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Opinions of Online Study Changing

GEORGE GRAHAM / Polk County Business Journal

Opinions of Online Study Changing – With Time Among Polk’s major employers, online degrees are warmly accepted, but the public’s perception is still evolving.

But the climate seems to have changed in the past couple of years.

A recent survey by the Distance Education and Training Council found more than 70 percent of corporate supervisors rate online degrees as “just as valuable” or “more valuable” than traditional degrees in the same field.

And when the Polk County Business Journal checked a sampling of Polk County’s major employers, the response was universally positive.

“We fully support online degree programs,” said State Farm spokesman Michael Grimes. “In fact, as part of our benefits program, tuition for those degrees is eligible for reimbursement.”

With a workforce of approximately 2,000, State Farm is one of the largest employers in Polk County.

Publix Super Markets, which has approximately 9,400 employees in the county, also has a program for reimbursing employees who take online courses.

“Publix has many jobs that do not require a degree,” said Maria Brous, director of media and community relations. “But we encourage associates to improve their education.”

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