If you’ve been out of school and in the workforce for a while, you may feel that you can’t readjust to academic life. Think again! Prior to the advent of online masters degrees, many working professionals found it hard to pursue further education, due to the difficulties of balancing their work schedules with family and academic responsibilities. These obstacles are now obsolete. Online masters degrees allow these non-traditional returning students to learn at their own pace -without sacrificing job or family routines.
Before contacting or researching any online schools, ask yourself a few basic questions. Why do you want a master’s degree? Is it required for a job promotion? Do you need it to obtain additional skills training in a specific area such as Economics or Finance? Do you want a total career change? Bachelor’s degrees are very advantageous for entry-level positions. Working professionals who desire substantial salary increases or managerial promotions find online master’s degrees much more valuable entry and advancement tools.
As in traditional degree programs, institutional reputation is everything! So, do your homework! Thoroughly research the available online master’s degrees in your chosen field of study. Before applying or enrolling, ensure that the school is fully accredited by the appropriate regional educational authorities. Inquire among major industry employers as to acceptable academic credentials for job candidates. Do some online research to determine the economic outlook for those who hold graduate degrees in your proposed occupation or position.
There are some basic features that are common to all online degrees. All schools’ curricula generally require between 30 and 60 total credit hours of coursework. In many programs, a thesis is mandatory. Some master’s degree curricula also entail oral or written final exams. Still others require you to complete course projects for each class in which you are enrolled. A bachelor’s degree is also a standard prerequisite for admission to all online master’s degree programs. The bachelor’s degree requirement is not unique to online master’s degree programs; rather, it is a uniformly-required credential for admission to any master’s degree program. If you don’t already hold a bachelor’s degree, you can obtain one through an online or campus-based program.
A major difference between online master’s degrees and online degrees at the bachelor’s and associate’s levels is the broader range of available concentrations, or fields of study. Online master’s degrees usually offer students a much greater choice of subjects than campus-based programs. In fact, many schools offer certain online concentrations that are not even available in any of its campus-based programs!
Working professionals or other nontraditional students don’t physically travel to or attend classes; online coursework deadlines are generally more flexible than those of traditional programs. These factors make online programs more economical, because you avoid expensive commuting and relocation costs, separate housing expenses, child-care, and long-distance phone calls, etc. Even course materials are much cheaper; textbooks are often virtual, and assignments are usually done online. This eliminates the five-inch hardback volumes, stacks of notebooks, and reams of paper typically consumed in traditional degree coursework.
Online master’s degree students also benefit when it’s job-hunting time: they do not have to “hunt” employment. Jobs find them – with more attractive benefits and advancement potential than otherwise. Starting salaries and benefits are commonly more generous compared to non-degreed students. Cutthroat competition in the job market prompts many working professionals to pursue doctoral degrees after completing their master’s degree programs. Typical online doctoral programs can be completed in one year or less – as opposed to most traditional doctorates that take two years to finish.
Finally, don’t let finances hinder your educational aspirations. Investigate all potential sources of financial aid. Some potential sources of financial assistance include employer tuition reimbursement, scholarships, and private or government-based student loans.
With proper advance planning, research, and perseverance, you can achieve your academic aspirations. What are you waiting for? Get started on the road to success today with an online master’s degree in your desired subject. You will be surprised at how far you can travel on the fuel of achievement in your vehicle of education!
My Colleges and Careers helps students connect with the best schools to earn their college degree and embark on a rewarding career! A powerful resource for individuals of all walks of life, My Colleges and Careers connects people with the programs that help them earn degrees on campus or online.