Several years ago, employers were more hesitant to accept online degrees as legitimate, with concerns that online students didn’t gain the same vital skills as they would in a traditional campus environment. But in recent years, that perception has changed dramatically as even the best-known schools have embraced online education and launched high-quality degree programs. While some employers may still be hesitant about online degrees, many have come to recognize the value of having their employees further their education while working, in part because students can apply what they learn directly to their career. In fact, roughly one-third of online college students are reimbursed for tuition by their employer, according to a 2019 survey by Aslanian Market Research and Learning House.
Typically, it’s the degree itself, and not the format by which it was earned, that hiring managers and potential employers care about most. Experts say it usually isn’t necessary to indicate on a resume that a degree was earned online, as the school’s reputation and accreditation will be significantly more important. Candidates shouldn’t shy away from discussing their online education or become defensive if an interviewer asks them, for example, how they managed to get a degree while also working full time. This can actually be a good opportunity for an online learner to showcase their commitment to their career field and discuss their time-management skills.
Highest Paying Online Degrees
On the list of U.S. News’ 25 Best Paying Jobs, petroleum engineers, who design equipment that extracts oil from reservoirs, are at No. 12 with a median salary of $137,170 in 2018. This career path requires a bachelor’s degree in the field of engineering, which is available online.
Following petroleum engineers on the list are information technology (IT) managers at No. 13, with a median salary of $139,220. Online degrees in the IT field are prevalent at both undergraduate and graduate levels.
Business and management degrees can also lead to high salaries, and many can be earned online. These degrees can help an employee climb the ladder at a company and earn a higher salary. In May 2018, the median annual wage for chief executives was $189,600, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The median annual salary for general and operations managers was $100,930.
On the U.S. News list of Best Paying Jobs, marketing manager ranks No. 15, with a median salary of $132,230 in 2017; financial manager is at No. 16 with a median annual salary of $125,080; and sales managers rank at No. 18, with a median annual salary of $121,060.