Taking a College Course Online Improves Job Prospects

taking a college course online

By Sarah Stevenson

Today's job market is more competitive than ever, but even those without a college degree can still remain in the game, according to a recent article in the New York Times. Potential employers who see at least some college coursework on a job seeker's resume will regard that more highly than no college at all.

Some employers, of course, won't even consider candidates who don't possess a college degree. For careers requiring highly specialized knowledge, a bachelor's or master's degree is often a must. But for many desirable positions that don't necessarily demand a college degree, the wise use of other savvy job-hunting strategies can go a long way—taking advantage of networking, for instance, to speak to a potential employer in person and show that you possess other skills and experience important to a job. Taking a college course online, even if you don't complete a degree program, is another technique that can bump your resume up out of the "no" pile.

Boost Your Salary

More job seekers than ever are going back to school, and many of those are seeking their education on the Internet. A college course online can lead to a degree and not only increase your attractiveness as a job candidate but, for those already employed, it can improve your job security and augment your salary:

  • Associate's degree holders earn an average of $120,000 more during their lifetime than those who only hold a high school diploma
  • Bachelor's degree holders can earn over $300,000 more than those without a degree

If you already have a job, though, it might be hard to find the time to complete a full degree program, even with the flexible options available from accredited institutions over the Internet. Though an associate's degree is generally earned in two years, and a bachelor's degree in four years, part-time students may need more time to finish a degree program. Some people opt for an accelerated degree program, if they are able to fit the rigorous workload into their schedules. However, this is not an option for everyone, especially those with full-time commitments to work and family.

Workers who already hold a degree or certificate should check with their employers to find out whether they can receive salary increases in exchange for acquiring additional college credits. Learning the Spanish language, if you're a teacher, or taking an advanced course in personnel management, if you're in human resources, can be valuable professional development to an employer.

Whether you're looking for a job or seeking to improve your current employment situation, taking a college course online can be the first step to a more rewarding career, both professionally and financially.