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Are all degrees created equal?


Many people with college degrees would willingly trade their diplomas for ones bearing the names Harvard, Stanford, or Columbia University. There is no question of the sex appeal of a big-name university when you go looking for work. Recruiters love “name” schools. Your hiring stock will be much greater if you went to Northwestern University than if you attended, say, lesser-known schools such as Cal State Stanislaus in Turlock or Monsbey College in Watsonville. Yet, depending on what kind of job you are seeking, your education from a little-known school may be just as good as one from Yale. Everybody appreciates a good education, even though some continue to credit degrees from name universities with a higher value than other schools. But the world is changing. Some less-traditional colleges don’t have ivy-covered campuses or mammoth football stadiums these days. In fact, some don’t have campuses at all. Through the miracle of technology, higher education is evolving. Some universities–including some very prominent ones–offer online classes for their students. A recent survey by the Society for Human Resource Management shows that 49 percent of human resource professionals prefer degrees from name institutions over online universities even if they are both accredited. Even with that discrimination, 79 percent of companies said they had hired individuals with degrees earned online over the past year. And the study found companies are more willing today to hire those with online degrees than they were five years ago.

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Denny Carter

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