so how good is UoP and UMUC in the eyes of the employers?

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by j4k3, Jul 13, 2005.

  1. DTechBA

    DTechBA New Member

    I would bet a bunch...

    That outside of the DC area very few have a clue that UMUC isn't anything other than a Maryland state school. However, due to their endless advertising most people already have an opinion of about UoP.
  2. Bruboy

    Bruboy New Member

    Years ago when I was relatively young and working in a factory I decided to go to school and enter the field of electronics. For years I jumped from school to school (New York Institute of Technology, SUNY Farmingdale, Nassau County Community College, Hofstra University, CUNY Queensborough Community College). As I approached graduation day at Queensborough I tested the employment waters. Twenty years ago Queensbourough had an excellent reputation in the tri-state area and I had a ~3.8 GPA. After sending out many resumes the overall response was "sorry no experience".

    Due to the reputation that Queensbourough had the then AT&T Bell Laboratories sent recruiters to the campus in search of technicians. I did not want to relocate but I did want a job. When I contacted several HR departments and asked if gaining employment with Bell Labs would impact my career they all answered that I would be able to gain employment anywhere with Bell Labs on my resume. I got an appointment with the recruiter and was employed as a technician.

    At Bell Labs I was full of enthusiasm. Most of the Members of Technical Staff were from MIT, Duke, and other top engineering schools. There were a few that graduated from New Jersey Institute of Technology and state schools (Rutgers). Any school with "State" attached to it was considered inferior. These engineers were treated like janitors by their peers. If a technician earned a bachelors or masters degree from evening study you were pretty much guaranteed you would be a very well educated technician. Evening study was viewed as a lesser degree regardless of where it was earned or what your GPA was. I earned my bachelors from Fairleigh Dickinson, Bell Labs paid 100% tuition upfront. I stayed a technician while there. The education did nothing for my career. What did have a huge impact on my career was an internal jump at Bell Labs to UNIX Systems Administration.

    After one year of UNIX Systems Administration experience I obtained a new job with a 30% increase in salary. Since then my biggest year approached $500,000 while working on Wall Street. I have had resumes cross my desk to be Systems Administrators or other IT positions. These include graduates from well known schools with PHds in fields such as fluid dynamics and geophysics. Obviously they were turned away.

    Currently I am at Capella working on a masters, not to further my career, but because I enjoy it and I get as much or more out of the online classroom as I did at anyone of the many classes at B&M schools that I've attended. People knock DL schools much like Bell Labs knocked attending evening classes at reputable schools. I've learned to take it with a grain of salt. You see what has happened to Bell Labs.

    This is all based on my personal experience, take it with a grain of salt.
  3. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Scotty said:

    "but it is slowly gaining a reputation with HR departments as an "online school." I'd avoid both of them like the plague."


    This is DL here. Don't you think an HR dept.would cringe at any school talked about here? Why single out UOP just because of what somebody thinks they know?

  4. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Scotty said:
    "Since HR departments are the gateway to employment, I'd say that many people care what an HR department thinks of a particular school."

    I've never faced an HR dept. in 30 years of employment. Never mattered where I went to school as I had a porfolio of work that was basis of hiring decision.

    San Diego States rep is as a party school,U Miami a football factory. What would HR dept. think of that? Eveyone here obtained an education nontraditionally and as such would be under suspicion of the HR dept. Now without that opportunity most would have no degree. What would the HR dept. think of that? How does one even know what all HR depts. think anyway? How come degree millers seem to find jobs?

  5. JoAnnP38

    JoAnnP38 Member

    No. This is what Scotty and I are trying to say. I complete a DL BS degree from Florida State University at the beginning of next month. I am currently enrolled in a distance learning masters degree at the University of Florida. Since these schools built their reputations as B&M institutions, there is much less (if any) stigma placed on their DL degrees. So, fewer (if any) HR managers will have a negative impression of a DL degree from those schools. (Although some might still have a bad impression if they know the degree was earned by distance learning, but in general there is not an easy way for them to find this out without asking the student.)

    Getting your DISTANCE LEARNING degree from a well established state university (or other prestigious university) has the benifit of your degree not being thought of as a "distance learning degree." In other words, it has all of the advantages with much less of the disadvantages.
  6. scotty

    scotty New Member

    No, not at all. This forum is not solely devoted to online-only schools or "virtual universities." It is focused on online learning, which is quickly growing to be one of the biggest facets of America's biggest and best b&m educational institutions. But the truth is that online learning is in its infancy, reputation-wise. It will be a long time before every hiring manager views online degrees with the same opinion as b&m degrees.

    Schools like UoP, DeVry and some others that advertise their online options aggressively are often eroding the perception people have of their school, regardless of their quality. As I said earlier, it seems that UoP's primary focus is getting students to write them checks, not getting the students educated well. I base that charge solely on what I have heard and read here and other places. That is exactly why you don't see Penn State, Duke, Indiana, or Florida advertising their online programs to death. They must maintain the reputation of their degrees.

    This isn't a perfect world, and perception is important, regardless of how flawed that perception is. I am no expert on this stuff, and am just offering up my opinions. I love online learning, but I also see the value of having U Florida on a resume vs. UoP. Regardless of which program actually does a better job of equipping its graduates, the school's name goes a long way to getting your resume in the short stack. Just like BruBoy said above, his coworkers at BellLabs were all from MIT and Duke, but BellLabs is not doing so well. Those high falootin' schools got the candidates the jobs, but the company didn't necessarily get the best employees. Proof that school name, rather than ability, often land you the job, especially if you have no experience. Heck, when you think about it, if you are doing an online program to make a career transition into a field wherein you have zero experience, I'd say school name is more important than if you were getting an online degree within your current field.
  7. Guest

    Guest Guest

    JoAnnP38 said:
    "Although some might still have a bad impression if they know the degree was earned by distance learning, but in general there is not an easy way for them to find this out without asking the student."

    Hmmm.... now what would the HR dept. think if they ever found out I was keeping this information a secret? Why should one assume anyway that an HR person would think negatively of this? I like DL. I recommend DL. I'm not ashamed of DL. I wish I would have done it years ago. If some giant HR dept. does not feel comfortable with that then too bad. Their loss.They don't control the world.

    Why do we act like 2nd class citizens? Oh gee we messed up earlier and did not finish a real B&M degree. So then someone had to invent DL as a way for us laggards to get with it and catch up with those that have it all together. Maybe people will start taking DL serious when we start acting like we belong.

  8. JoAnnP38

    JoAnnP38 Member

    I don't have anything against DL. In fact its the only way to fly. However, because I work in the industry that builds HRMS systems I have had the opportunity to converse with a few HR managers about distance learning. I have to admit, most of the ones I talked to are neutral or even positive; however, there were 2 or 3 that were very negative. So, when you can get a DL degree from a state university that is both cheaper and perceived as less negative by some HR managers, why would you recommend anythign else?

    Of course, from some things (like an online doctorate) UoP or UMUC are often better choices for a DL degree because this is not an option at most traditional schools.

    BTW Dan, if you don't mind where did you get your degree? I'm assuming that it wasn't at a state university.
  9. BoogieRambler

    BoogieRambler Member

    Original Post:

    "So how good is UoP and UMUC in the eyes of the employers?
    i've read nothing but BAD reviews for university of maryland university college (don't know why i'm still considering them) and mixed reviews for university of phoenix and i was wondering what employers these days think of them. is it a good thing or a bad thing if they see on your resume you got your degree from one of those RA schools?


    As a graduate of a B & M school-- University of Louisiana Lafayette--and a graduate student at a B & M (Texas A & M - Commerce) with distance learning, online, satellite, and video delivery options I would like to offer my perspective. I had actually completed three undergrad classes in the early 90s at the (now defunct) New Orleans (Kenner), LA UoP branch.

    "so how good is UoP and UMUC in the eyes of the employers?"

    When I was considering MBA programs I made some rather unflattering comments about UoP to a friend of mine. A little background on my friend: He is a graduate (bachelor's and master's level) of EMU, and had actually taken a few classes at UMUC (distance option). He is a quality engineer for a world-class auto manufacturer. He had/has no problems with applicants with credentials from either university, and reminded me that "some work is required." Being a graduate of a B & M school, I told him that I was more comfortable with a B & M school with a distance learning (web-based) option.

    "is it a good thing or a bad thing if they see on your resume you got your degree from one of those RA schools?"

    I suspect the answer depends on what RA school under consideration
  10. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Scotty said:
    "No, not at all. This forum is not solely devoted to online-only schools or "virtual universities." It is focused on online learning, which is quickly growing to be one of the biggest facets of America's biggest and best b&m educational institutions. But the truth is that online learning is in its infancy, reputation-wise. It will be a long time before every hiring manager views online degrees with the same opinion as b&m degrees.

    Unless I am mistaken this site focuses on a variety of methods used to earn a degree by what used to be called correspondence. This method has been around for many years. And online is simply one method added only recently to the mix.
    The big 3, UOP etc. are not virtual universities. They do have buildings and testing centers. UOP has classrooms. But I do agree that nontraditional and DL only schools such as these fight an uphill battle for acceptance more so than B&M schools.

    From what I'm hearing I think we need a B&M school DL vs. online school DL vs.
    approved vs. unaccredited forum!

  11. scotty

    scotty New Member

    Glad to see that you agree with me. :D

  12. Guest

    Guest Guest


    I know you obviously don't have anything against it and sorry to be a bit up in arms.This whole thing rankles me a bit because so often all of us know folks with no degree who are doing quite well even at positions that seemingly require a degree. How does that play into the argument? I kind of feel like if one feels a DL degree will be a hindrence when facing a prospective employer than maybe it should be back to the classroom. Lately COSC, AA only just few credits shy of BA. I followed Laurie Miller's BA in 4 weeks method but misread it as BA in 4 years ! Am the slowest person in DL!

  13. Bruboy

    Bruboy New Member

    There are many possible reasons to seek education. If it is to change fields or a young person seeking their first job and education is the primary basis for selection then school name is important. If you are set in your field then education and where/how it is obtained is at best a tie-breaker or enhancement to your resume but not the primary criteria for selection. Since leaving Bell Labs I've never had anyone discuss where I received my bachelors from, my GPA, or any part on my background outside of experience.

    I am not promoting or knocking any DL school, but I will say that I find it more stimulating than any other educational experience I've had. People that I've encountered at Capella include senior and middle managers at Medtronic, Boeing, and various B&M schools. This coupled with the discipline needed to do the work without being told or when to attend class are all pluses. Thinking back to my B&M experiences years ago and comparing them to my DL experience I find no comparison. Administratively and educationally Capella to date has been superior.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 14, 2005
  14. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Hey wait Scotty you're supposed to argue more!! I have a bunch more things to say that show how really smart I am!!:)

  15. qvatlanta

    qvatlanta New Member

    It's not too hard to get a general sense of what HR departments think, especially since some posters here work in HR. HR departments are very different depending on what company you go to. In my experience, let's say I advertise for a particular position. I get 5 applications. I'm going to go through each one myself and make the determination on which to interview. But if I get 100 applicants, the HR department will go through them for me and only pick the ones that fit whatever screen we decide to set. Then, after I make the decision, they run a background check on the applicant, per company policy, and as part of that they check accreditation of the degree. As a baseline, all applicants need to have a bachelor's degree. If they don't have it they're not necessarily disqualified... a super-high degree of experience and skill would overcome it. But any regular applicant without a degree never will get the interview.

    I think hiring expectations for degrees from places like UoP or DeVry are generally NOT negative. If it's a highly technical and specialized field some of those degrees might even actively help (as opposed to just passively qualifying the applicant). However, if I see two basically equal resumes with equal experience, and one of them shows a degree from UoP and the other from Emory University, I'd be more positively inclined to the Emory one, but would wait until learning about all other factors before making any final decision. Having a degree from a very strong place might also overcome small negatives and cause me to take a closer look. Graduating from a school that has a strong national and/or local reputation is always a positive factor but will probably not be the determining factor. I would say that after the degree-holder passes the qualifying bar of actually having a real degree, then the quality of the degree would not more than about 5% of my decision; I have never before had to use it as a tie-breaker, since experience, certain proprietary test scores and and interview presentation always tip the balance one way or another.

    In some companies, HR has a more active role in filtering applicants. I could definitely see how in some cases the university degree becomes a determining factor for which resumes actually end up in front of the hiring manager. I don't think this is the case for most jobs, however. So basically, perceived degree quality does matter, sometimes very little, sometimes a lot, depending on 1) the personal opinions of the manager 2) the role (active or passive) of the HR department 3) the number of applicants for the job.
  16. Guest

    Guest Guest

    "It's not too hard to get a general sense of what HR departments think, especially since some posters here work in HR."

    Then why are they here if DL is looked upon negatively? I guess my point is that if DL is the only way one can get a degree as is so often the case than why worry about what HR depts. think. If not for this DL degree you wouldn't get in the door in the first place whether from B&M school or not. I f one has decided that DL is the way to go than I feel we shouldn't back down from our decision. And again if some HR dept. doesn't like that than fine.There are other avenues for work.

  17. scotty

    scotty New Member

    In case anyone is confused on my stance, I should clarify that I love DL. Like BruBoy said, my DL experience has been superior to my B&M Bachelor's experience. And I don't mean to insult anyone from UoP or UMUC at all. In fact, I looked at UMUC for a very long time when I first started researching online learning options. It is just that if I am going to spend money and time doing a degree online, then I prefer to find a state uni that offers what I want rather than a for-profit or virtual college. Most of the degrees offered at UMUC and UoP can be found at big universities, or at least in their satellite schools. I chose UMass, Lowell, because they had a typical program (Certificate in Foundations of Business) and the name won't raise any red flags on the hiring manager's desk. There is less chance of being asked if the degree was online. I'm proud to be a distance student, but I am aware of the stigma attached to online degrees. I'd rather be given the chance to prove my degree's worth than be judged before being selected for an interview.
  18. scotty

    scotty New Member

    Dan, I don't think DL is looked upon negatively by all, or even most, hiring personnel. But when looking at UoP and UMUC in particular, there are certain issues that are magnified somewhat, the main issue being the quality of DL education. No doubt, Cornell, Harvard, Indiana, UMass, Duke and Stanford all have fine online programs. But doubt starts to creep in when the school seems more interested in profit than education, as UoP seems to be.
  19. Arch23

    Arch23 New Member

    UC Irvine is as much a "University of California" as UC Berkeley is. Saying that you graduated from the "University of California" if you earned your degree from UCI is not incorrect and is not lying, saying that you graduated from "UC Berkeley" is. I see the same logic for UM College Park and UMUC.
  20. qvatlanta

    qvatlanta New Member

    I think you misunderstood me... I didn't actually say anything about distance education. Some HR people post here because they are studying for their HR degrees through distance education! All I'm saying is that when it comes to the workplace, it often isn't true that one accredited degree is as good as any other one. There are subtle ways in which it counts a lot, although sometimes it might not count at all.
    If you stack up someone with an an MIS degree from University of Phoenix against someone with the MSIT degree from Carnegie Mellon's distance learning program, the Carnegie Mellon resume person is simply going to have an edge. The edge might not matter at all if they don't have the right kind of experience, but then again it might matter a lot.

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