One of the most common questions I run into is whether or not employers take online vet tech degrees seriously. People like the idea of getting their education online, but they want to make sure that they’ll be able to find a job when they graduate.
The answer is yes, employers usually take online vet tech degrees as seriously as any on-campus Associate’s degree. There’s a general stereotype that says online degrees aren’t worth anything because they don’t provide enough hands-on training for students. For a lot of occupations that offer online programs, this is the truth.
Why Online Vet Tech Degrees Are Different
Online vet tech programs are a little different. Almost every single school offering the degree has incorporated a mandatory clinical study portion. What this means is that you are absolutely required to perform basic procedures on live animal patients in order to graduate and receive your degree. To make sure you have an opportunity to do this, you’ll need to find a clinical mentor that is willing to serve as your “proctor.” This clinical mentor is typically a veterinarian that is willing to let you perform the procedures deemed necessary by the specific program you are enrolled in. Finding a clinical mentor can be difficult, so make sure to give it a lot of thought before you enroll in any online programs! If you can’t find one, you can’t graduate!
Some online vet tech degrees even require that you have someone video tape you while you perform certain procedures. These tapes are then reviewed by program officials who issue a passing or failing grade.
If you ever come across online vet tech coursework that doesn’t require you to do clinical hands-on work, I would avoid it at all costs! Employers will definitely not take you seriously if you have zero hands-on training. There are way too many other qualified applicants that DO have this kind of training. Don’t put yourself at a disadvantage!
When Choosing An Online Vet Tech Program, Do Your Homework
Of course it’s a good idea to do as much research as possible before you choose a school. Make sure you contact the program director and ask plenty of questions about their clinical study requirements. And of course while you have them on the phone (or e-mail), you can ask them about any career placement services they have. Most reputable programs have procedures in place to help you find a job after graduation. Of course these aren’t fail-proof, but they are a nice option to have.
So yes, if you go to a reputable online vet tech school and complete a comprehensive clinical curriculum, you should not be worried about finding a job. Of course, when writing a cover letter or going to an interview, it’s a great idea to emphasize the fact that your online degree required hands-on work. Don’t take it for granted that every vet knows how much clinical training you’ve had.