Networking tips to boost your online degree

With more students enrolling for online courses to advance their careers, it’s more important to expand your network.


Online degrees have become increasingly popular among professionals looking timprove their skills or start on an entirely new career path — it’s estimated that more than 6.3 million students are enrolled in online classes at public and private institutions.  

Much like diplomas earned through on-campus courses, accredited online programs carry weight in the hiring process. Unlike their on-campus counterparts, though, online learners may face challenges making connections outside of their coursework 

Networking may feel even more essential to online learners as they seek their dream jobs, particularly when research shows that more than 85 percent of people have landed a job through networking 

The following networking strategies may help you to expand your network both inside and outside of your virtual classroom 

Actively engage in class. Your classmates likely work in fields that interest you. Sharing your experiences and opinions in class discussions or message boards may help you connect with your classmates, which expands your professional networks 

Meet people in person. You can do a lot of legwork online, but eventually, you’re going to have to get personal. Sign up for an event with a local, professional association, attend professional development classes like Toastmastersfind a local Meetup for young professionals or grab coffee with classmate who lives nearby 

Manage expectations. Don’t expect to leave cocktail hour with a job offer and a company car. Set a goal to meet one or two new people, or ask someone you already know to introduce you to someone they know. Connections are about quality, not quantity. 

Master the art of give and take. If you ask someone to make a connection for you, offer to reciprocate. By sharing your contacts and experiences, people will be more apt to share with you. 

Connect and engage consistently online. Put your best foot forward on LinkedIn by connecting with othersbut don’t forget to actively engage in conversations. Sharing relevant experiences in posts or expertise in comments may help you stay top of mind for open positions 

Continuing your education is a great way to expand your career and make connections. If you’re ready to explore the many benefits of getting a degree, call us at 800.944.7667 or contact an admissions counselor.

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