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Employers Remain Slow to Embrace Online Degrees

In its latest report on employers’ views of online colleges, The New York Times offers some news that will encourage the Phoenixes and Kaplans of the world—and some that should give them pause.

More and more online learners are applying for hotly contested jobs, the Times reports. The Central Intelligence Agency, for example, estimates that between 5 and 10 percent of its new recruits have taken at least some courses over the Web.

But online education’s reputation still suffers: Stories of diploma mills and the University of Phoenix’s allegedly over-the-top student-recruiting tactics (The Chronicle, October 8, 2004) have left many employers reluctant to hire virtual learners. In one recent study, 96 percent of employers said they would choose an applicant who went to a bricks-and-mortar college over one who obtained his or her degree online. —Brock Read

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