Etiquette for talking to co-workers about your online degree?

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Paidagogos, Dec 26, 2013.

  1. Paidagogos

    Paidagogos Member

    I graduated from WNMU's MAIS degree program earlier this year, where I received concentrations in History and English. I now work at a local community college as a writing tutor. I often have people asking about my credentials (mostly just light-heartedly), so I say I got my master's from WNMU, and then they proceed to ask me about what it's like out West? hahaha. Now I've been out West, and even to New Mexico, but I usually tell them I did most of my coursework online. Somehow this feels like it cheapens my hard work is some people's eyes. But, I feel it shouldn't.

    So, my question here for DegreeInfo folks is, how do you talk about your graduate studies? Are you more forthright in talking about your online degree, or do you try to skirt the issue? I would like to have some good answers so I can better defend my hard work to my colleagues and students. Thanks! :cool:
  2. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    These are people who work at the college with you, right? Just say, "Well, it was good enough to get hired here to work with you!"
  3. distancedoc2007

    distancedoc2007 New Member

    I'm lucky in that I had to go to the UNISA campus in South Africa several times to present my research, so I have the best of both worlds. I can talk about the distance aspect or the campus aspect, both of which I enjoyed. Mine was a mostly research degree though, and most people who would think to ask are familiar with that concept. But I don't think the fact you did your coursework by distance should cheapen it in anyone's eyes. I would just say "I did mine by distance, but it is a great campus too." or something along those lines. Most people regret asking after the conversation goes more than a few sentences, so give them and easy out and ask about their education! :)
  4. Paidagogos

    Paidagogos Member

    I like your thinking Steve! hahaha
  5. Pugbelly2

    Pugbelly2 Member

    When talking about my degree(s), I don't offer details as to how it was earned (online, traditional, hybrid). No one does. However, if I am asked specifically about it, I tell the truth. On very rare occasions someone might try to diminish the legitimacy of online learning. In these rare circumstances, I share my personal perspectives, then point them to this study ( that was released by the U.S. Department of Education. To my knowledge this is the largest, most credible study performed on the topic of traditional/hybrid/online learning. Learning outcomes were measured in all 3 groups. While the differences between them are modest, traditional students scored lower than their online and hybrid counterparts.
  6. Paidagogos

    Paidagogos Member

    Yeah, I've done grad credits in the classroom, and online, and personally I don't see much of a difference. I think in the future, people won't care at all whether you got your degree online or not.
  7. Delta

    Delta Active Member

    I remember flying over New Mexico the pilot made an announcement that,"we are flying over some pretty country today. Pretty ugly, pretty desolate and pretty boring."

    I personally wouldn't say I have a "MAIS". MA, Masters or Master of Arts should suffice. Secondly, tell them New Mexico is beautiful country. It's up to you if you want to get into the distance learning thing. The school I went to should pay me a commission for all the students I referred to their distance learning Master's program!
  8. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    I realized I didn't answer your actual question. :smile:

    In conversation I don't see any reason to shy away from telling people I earned my degrees by distance. It's not the '90s, it's pretty normal nowadays. Besides, there's a lot of evidence that there's no significant difference in how much one can learn by distance compared to a classroom setting. But I think the strongest argument for distance learning is that it opens up so many opportunities beyond whatever happens to be local. If I want to take advantage of the perfect program for me, and the school that offers it happens to be a thousand miles away, that's no problem. For those who have targeted educational goals, that's a godsend.
  9. Shawn Ambrose

    Shawn Ambrose New Member

  10. TEKMAN

    TEKMAN Semper Fi!

    I did my degree at Troy University completely online, Southern Methodist University was 30% on campus while living in Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex and 70% via distance learning. Georgetown University's degree was completely on campus, and currently working on my Ph.D at Nova Southeastern University is a hybrid program. Therefore, I would not bring up anything about distance learning/online degree unless specifically question about it. I have nothing to hide, but there are still people criticize about distance learning/online degrees. Some might think it is inferior than on traditional (on campus) one. I also try to avoid any institution without b&m campus for my degree.
  11. Delta

    Delta Active Member

    I agree! By graduating a school with a B&M campus, the topic of online learning rarely comes up!
  12. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    Most people are still very ignorant about this topic. If you complete a degree on campus at a school like University of Phoenix, Devry, or Kaplan, most people will assume you attended online.

    I do have to admit that it does help that I got my master's degree from a B&M university in Texas. Even though San Angelo is hours away from San Antonio, people assume I attended school on campus. I have never been to San Angelo, and my degree program is not even offered on ground. If asked how I liked San Angelo, I don't hesitate to tell them that I attended 100% online.

    I almost wanted to laugh when a former coworker asked me if I was afraid that my online degree from TESC would make it difficult to find a job. Not only were we working in the same department, but I was in a higher paying position. I have since moved on to an even higher paying job, and he's still in that same position with his B&M degree. I don't mean to sound arrogant, but it's very easy to shut someone down quickly when you bring up that you're in a funded, ground, PhD program at a traditional university. Since I have more education than 90% of the U.S. population, almost everyone I come across has less education. So, if someone looks down at my online degrees, all I have to say is, "Are you in a PhD program? Do you even have a master's degree? Oh, no? I thought so. Boo, bye!" Okay, I don't actually say that, but it would be nice to.
  13. rebel100

    rebel100 New Member

  14. Delta

    Delta Active Member

    An "accredited" degree is first and foremost in my mind. Times are certainly changing and there is greater awareness of the quality of non-traditional pathways in learning. I would at least make an attempt to attend commencement ceremonies and buy a T-shirt!
  15. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    Many people also assume that all for-profit colleges are either unaccredited or NA. I read a promising study that showed that young people have much less of a bias against distance education. No offense to the older generations, but I think that once the millennials and some of the young Generation X-ers take over top positions, most of the stigma will be gone. However, I don't think the bias against for-profit colleges is going away anytime soon.
  16. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Regarding a hypothetical stigma, it would be interesting to see recent research on employer attitudes. In the absence of that, there is a Gallop poll that concluded that about half of American adults think that online education is as good or better than classroom based learning for providing a degree that will be viewed positively by employers:

    American adults see online courses as at least equivalent in most ways
  17. Delta

    Delta Active Member

    Is the glass half empty or half full? That still means that "about half" think it is not as good or worse!
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 26, 2013
  18. RAM PhD

    RAM PhD Member

    There are still those who think men didn't land on the moon, but, or course, it doesn't change the facts. :)
  19. fuzzybam

    fuzzybam New Member

    I did 3 years on a "normal" campus and finished a degree online. I don't mention where my actual degree is from nor do I say it was online.
  20. Pugbelly2

    Pugbelly2 Member

    Wait a minute...are you telling me that men actually landed on the moon???? That wasn't a hoax??? :shocked1:

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