Online education has come a long way since its humble (and shady) beginnings in the 90’s.

Today, diploma mills have been exposed and all but dismantled, and the for-profit education model has brought professional instruction to millions of students who otherwise could not have pursued higher education.

As far as distance education has come, however, the stigma that hangs over it is just now beginning to fade, and businesses are finally recognizing just how graduates from online programs are — and here’s why:

    • Self-Motivated:  Unlike traditional institutions, online education programs don’t require students to come to class, and don’t have the same built-in motivational structures that orthodox classes do.  As such, online students have to be much more self-motivated to complete their work.  There is nothing hanging over them to make them turn in assignments and excel, and no professors to baby them through the syllabus.  Often, online students work much harder and with more concentration because they are balancing school, work, family, and other responsibilities, which shows employers that they are great candidates because they don’t have to be supervised or motivated to do work.

what online programs can teach

  • Time Management Skills: In addition to being self-motivated, online students are exceptionally skilled at managing their time — when you work full time, have a family, and still go to school full time online, you have to be.  The primary reason students choose online education is that they can work school in around their work schedules.  This often means that they work 8-5 and then pursue their studies in the evening, when most people are relaxing.  In order to succeed they often have to find creative ways and times to study, which, again, demonstrates to employers that they are mature and dedicated to work.
  • Independent: More impressive than the fact that online students have excellent time management skills and don’t need constant supervision is that they are taking control of their futures and choosing to go back to school for their own improvement.  Often traditional students are more or less shepherded through the school system and haven’t taken enough time away from studies to even know what they really want to do with their lives.  Online students, however, are often coming back to school after a prolonged break, and have a determination that younger students do not.  Online students understand that the time to hesitate passed long ago, and they are typically very driven to succeed.

What employer wouldn’t want those qualities in a potential new hire?  So, if you are thinking of going back to school, consider enrolling in an online program, and impress your future employers with your determination, independence, and skill.