Job Seeker Blog

Compare Nonprofit, For-Profit Online Degree Programs

While there’s still a stigma against for-profits, the quality of education varies widely within the sector, experts say.

To some students, a for-profit online degree program seems like a risky option.

“I’ve seen a lot of reports for a lot of years about how for-profit schools have pretty much based their incomes on the ability for students to get federal financial aid,” says 30-year-old Matt Warner, a cybersecurity and information assurance master’s student at the nonprofit, online Western Governors University.

Though he’s personally hesitant about for-profits, he suggests prospective students focus more on factors such as cost and the degrees offered.

For California resident Carlos Ramirez, enrolling in an online doctoral program in health administration at the for-profit University of Phoenix was a no-brainer. Ramirez previously earned his bachelor’s and master’s at the school and was satisfied with its flexibility and student support.

Experts say in online education, a school’s classification as a for-profit versus nonprofit tells prospective online students little about overall quality.


“I think it’s less about the sector and more on how attentive the institution is to meeting the needs of students, to understanding best practices, to preparing their faculty for this robust learning experience,” says Karen Pedersen, chief knowledge officer for the Online Learning Consortium, an organization aiming to improve online higher education.

For-profit institutions have faced criticism in recent years for questionable recruitment practices, low graduation rates and high student debt. Though employers today are becoming more receptive to accepting candidates with for-profit, online degrees, there’s still a stigma around them, experts say.

[Discover how employers view for-profit online bachelor’s degrees.]

“It’s a distinction that has gotten a lot of press over the last many years, and I’m not sure that it’s warranted,” says Betty Vandenbosch, president of the for-profit Kaplan University, which delivers many degrees online.

When for-profit online degree programs started becoming more prevalent around 1999, they accepted almost anybody who applied, including those who weren’t sufficiently prepared for college, says Kathleen Ives, OLC’s CEO and executive director, who has served as faculty for both for-profits and nonprofits. That, she says, contributed to low graduation rates and high debt for those who dropped out.

That initial focus primarily on corporate profits “has tainted much of the for-profit sector. And not fairly, because the for-profit institutions are just as diverse as the nonprofit institutions,” says David Schejbal, dean of continuing education, outreach and e-learning at the University of Wisconsin—Extension, which coordinates continuing education and online programs across 26 statewide campuses.

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posted in: Blogging, California, Diversity, EmployerNews, Florida, Georgia, Graduation, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, New York, News, North Carolina, Personal, Wisconsin

The Job Market for Tech is Moving Forward. You Should Too.

Tech Demand is High

You hear bad economic news everywhere. Unemployment is high. Economists forecast weak growth. Pessimism abounds. Beyond the numbers, you draw on your personal experience. You saw people let go during the recession. You feel fortunate to have a job. The best move is to stay in your stable job, right? Maybe not. For engineers and other technologists, the perception of a down market does not match the reality of an incredibly active technology market.

Tech Demand is High

As a recruiter, I can tell you first hand that demand for top tier technical talent is high in New York City. Despite a negative perception of the economy, the challenge isn’t finding jobs, it’s finding enough talented technologists to meet the demand. This demand springs from three job markets growing simultaneously: financial services, established companies leaning heavily on technology, and the vibrant startup scene.

Financial Services

New York is perhaps best known for the financial services industry. The industry is re-emerging, and high salary tech jobs are emerging with it. This is important in two ways. First, it increases the number of tech positions available. Second, the demand forces other markets to move more aggressively with hiring and compensation. This is great news for you as a potential job candidate.

Established Technology Drivers

New York has rich offerings beyond the financial services industry. A variety of companies are using technology to engage consumers. It’s all here, and they all need tech pros. Also, many companies are seeking candidates with strong core computer science fundamentals, and they are willing to invest in training if they feel the candidate is right for their team. In other words, opportunity is out there in well established companies growing their technology businesses.


The startup market in NYC may be the most active and exciting vertical at the moment. Every day, New York City’s startup community gets stronger. In 2010, New York City raised $2.1 billion for 341 deals, while Boston raised $2.2 billion for 273 deals, according to Dow Jones. This is the first time NYC has ever passed Boston in total number of VC deals. NYC has done this with a massive grass roots effort which has captured the attention of the VC community. Heavy hitters like Accel Partners, Matrix Partners and Canaan Partners, among others, all opened offices in NYC last year.

Fortunes are being made as companies are sold and then re-invested into new startups. Tacoda, Quigo and DoubleClick are all examples of companies whose founders have sold, then moved on to start new companies and fund others like SimulMedia and

The population density of New York City has also led companies like FourSquare to set up shop in order to capitalize on the geospatial intelligence and data they can mine through crowd sourcing. This same population makes up the strongest tech community in the US. This population makes it easy to organize a quick meetup to discuss emerging trends in NYC. Companies are taking notice of this emerging tech population and are starting to open up new offices in NYC; Google, Facebook and Meebo are all starting to grow their NYC presence. In fact, Google just bought one of Manhattan’s largest buildings (the only building to cover one square block in the city.) Everything is in place for New York City’s startups to succeed, and hardworking technologists have the opportunity to build their tech chops and position themselves for future success.

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posted in: Blogging, EmployerNews, New York, News

Job outlook brightens by degrees

TROY — If you’re a graduating college student with a technology degree, your future is bright.

That’s the word from the National Association of Colleges and Employers, which says the job market for graduating college seniors has nearly recovered from the recession.
The job market’s strength was on display Wednesday at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, which held its spring career fair at the former armory building on campus.
“We’re at capacity,” said Colleen O’Byrne, the acting director of the school’s Career Development Center. “We actually have a waiting list of employers” who wanted to participate.
As it was, 152 employers filled 162 tables, with students dropping off resumes at companies that caught their interest.
“A lot of majors that we have are pretty heavily recruited,” O’Byrne said, citing strong demand for computer systems, computer science and information technology majors.

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posted in: EmployerNews, New York, News

Ex-Im Bank and New York Fed Join Forces to Boost Small Business Exports and Create New York Jobs

NEW YORK, Dec. 8, 2011 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/—Ex-Im Bank Chairman Fred P. Hochberg, Deputy Mayor Robert Steel and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn Encourage New York Small Businesses to Increase Foreign Sales

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posted in: EmployerNews, New York, News

State Senate passes $3.3B tax cut bill

The NYS Senate has sent out the follwoing release:


Bill Cuts Taxes for 4.4 Million New Yorkers; Repeals MTA Payroll Tax for Most Businesses; Reduces Taxes on Manufacturers; Invests in Job Creation & Retention

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posted in: EmployerNews, New York, News

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