Breaking the Myth: Are Online Degrees Valid for Government Jobs in India?

Breaking the Myth: Are Online Degrees Valid for Government Jobs in India?

India, a diverse land of immense opportunities, has witnessed a significant surge in the popularity of online education in recent years. Online degrees provide the flexibility needed for those juggling work, family, and studies. However, one persistent myth that lingers is whether these degrees are recognized for government jobs. Today, we aim to debunk this myth and explore the validity of online degrees in the Indian job market, especially within the public sector.

Also, read Online Education in India: 7 Government Initiatives for Bright Future Ahead

Breaking The Myth Are Online Degrees Valid For Government Jobs In India

Myth 1: Open University Degrees Are Not Accepted for Government Jobs

It’s a widespread belief that degrees obtained from Open Universities are not considered valid for government jobs. However, this is far from the truth. Open and distance learning programs have a rich history in India, dating back to the 1970s. These programs were initiated to provide accessible higher education to rural populations primarily engaged in agriculture. This model drew inspiration from the USA’s ‘Community College’ system, tailored to the needs of the working class.

In 1985, the Government of India established the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) to oversee open and distance learning programs. The Distance Education Council (DEC) was established in 1991 to ensure quality and uniformity. However, recognizing the need for further evaluation and standardization, the DEC was dissolved in 2013, and the responsibility for open and distance learning was transferred to the Distance Education Bureau under the University Grants Commission (UGC).

The UGC, the governing body, issued a notification affirming that degrees awarded by Open and Distance Learning Universities are equivalent to those from other UGC-recognized institutions. This dispels the myth that open university degrees are not valid for government jobs.

One inspirational success story is that of Mr Umesh Khandbahale, who hails from a rural village near Trimbakeshwar in Nashik. Despite initially failing his 12th-grade exams, he persevered, earned a BSc in horticulture from Yashwantrao Chavan Maharashtra Open University, and eventually cleared the UPSC exams to become an IPS officer in 2015. This success story highlights that open university degrees are not just valid but can lead to remarkable achievements.

Myth 2: Online and Distance Degrees Lack Credibility in the Indian Job Market

Another prevailing myth suggests that online and distance degrees lack credibility in the Indian job market. While it’s true that there are instances of non-recognized and unaccredited online degree programs, many reputable institutions offer accredited and recognized online courses. These programs adhere to the standards set by UGC, the Distance Education Bureau (DEB), and regional and national educational organizations.

Breaking The Myth Credibility

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Employers and graduate schools understand the challenges faced by individuals, making online and distance learning a practical choice. In fact, several multinational corporations have even partnered with nearby universities to provide online courses for their employees. The key to ensuring that your online degree holds value is to choose accredited and respected institutions.

Several well-known universities in India offer excellent online and distance learning programs that have received accreditation from regional and national authorities. Some of these institutions include Mumbai University, Pune University, Yashwantrao Chavan Maharashtra Open University, Indira Gandhi National Open University, Bharti Vidyapeeth Deemed to be University, and Kalinga University.

Also, read BBA vs Integrated BBA+MBA: Choose the Right Program for You

Myth 3: Online and Distance Degrees are Suitable Only for Business Students

The third myth centres that online and distance degrees are exclusively for business students is unfounded. Data from the National Centre for Education Statistics (NCES) in the U.S. for 2019 reveals that nearly 44% of postsecondary students were engaged in distance education courses, covering diverse fields such as psychology, social sciences, liberal arts, business, education, mathematics, statistics, IT, and even specialized subjects like library science. This statistic underscores the vast array of educational options available through online and distance learning, challenging the notion that they primarily cater to business students.

Myth 4: Online Degrees Lack Practical Skills

The idea that corporations prefer conventional degrees because online degrees lack practical skills is false. According to the Online Learning Consortium, 74.1% of academic leaders think online learning is as good as face-to-face training. Additionally, businesses recognise that applicants’ abilities and competencies count more than degree format. Northeastern University found that 73% of business executives think online degrees are as respectable as conventional ones. Employers care more about skills, expertise, and experience than schooling in today’s work market.

Myth 5: Employers Prefer Traditional Over Online Degrees

Employers Prefer Traditional Over Online Degrees

Studies and data disprove the idea that companies prefer conventional degrees over online ones. In the digital era, employers value skills and experience above degrees. According to a SHRM poll, 92% of HR professionals believe online degrees are as respectable as conventional ones.

The U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics also reports that healthcare and IT seek online graduates. Candidates’ abilities and competencies matter more than their degrees. Employers respect practical skills and knowledge over delivery technique, therefore a validated online degree is equivalent.


these myths surrounding online degrees and their acceptance in government jobs in India are unfounded. It’s crucial to choose recognized and accredited institutions to ensure that your online degree is not only valid but also highly regarded in the job market. The Indian government’s endorsement of open and distance learning programs, coupled with the success stories of individuals who have achieved remarkable feats with these degrees, dispels these myths. The key to success lies in the pursuit of education from reputable institutions, regardless of the mode of delivery. Online degrees are valid and valuable in the Indian job market, opening doors to a world of opportunities for learners of all backgrounds and aspirations.

Also, read Top 10 Online MBA Colleges in India for 2023


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Meet Tanu Bhatnagar, an educational expert with extensive experience in teaching, research and mentoring.With a decade in... (Full bio)

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