The advent of high-speed internet, buying decisions that take the touch of a finger-tip, tiresome students who wanted to study further, and the conjunction of several other factors made the concept of online education become very real. Gone are the days when a student thousands of miles away from the classroom couldn’t dream of getting quality education. We’re talking about the 1980s when we survived (somehow) on dial-up connections that took forever to connect, and miserable students who had to spend their whole week juggling school and work.
But we’ve made huge strides since then, haven’t we? We were introduced to online degrees that made everything so convenient. But is online education truly what we think it is? Online accounting degrees can be very advantageous for an individual who is working and also caring for a family. If you’re working a full-time job, continuing your education might seem like a far-fetched dream, but because of online education, you can think of continuing your degree. Aspiring accountants, who can’t manage to attend a class physically, opt to enroll into a distance learning program.
This is an ideal situation for them because this way, they don’t have to rush to their class right after work. Classes that happen on-site usually have strict attendance policies, so missing these classes can have dire consequences. Apart from stringent attendance policies, even if you are able to make it to your class on time, you won’t have the physical or mental energy to sit through the whole class and pay attention.
Because of reasons like these, online accounting degrees seem like a lucrative option for those who have tight schedules. But with that being said – are online accounting degrees respected the same way? When online education was finding its footsteps, many “diploma mills” ventured into the field of online education and started to offer diplomas that had practically no value and weren’t accredited by any professional body.
This instance gave online degrees a bad name, but is it still the same now? Some hiring managers frown upon an online accounting degree, while others see an online accounting degree as a sign that the candidate can stay motivated. Before you get confused – here are the factors that matter.
Perceptions Are Influenced by the Program and the Institution
The number of students who have online degrees is constantly rising. With the passage of time, more and more hiring managers are willing to accept an online accounting degree, but with this being said, we can’t deny the stigma that exists. If you earn your degree from an institution that doesn’t have a good reputation, you’re bound to see its effects on your career, regardless of whether you earned your degree online or on-site. Like we mentioned earlier, there are diploma mills that are willing to award a degree to anyone who is willing to pay the fee.
To avoid enrolling yourself into diploma mills that put your career in jeopardy, it’s essential that you do your research. Make a habit of only attending programs that are accredited by a respectable agency like the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. As long as your online accounting degree has an AACSB accreditation – you have nothing to worry about.
You Need to Be Self-Disciplined and Organized
Many accounting students assume that they’ll pay for an online degree when they start their job search, but in the accounting industry, that is not always the case. Many employers in the industry prefer professionals who have taken time to network with other accounting professionals or individuals who have face-to-face communication skills.
Hiring managers responsible for finding accounting professionals see an online accounting degree as an asset because it shows that the candidate wasn’t just focused on his studies. An online accounting degree shows that the individual has taken out the time to connect with industry professionals and has some valuable hands-on experience. If you’re able to show to the employer that you had other obligations in life and you still managed to acquire an online accounting degree, the hiring manager might think that you’re capable of multi-tasking. You can also show your employer that you can work on your own without being micro-managed by faculty.
How Can You Use Your Online Accounting Degree to Get Attention?
There are no two opinions about the fact that online education isn’t meant to be for everyone. Online classes, on average, have more course work than traditional on-site classes, and they also require you to be self-disciplined. You need to stay motivated to power through every assignment and every lecture – and if you aren’t able to do that, you could lag behind. But apart from the hardships you can face while acquiring your accounting degree; you can still turn this situation around to make it work for you.
When you’re building your resume, focus on the relevant skills that you learned while studying online. Apart from being tech-savvy and skilled in online communication platforms, you can also enlist that you’re a quick learner and that you can be independent. Students who acquire their degrees online have higher organization skills because they have the opportunity to see the practical implementation of the concepts they’ve learned right after they’re done with their online lecture. When you’re giving an interview, don’t forget to sell yourself! Embrace online learning so it can give your recruiter a positive impression of you.
The recruiter’s perception of an online degree depends on their experience with online degrees too. If your recruiter has had a pleasant experience with online education previously, it’s more than likely that they’ll give you a favorable assessment too. However, don’t expect everything to come up with roses. There are still many employers that raise eyebrows when they see an online degree, but what essentially matters to them is the accreditation your degree has. Another reason for concern can be the location. For example, you could’ve acquired your online accounting degree from a university that does not have a physical campus - then it might boil down to the credibility of your degree.