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Young Entrepreneur

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Is It Safe to Hire People With Online Degrees?

The Ask an Entrepreneur series features YEC members' experiences in entrepreneurship in a Q&A format.


Question: Is It Safe to Hire People With Online Degrees?

I have an applicant for a position at my company who seems well-qualified, but their degree is from a non-traditional online university. I’m not sure whether to trust that the degree is legit.


Meet our Entrepreneur: Fadl Al Tarzi, Founder and CEO, Nexford University Inc.

Fadl Al Tarzi is the founder of Nexford University, an ambitious next generation online university. Nexford University enables greater social and economic mobility across the world by providing students access to a high quality, affordable, dynamic education that prepares them for the global workplace.


Answer: Keep An Open Mind

Certain segments of our society hold misconceptions about online education. Namely, they see it as being lower quality than traditional education.

This simply isn’t true, as a study out of MIT has proven. In order to eradicate this misconception and, in the process, to set online students up for success in the job market, employers need to accept and endorse legitimate online universities as being equally credible as traditional ones.

To an extent, that will simply take time; people are inherently resistant to change. But it’s also incumbent upon education providers to ensure our product is effective. Our graduates must be able to produce and add value in the job market at the highest levels.

So long as that’s the case, though, I believe we’ll be seeing employers open their doors more and more to graduates of online universities. What employers want, after all, are candidates who possess the skills relevant to the work they’ll be doing at their company. And it’s for this reason that employers may soon come to prefer students who’ve been trained under curriculum designed specifically to that end.

Education providers and employers, then, should start working together more purposefully to ensure such upward mobility from education to eventual employment is possible and encouraged.