I have a client who is extremely qualified to be an IT Evangelist for any upstarts or VC’s out there. However, he does lack the BS. What do you think about the Online Certifications? Here is a link to what the candidate sent me:


As you can see, some accredited universities are doing these for folks who did not complete his or her education, including Harvard and Cornell. Thoughts?

– Response from an HR Manager: “Yeah it’s cute, but it doesn’t meet the necessary degree requirements set forth in the job description.”

– Response from an HR Recruiter: “I think that online qualifications/certifications used to be considered a bit "Mickey Mouse” during the pioneering era of this mode of delivery. But as highly regarded institutions (like Harvard or Cornell and others), started to offer qualifications online, their stature has probably increased. Whether you get a qualification / certification from the comfort of your living room or by physically attending classes shouldn’t matter as long as the same standards of content and assessment apply. Once upon a time, there was only one university in Australia offering degree programs (including MBAs) via ‘distance’ education. It was considered by many people to be a bit of a giggle. Many said that a degree obtained by only actually going to the university for a couple of blocks of time a year, could not possibly achieve the same standard or level of education as a degree obtained via traditional means. Now most universities offer many programs via distance learning. Obviously these days they use online learning technologies.“

– Response from a Recruiting Consultant: "I agree with Tom. I’d avoid the more "retail” universities out there and focus on top schools. Depending on where he’s looking to go, they may not care. Facebook and Google for example are moving away from having a BS as a requirement. Google recently did a study and proved that a degree didn’t directly equate to success. I tend to follow threads and trends, since I didn’t finish my degree, so tend to agree that experience, energy and ideas tend to weigh more, but not all share my willingness to overlook that experience.“

– Response from an Employment Assistance Consultant: "I agree with both Tom and Stephanie, Many schools with great reputations, have Technology Department attached to them to provide additional continuing education in the technological arena. These additional certification and CEUs, help those individuals in the IT world stay current and up to date.”

– Response from a Career Coach: “Sometimes the completion of a degree or certification is not required but having completed some formal courses from accredited and recognized schools can be very helpful. However, professional certifications from recognized professional bodies and associations are becoming more common and more acceptable as ‘proof of credibility’, but not all of these are accredited post-secondary institutions. Taking an online college course might be an option for a short term solution. There are also testing certifications one can obtain. I noticed recently that freelancing site ‘Elance’ is allowing freelancers to take a ‘test’ to prove their skills. I am not sure how it works but it is an interesting evolution as no longer is a resume, interview and references enough more employers want that proof. Perhaps you client can look into what professional certifications people with the education are pursuing and jump into those as a starting point.”

– My Take: “Employers wanna see that you can accomplish something. In most cases, they use the degree so that they know the candidates they’re interviewing will meet a certain level of expectations that go along with having a degree. If you can finish 4 years of college during a time in your life when you just wanna be wreckless, they award that…I think?”

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