much weight as a degree. In addition, consider if the individual with a unversity degree has a poor transcript, while the individual with the online college degree has a perfect 4.0. Personality also plays a critical role in whether the applicant is able to get the job or not. 

For example, my friend recently graduated with a degree from this program and entered the job market while back. He was able to find a job not just because of his degree, but because he show a great deal of interest in his field and had an impressive work resume as well.

My initial reponse was to go with the candidate who went to a university, but then I thought again.  Neither guarantees anything.  Just because a person has an online degree doesn't mean they are lacking real world experience or craft knowledge, and just because they attended a university doesn't mean they attended classes or didn't take online courses.  I know a student who graduated from an excellent state university, lived on campus, graduated with a 4.0 and took several classes which she proudly admits to only attended the the first class and exams. 

I would ask why the decision was made to aquire a degree on line,  what the strenghts of the program were and what the candidate felt they were lacking in the program. I would also try to be sure they had the skills and knowledge base that should have been acquired in the program.

I don't know if it necessarily matters where the degree came from as long as it was an accredited program because most schools are understanding and realizing where our world is going in terms of technology.



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