When you choose a college you’re doing a lot more than just choosing a place to get a diploma from. The reputation of the school you graduate from will follow you for the rest your life. The effect is most pronounced right after you graduate. However your alma mater is something that will show up on your resume for the rest of your working career.
This is especially true when you’re looking at getting an online degree of some sort. The reputation of the school in question is something you can’t afford to overlook. A lot of people know this and look at the reputation of the school from which they want graduate. But what most people don’t do is think about what the future reputation of that school is going to be.
This is where it’s very important to understand the difference between for-profit and nonprofit schools. Most traditional universities are not-for-profit institutions. They don’t pay taxes on the money they earn and their mission statement is usually something about increasing education.
For-profit schools on the other hand are run just like any other business. The service they provide is education but their mission is to make money. They do this by providing education and some do a very good job of it. However, the long-term choices made by a for-profit educational institution may be significantly different than the long-term choices made by a not-for-profit educational institution.
Regardless of the current quality of your education, you need to look to the future to understand how your degree is going to be perceived 10 years 15 years and 20 years down the road. What may be a very good well-run school today might become a laughingstock tomorrow.
Both for-profit and nonprofit schools can go downhill. However the profit motive of for-profit schools means there is an additional competing factor in what is driving business decisions for those types of institutions. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. These type of schools may be more quick to adapt to changing market conditions and providing degrees that students need well before their nonprofit counterparts. On the other hand they may be more likely to chase a profit to the detriment of their academic reputation.
The teacher academic reputation of your school may be more or less important depending on what field you plan to work in. If you want to be a college professor the academic reputation of your school is going to be very important. If you want to go into business the academic reputation is maybe less important after 10 years. Your accomplishments and work history are going to be far more important than where you went to school.