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July 28, 2008

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This is why I am exploring options carefully before completing my degree. I have a friend who got an online degree and was told by a recruiter that it's not a "real" degree, even though the institution is fully accredited and she graduated magna cum laude. Her thought was "great, now I have a very expensive wall decoration."

Oh Kelly, that's awful. Hopefully she won't get the same response from other employers!

I received my online degree in November, 2007 and just landed a job offer with it. However, all things are not equal and I know what I have heard about my online degree, much of it a bit demeaning.

I think the onus of credibility lies on the institutions offering these degrees. I went to the major online degree school (think charred bird) and while my classroom experiences, both online and in a brick and mortar classroom, were outstanding, the charred bird does nothing to improve its own credibility as a worthwhile institution.

I realize we are dealing with an issue of perception, but if I could take a moment to dispel the idea that these are not "real" degrees, I have to say that I worked harder and learned more than I ever have. Working full time and fulfilling the equivalent of full time enrollment is not easy and does indeed require a serious commitment to education. I watched more than half of the people I started with drop out because full time course work and full time employment were just too difficult on them and their families. I don't think a lack of commitment on the part of these students is the issue.

Then again, I'm biased.

JackBuilt, thanks so much for sharing your experience. I'm really glad to hear that you landed a job with minimal difficulty, and I certainly believed that you worked every bit as hard for your degree as someone who went to a brick and mortar institution. Hopefully the charred bird and others will wake up and realize that they need to hire some marketing people to dispel these negative and often untrue perceptions.

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