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From the NY Daily News

HOW TO TELL AN AWFUL ONLINE PROGRAM FROM A GREAT ONEThese days, employers rarely question the quality of online programs, says Susan Fontana, regional vice president of Manpower, a global recruiting firm.

“Things have changed,” says Fontana, whose company works with Fortune 100 companies and small and midsize businesses. “I think 10 years ago, you probably had a little more questioning, but it really is so much more accepted today.”

In fact, sometimes an online bachelor’s degree can be an advantage in the eye of an employer, Fontana says. In some cases, entrepreneurs favor students such who have juggled multiple commitments while earning their degree.

“When you think about balancing a job and the needs of a family with school, that says a lot about the discipline of a person,” Fontana says.

There are several reasons why online bachelor’s degrees are increasingly becoming accepted, including the sheer number of students taking online courses, experts say. In 2011, for example, more than 6.7 million students took at least one online course, according to the most recent findings from the Babson Survey Research Group.

Chris Cullen, a brand consultant for colleges and universities, says the perception of online degrees has also changed as top-ranked schools have started offering more distance education options and massive open online courses, known as MOOCs.

“In the past couple of years schools like MIT, Stanford, Duke and Johns Hopkins have joined the online education landscape,” says Cullen, managing director at Infinia DC. “It elevates the concept of online higher ed. Just by their participation the category is lifted.”


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