There was a time when seeing a degree on someone’s resume was incredibly important for hiring managers. But the world is changing, and the employment arena needed to adjust with the times. Today, more and more professionals are opting to get their degrees online, sometimes from start to finish, and sometimes as a degree completion program if they left undergrad before they finished. So how do employers evaluate a job candidate who brings an online degree to the table? Here are some practical tips.
Define the role.
Before you even begin looking at candidates for your open position, be sure that you’re properly defining it. What are the requirements and why do they exist. If you need a degree, why do you need that? Could someone also apply if they don’t have a degree but have several years related experience? How would an online degree play into their qualifications, if at all?
Create standardized criteria.
Once you define the role, create a standardized system of criteria. This way, you are able to compare apples to apples rather than trying to fit square pegs into round holes. When you create a list of all the possible criteria required for a position, do make sure you’re allowing for some variation or you’re only going to see the same candidates over and over again.
Understand the different online programs.
Of course, it is also on you to make sure you better understand online degree programs and what they mean. For example, is there a difference between a degree completion program and online courses? Does the program provide certification or a degree? Is the university accredited?
Be clear about expectations.
When you do interview, be clear about the expectations of the job. Just because someone has an online degree doesn’t mean they’re incapable to accomplish the tasks at hand. When you’re clear about the expectations, the online degree program doesn’t matter as much as the potential employee’s ability to do the work necessary for success.
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