For decades now, U.S. News & World Report has annually released a respected ranking of American universities. For hiring managers and human resources personnel around the country this list has provided a useful resource in determining which academic institutions to look out for on resumes. But while USN&WR’s annual college rankings have always exclusively stuck to traditional “brick & mortar” universities, this year was the first time the periodical included a list of the best accredited online colleges in the country. The introduction of such a respected ranking of online colleges speaks volumes about the future of online education.
It’s also incredibly useful for those currently hiring, as many managers and HR personnel are in the dark when it comes to which online programs provide students with a worthy education and which ones fail to prepare individuals for professional careers. This is especially the case in highly technical fields, where the particulars of the applicant’s education often come into play on the job site. At a time when more and more resumes are revealing an online education past, staying up-to-date on the best online schools out there ensures employers continue to hire the best workforce possible.
Such a list also helps dissolve the stigma held against such institutions and the quality of training they offer. Currently just about every reference to online college in the media is negative – usually such coverage is concerned with for-profit institutions and lack of accreditation and academic quality. This creates an inaccurate portrait in the heads of hirers regarding online education, and can unfortunately result in particular qualified applicants being bypassed. A respected ranking of accredited online colleges helps reduce the commonality of such sentiments.
But above all, a ranking of online colleges provided by U.S. News & World Report encourages more people to enroll in such programs in order to get the training and experience they need to become professionals. For every hirer who has doubts about the quality of an online education there are thousands of underemployed people who would be taking such programs if they knew that good ones actually do exist. Now, instead of shrugging off just another falsely-objective list of online colleges, such individuals can consult a trusted source for such information.
In addition, thanks to the way USN&WR catalogs their accredited college rankings into student services, quality of courses, likelihood of post-graduation employment, et cetera, aspiring professionals can now better analyze their online college options for attaining bachelors and even graduate degrees. Individuals can find exactly what they’re looking for in an online college program instead of having to rely on the potentially empty-promises provided by recruiters and online copywriters. For hirers and those looking to get hired alike, this is a definite step in the right direction.
Perhaps the most shocking and inspiring insight one can take away from USN&WR’s online college rankings is the fact that quite a number of respectable brick & mortar universities offer mirrored online versions of their most popular programs. Examples include George Washington University and the University of Florida. It can be said that the lines between traditional college lecture halls and new age online courses are disintegrating swiftly as more and more respectable American schools embrace the inevitable conversion to more digital forms of learning.
If you had doubts about online education, either as a hirer or an aspiring professional, look over the latest rankings list provided by U.S. News & World Report. Your suppositions are sure to be challenged, while the facts you learn are likely to surprise you. In turn, you’ll continue to hire the right workers for the job, or finally get the motivation you need to get the training it takes to become a professional.
Date: January 26th, 2012 / Author: Lindsay
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