New online degree options are popping up all the time, especially in popular areas like psychology. many students wonder whether these degrees are respected by employers and the outside community. The answer depends on a few things, such as the caliber of the school and the student’s background.
Are Online Psychology Degrees Respected?
Online psychology degrees can be just as food as traditional degrees. Most employers know this, and they will not automatically discredit a student who received an online degree. Many online degree schools have no indication that they are an online program, so it can even be hard for employers to tell that a degree was obtained online.
There are a few things that can make an online degree a bad choice. Some of the schools that offer online degrees are not accredited, and their course work does not match the level of rigor that you would expect from a traditional university. In this case, your online degree may not be respected. There are a few things you can do to evaluate any online psychology degree program and tell if you are going to a respected school or not. You should also evaluate whether an online psychology program meets your needs, and this guide can help you: http://psychology.about.com/od/education/f/online-psychology-degree.htm
Assessing an Online Psychology Program
The first thing that you should do when evaluating an online degree program is to look at its accreditations. The school needs to be accredited by the US Department of Education for higher learning institutions. It also should hold accreditations in subject specific areas. Most degrees are linked to a board that determines the quality of subject work in that field.
A second way to tell whether a degree program is good or not is to see if they have an in person campus. Many campuses are now beginning to offer courses online, and these degrees are usually well respected. If the school is an online only school, it can still be acceptable if it has the proper accreditations. You simply may have a bit more trouble in convincing employers that your degree is valid.
Other Opportunities to Develop
Along with an online degree, there are some ways that you can develop you psychology skills in order to become a more well rounded candidate. For instance, you can volunteer in a facility related to your subject area in psychology. Mental health specialists can volunteer at a psychiatric facility of a rehab clinic. Cognitive or developmental psychology students could spend time in a local daycare or learning facility. You can find many such opportunities online in most areas.
Another way to prove your merit is to do an independent research project. Some schools offer these as an optional part of your studies. As a psychology student, you should always accept to do these sorts of projects, since these show that you are able to think critically in the field and produce original ideas. If nothing else, your research papers will show the quality of the work that you did during your online degree program.
Creating a Good Impression with an Online Psychology Degree
As mentioned throughout the article, the value and respectability of an online psychology degree really depends on the work you put into it and the school that you choose. Once you graduate from any program, even an in person psychology program, it is your challenge to convince your employer that you learned a lot in the degree program. It can be hard to assess the exact skills that an applicant possesses simply based on the title and school of the degree that they received. For this reason, psychology degrees are no more respectable than what you are able to demonstrate in terms of your skills.