There's no doubting that accredited and unaccredited programs have differences, but both can be leveraged for better employment prospects all the same. As more employers grow increasingly accustomed to hiring more applicants with resumes that feature online degrees, the employment opportunities for those who enroll in unaccredited degree programs continues to increase proportionally.
While graduating from an unaccredited degree program won't eliminate your chances at being considered for respectable positions in the workforce, unaccredited programs still do come with the potential to make a measure impact on your prospects.
What those who graduate from unaccredited programs tend to find is that certain employers may tend to perceive the lack of accreditation differently than others. To have the most accurate outlook on your prospects, it would be wise to keep the following things in mind as you weigh your options.
The Employer's View Of Accreditation
For the most part, employers tend to view accredited programs as typically being ones to prioritize more compliance with college and university-level standards. While different higher education programs will oftentimes vary in the the thoroughness of their curricula, a fair amount of employers may tend to assume that accredited programs are of a higher caliber than the average unaccredited program.
Compensating For Potential Unaccredited Program Bias
Though many employers may tend to see accredited programs as a stronger form of assurance that applicants have had a high-quality education, this is not always necessarily the final verdict. If you're able to demonstrate that you've got the independent qualities to perform at the level of a top-tier professional in the industry, then it's very well possible to have even an accreditation-biased employer reconsider their initial assumptions.
One of the best ways to leave a better impression as an unaccredited degree program graduate is to be proactive about building up supervised experience. Before actually applying to your target place of employment, having a strong base of shining recommendations is always extremely valuable – as an unaccredited degree holder, this can be doubly vital.
Applying to work as an intern will give you a thinner barrier of reservations about the unaccredited degree program to penetrate. Because you'll likely be working for experience instead of a salary, you'll have an easier time getting prospective references to give you the benefit of doubt and allow you to demonstrate your skills with low stakes.
Important Potential Pitfalls To Consider
While you can very well make a great impression as an unaccredited degree program graduate with the right references and experiences, there are always going to be inherent risks that you'd be wise to keep in mind at all times.
The first risk to think of is the same risk that potential employers will most likely be thinking of themselves when they see that you've attended an unaccredited program – the credibility of the program itself. Before you make your decision in program, make sure to fully verify that the program has a reputation that is worthy of your invested confidence.
State Disclosure Policies
Depending on the state that you reside in, it may or may not be necessary for you to explicitly disclose the fact that you've attended an unaccredited degree program in the first place. New Jersey, Oregon and other states make it necessary for the fact of unaccredited degree program attendance to be revealed for any desired promotions or job applications.