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Value of a Online Degree


karlton minter Cibolo, TX

Would Financial Company's like (Wells Fargo, Bank of America l, JP Morgan etc.. prefer to hire someone with a on campus college degree instead of an online degree. Currently obtaining an Master of Finance Degree Online at Southern New Hampshire University.

9 February 2016 8 replies Education & Training



Nathan Kerr Fort George G Meade, MD

I would like to agree with one of the answers below. It is not enough to be just accredited (even regionally accredited) as for-profit colleges have found a loophole where they buy-out struggling small private (mostly Christian) liberal arts colleges and "inherit" the accreditation. It very important to find a private non-profit or public college. Preferably one with positive name recognition such as a public university such as Penn State or any of the Jesuit universities such as Seton Hall, Gonzaga etc. Most of the great universities have online programs that are mostly, if not all online. The difference is they hold standards above that of a University of Phoenix, Strayer, Grantham etc.

Additionally, many (or most) of their colleges will cohort your class so you have the same students in all of the degree program. Finally, quality programs have face to face interaction through virtual platforms such as GoToMeeting and other virtual platforms where you get to know each of your professors. This is especially true for me at Creighton University (Jesuit, Omaha, NE).

For business programs, especially at the graduate level, check for additional accreditation. The gold standard is AACSB accredited programs. They, to my knowledge, do not accredit any for-profit programs.


Goran Ristovski Plymouth, MI

Hi Karlton,

The online degrees are becoming more and more prominent these days and are preferred option for large number of professionals as they are better fit for their busy lifestyles. That said, having accreditation is still important, but format of how the program is delivered (online, on-site or hybrid) is no longer significant factor.


Tim Keefe Washington, DC

1. Main thing is whether the school is accredited or not, and whether it falls within the non-profit or the for-profit category. You have to make sure that it's accredited. That's key. And, make sure to avoid for-profit schools unless, in the wider world, the school has a great reputation.

2. Related to (1), there are schools out there, like SNHU, that, though legitimate, raise red flags because their degrees are primarily online and so might have the reputations of being "degree mills." Which also means, "low quality." That might not be true and you get an excellent education from the program, but how employers perceive them is what usually trumps all.

3. Yes, in general, if you have the degree, it won't say whether you completed it online or not. A degree is a degree, which is to show that you completed X number of credits and is the piece of paper that employers require. But, as I said, the reputation of the school might hurt you if you're not careful.

Lastly, in your case, I'd either consider dropping out of SNHU and go with another program with a state school like University of North Dakota, which also has online programs. Or, stay with SNHU and make sure to do something where you're getting practical experience in addition to the coursework. Experience, in the end, is more important than schoolwork and you have to get it any way you can.


William Orr Greenwood, IN

I was hired by a Fortune 500 financial company with two online degrees. Does your SNHU master's degree say "Master of Arts in Finance (online)"? Probably not. Be proud of what you have accomplished and don't let the six inches of space between your ears minimize any of that!


Rocio Briones Austin, TX

With more and more information shifting online, I have experienced my last university performing the same transition. In other words, the university was providing more and more online classes than at campus courses. Therefore, I do not feel a company will be focusing on whether or not you obtained the degree at a campus or online, but more on what tools and knowledge you gained that will assist them to achieve their goals. If you have identified a career path and created a list of companies you would like to work for, then I would suggest you research these further to determine what skill set you need to obtain to be hired on by them (as suggested by Joshuah).

Thanks for your service and good luck.


Susana Moraga Hayward, CA


A degree may allow you to compete but doesn't make you competitive.
Your relevant experience to the position you are seeking is what employers are looking for.
How well you understand the field and what you want to do and how you want to grow is key for you to be looking in the right places and developing your best marketing tools.
I agree with both of the other comments; connect with professionals in the field you seek to join and gain their perspectives.
Good luck,


Joshuah Chrisman New York, NY

Hi Karlton,

I just wanted to let you know that you can use the community feature on this page to find advisors from those companies and reach out to them individually to get their insight. ACP partners with Wells Fargo and many other large financial firms so there is a nice assortment of expertise in the industry to help you out.



Scott Goldman Sudbury, MA

Companies generally hire people, not degrees, but your resume is what gets you in the door. The good news is that in most cases these days, there's no clear indication that a degree was granted for on-line versus in-person work on the resume (or even on the degree itself), though it may come up during an interview. IMO, it's far more important to have a refined resume that clearly aligns your background and experience with the position you're applying for. Once you get the interview, the nature of your degree (on-line v. in-person) is likely to be the least important take-away for the interviewer. However, you should have some pre-baked answers for why you chose to pursue your degree on-line (cost, simultaneously holding down a full-time job, children/family, and distance to good schools are all great reasons). Finally, if a company is pre-screening resumes to weed-out on-line degrees, is that a company you'd really want to work for, anyway? I don'[t know the financial sector well, but I'm willing to bet that there are at least a few solid companies out there (or at least a few hiring managers within those companies) that are more interested in character and ability than academic pedigree. Good luck!

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