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How to transition from one field to another after completing an online degree? Is my online degree as valuable as a physical university's degree?#onlinedegree

I am studying online and not working in this field yet, and want to know how to transition to a job in my new field, and I am concerned that my online degree will not be as valuable as other universities.#online-education #education #higher-education #academic-advising

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Kortnee’s Answer

An online degree is just as valuable as a traditional degree. What counts the most is the experience you gain to go along with the degree you earn. Best of luck with your educational and professional endeavors!

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James’s Answer

Michael,


Great question about colleges offering on line degrees and their value.


A key component of whether a degree is valuable is if the college possesses regional accreditation.

A regionally accredited college must meet standards in terms of instruction, course outcomes, curriculum,

and other important factors which ensure that the college or university provides a quality education to its students.


You can gain this information by either visiting the college's website and checking out their About section or asking the question to an admissions advisor: "Is your college regionally accredited?"

A good answer would be, "Yes, our college is regionally accredited by the NW Commission of Colleges and Universities in the ," (for example, though there are many regions in the US.

Using the presence of a regional accreditation as a means of gauging the value of a college or university is a good way to assess this college, whether the college is on line, traditional in person, or a hybrid of these two.

As an academic advisor, I have helped students many times assess the value of a college they are inquiring about simply by encouraging them to check for regional accreditation.

Hope that helps and thanks for your question!

James recommends the following next steps:

Review the About section of a college's website
Seek a conversation with an admissions advisor and ask about regional accreditation
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Esther’s Answer

It has become more common for working professionals to earn online degrees. Many "traditional" colleges are offering online degrees than before. An online degree is just as valuable as earning a degree on campus. I earned my Master's degree online and from my experience, it takes a completely different skill set and level of dedication to earn an online degree. It can be much more challenging.


Employers don't really care whether you earn an online degree or an on campus degree. They care about if you have the degree and if you have the experience they are looking for. If you are looking to change careers from one field to another, then you may not have the experience. This is where you will have to do a transferable skills inventory on yourself. In other words, what skills do you already have that will serve you well in the next career field? I recommend taking a look at job postings for companies you are interested in possibly working for. Compare what they are asking for with your skill set and experience. Where you find gaps is what you need to focus on. Consider volunteering or an internship in your new field in order to gain some experience. It will also help you network with other professionals in your new chosen field. Sometimes it is not what you know but who you know.

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Gloria’s Answer

HI Michael,

An online degree is as valuable as an in-person degree. If you are concerned about your online degree, you should check about accreditation of the online school. You will want to check what states your degree would be accepted. I had a friend who went to an in-person school where the degree was only valid in the state in which the degree was earned.

I actually have a masters degree that I earned online. It was a degree from a well-known in-person university. I think that what you are asking is how to enter an industry where you only have a degree as experience. This can be a difficult challenge. Your degree probably gives you a high sense of what you can do, but an employer will often care about actual experience. I have a friend who got a masters degree in international marketing. She felt like she had the ability to be a marketing manager. Without experience, a business would be taking a great risk. So you should consider taking a job that you may feel you are overqualified for. Start in an entry level position that will be a route to the job that you want. You may be surprised by how quickly you can move up once you have an option to show your skills. Another way is to find a job with a small company that may place a premium on your college learning over experience. Lastly, I would ask this - can you start using what you learned in college in support of a volunteer activity? For example, my friend did marketing for free for online businesses to gain experience in return. It also allowed her to collect elements for a portfolio that she could then use on job interviews.

Getting into a new field with only a diploma can be challenging, depending on your route. You ideally got your degree because you are passionate about the subject that you studied. You will need to be persistent in your attempts to get a job and stay strong when the journey becomes difficult.

Good luck on your job search,
Gloria
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Sharyl’s Answer

Today, online degrees in many fields are more valuable than the bricks and mortar experience because of the adaptability of the degree holder. This shows that you can work in a technologically-driven environment, in which we all live. This shows that you can communicate differently. Brick and mortar colleges and universities offer online degree options because they realize that the traditional campus life must change. Your degree will be seen as appropriate and valuable by many future employers.
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Vickey’s Answer

The only way to tell how your degree is going to transfer, is talk to the admissions department at the school you want to attend. They can be very picky about what credits they will accept, but if you have a degree already, you should be fine. Good Luck

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Estelle’s Answer

Depending on the school, I do think a degree in person is more valuable. In person you can make connections that can propel your career. If you go to graduate school, I would try to do it in person. Good luck.
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