Is the distance or an online degree valid for a job?
In India, the majority of young Indians started working immediately after the 12th or 10th to support their family. Many of them looking for qualification up-gradation still while working. Distance and Online learning are a convenient ways to learn, acquire a degree, and earn simultaneously.
But, it's discussed in inner circles that few giant Indian private companies do not consider open and distance learning degree holders' applications for jobs or promotions within their organization.
Due to this myth, many students hesitate to enrol in distance and online learning programs. One reason for this hesitation may be the false impression that is often given about distance learning programs.
For one reason or another, distance learning programs have received an unfair reputation for not offering decent degree programs, and for not having high-quality teaching standards to help students in their career goals. Several people have fallen for myths that are spread about online and distance learning; but, through careful examination, they will discover that these myths are false.
Last 22 years of the journey, we have interacted with thousands of employees during counselling sessions for their career growth. The majority of them have 3 main myths or misconceptions about distance and online learning programs.
If you’re interested in enrolling in distance or online learning programs but are afraid to commit, I'll help you step by step to destroy and debunk those 3 false impressions you may have about the job after acquiring a degree in distance or online learning mode.
Myth 1 # Open University degree is not valid for Govt jobs - False! It's widely discussed by people that an Open University degree is not valid for a government job. But it's a misconception or myth.
In the decade of 1970s, the Indian govt initiated the open and distance learning concept. 70% of the population living in rural areas depended on farming during that era. The then higher education infrastructure was not capable to reach out to rural residents. Considering the limited investment capacity of India, it was the need of the hour to find an alternative solution to bring the weaker section into mainstream higher education.
In the USA 'Community-College' concept popular since the 19th century among employed people. In many other developed countries, open and distance learning concepts were popular among working-class people. The community college or open and distance learning courses were flexible in terms of interactive classes, exam timetables, and classroom hours. Moreover, credits earned through job experience were considered by such colleges. They were specifically designed considering the need of recruiters and candidates.
After studying all those models, patterns, and suggestions by UNESCO finally, the Indian Govt laid the foundation of The National Open University. The same was renamed Indira Gandhi National Open University i.e. IGNOU. University was established in 1985. IGNOU was made responsible for Open and Distance Learning programs in India by Govt. Further to regularise and streamline the various diploma, bachelor, and master courses offered by various open universities, IGNOU created a Distance Education Council agency in 1991. UGC was not directly involved in open and distance learning programs during that era.
Almost after 20 years, on the suggestions of experts, DEC was dissolved in the year 2013 by IGNOU. The open and Distance learning program department was brought under the direct control of UGC through the 'Distance Education Bureau'. All employees and offices were shifted to the UGC building from the IGNOU campus.
The entire Indian open and distance learning program's entire journey taught a lot to all governments, UGC, and citizens. After the year 2013, the ODL norms are tightened by UGC and continuously transformed in response to the need of the digital world.
During this learning phase till the year 2013, wrong interpretations of the definitions of ODL terms dragged many famous Universities into years of judiciary fights. Those incidents may have created myths and false impressions among recruiters and students. But it was a temporary setback.
The reality is that Govt's nodal agency The UGC has issued a notification already in past stating that the degrees awarded by Open and Distance Learning Universities are well equivalent to the degrees awarded by all other UGC-recognized Universities. Private or government organizations can not refuse to shortlist a resume of an open university candidate who has completed his or her degree under the pattern of 10+2+3 and if it's fulfilling other criteria mentioned in an employment notice.
I can not stop myself to reiterate a unique example of Mr. Umesh Khandbahale belonging to a village near Trmbakeshwar in Nashik. He failed on the 12th but passed it on another attempt. While working on a farm with his father, he passed BSC in horticulture from Yasvanrao Chavan Maharashtra Open University. In due course, he passed the UPSC exams and qualified as an IPS officer in the year 2015. Currently, while writing this article, he is posted in West Bengal. Guys, all of you know that the UPSC exams can appear only if you passed from a recognized University. We must congratulate Mr. Umesh for his hard work and dedication. Apart from this, you should understand that an Open University Degree is valid for all jobs.
Click below to listen to the news on the well-known channel on this success story of Mr Umesh Khandbahale, IPS, who graduated from Yashwantrao Chavan Maharashtra Open University.
Myth 2 # Distance and Online courses have zero value in an Indian job market--
False! While it is found that there are several non-recognized distance or online degree programs that are not widely regarded on the job market and are declared as fake universities by UGC on their website from time to time.
There are plenty of distance learning programs that have been authorized, accredited, recognized, and approved by UGC, DEB, and regional and national organizations for academic and educational standards. Distance learning programs are highly valued in the job market, as long as they are offered by recognized Universities, and in fact, have given students highly skilled training in the careers of their choice.
Employers and graduate schools recognize the daily burdens and constraints that people may have and, therefore, understand why many students would need to take an online, distance learning program, rather than more traditional in-person education. Therefore, most of them welcome and encourage students to take online courses to get the degree that they require. Even many MNCs have tied up with nearby Universities to run courses for their employees.
These degree programs are offered at accredited, highly-respected organizations and universities. Students with these degrees are valuable and competitive on the job market, and if you graduate from one of these distance learning programs, you can rest assured that you will be taken seriously in your career.
Here are some excellent universities that offer great online and distance learning programs that are also accredited by regional and national authorities:
- Mumbai University
- Pune University
- Yshwantrao Chavan Maharashtra Open University
- Indira Gandhi National Open University
- Bharti Vidyapeeth Deemed to be University
- Kalinga University
Myth 3 # Online and distance degrees are designed only for business students-
It's another myth. While it is true that MBA programs are quite prevalent among distance learning and online programs, they don’t cover the entire story. There are distance learning programs in fields as diverse as psychology, social science, liberal arts, commerce, education, mathematics, statistics, Information technology, library science, social science, etc.
Most students don’t realize how many opportunities are available to them through distance learning, and often they are misinformed about what these programs are and how they work.
These myths continue to persist and keep people from taking distance learning programs. But if you learn the truth about distance learning programs and that they are, in fact, great, affordable, highly rigorous, and interesting opportunities, maybe you will decide that distance learning is a good choice after all.
Millions of Indian citizens have completed their education from recognized Open Universities since the year 1985 when IGNOU was established. 1000s of them are successful employees with Government, MNC, and Private companies.
Today we have gone through 3 top myths on jobs for open & distance learning University graduate students in India. To learn more about successful candidate stories, visit the IGNOU or other University websites which are offering distance learning programs and search for alumni or alumni sections.
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