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Employers Increasingly Open to Hiring Online MBA Grads

According to a recent article for Bloomberg Businessweek, an increasing number of employers are opening up to the idea of hiring graduates of online MBA programs. The article cites a study that was published in the Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration, in which 20 hiring managers from some of Wisconsin's leading companies were interviewed. Of the employers surveyed, across industries ranging from finance to health care to insurance, half reported that the format of the degree would not be a factor when hiring or promoting a job candidate.

Additionally, most said that it would not matter whether the candidate had graduated from the University of Wisconsin's Consortium online MBA program or one of the university's traditional full-time MBA programs. According to Jeffrey Bailey, a co-author of the study, this response indicates that employers are becoming more accepting of online degrees. Bailey reports that one person he interviewed even stated that his response to the question would have been different five years ago.

"Things are changing because more people [who] have gone through online programs are out working in the business world and doing well, which gives the degree more credibility," Bailey says in Bloomberg Businessweek.

Employers in the survey were also unanimous in their opinion that it did not matter whether the online MBA program a job candidate graduated from was non-profit or for-profit, as long as the program was properly accredited. While the article notes that overall attitudes towards online MBA grads are becoming more favorable among employers and recruiters, it also points out that some still have prejudices based on lack of knowledge about online degree programs. Bailey, however, is optimistic that these attitudes will continue to improve with time.