Online for-profit schools to focus on post graduate career success?

According to a new survey by the Education Advisory Board, nearly 100% of executives at online higher education programs and schools want to shift their focus to “track career outcomes” for students once they leave school.

Prior to this change, many online higher ed schools were focused solely on gathering funding for new programs.

This news comes on the heels of the federal government tightening its grip on for-profit institutions and the funding they receive.

The EAB survey found that executives have concern over how employers view graduates and would like to “improve messaging to prospective students.”

Messaging and how online schools are viewed have taken a beating lately. With the Corinthian 100 refusing to repay their student loans because they were defrauded by Corinthian Colleges, a now defunct higher education outfit, for-profit colleges are not seen in the best light as some of those students attended the online arm of Corinthian.

One of the chief concerns of many potential students, and those who have graduated from an online college, is that their degrees are seen as worthless. While all online colleges aren’t seen in the same light, many are grouped together because the accreditation may differ from traditional colleges and universities. Standards for online schools and for-profit institutions with online programs also vary and give many employers pause before hiring a graduate from an online university, specifically that from a for-profit.

The survey also found that some online higher ed institutions will add “digital badges” and “customization certificates.

With this move, hopefully executives will see that being proactive in ensuring that the quality of the education that students receive will have a lasting impact on how employers view them once they enter the workforce.

Improving the quality will also increase the success rate of career outcomes and student recruitment.


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