A master’s degree whether online or traditional will give you a clear professional and career edge. There is, on average, 30% higher entry level earnings for master’s degree holders than those who only have bachelor’s or associate degrees. Master’s degree will also give you more career prospects too.
Online master’s have several variations to choose from depending on the level of online and on campus components. Some online master’s programs have certain academic works to be done on campus while others are totally delivered online.
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Master’s Degree Online
However, there is a clear trend towards completely online master’s degree programs in many fields. Several drivers are behind the surge in online master’s degree programs.
The first and foremost it is the revolutionary speed of communication technologies. The world is seeing faster internet connections and these fast connections provide the ideal infrastructure for dedicated online education.
The relevance and importance of online master’s degrees are on the increase in these troubled times. Economies are in crisis and many prospects find it hard to meet extreme costs of education by traditional means. Many online degrees in master’s cost only a fraction of their on campus counterparts. Further, the troubled times have emphasized the importance of higher education as a means of economic security and increased earnings. As a result, many online master’s programs see increasing enrollments.
The factors you need to consider in selecting an online master’s program is the same as for any other master’s program.
First, it is your career goals and personal ambitions. How far the selected master’s program will help you towards your mission is more important than anything else.
Also, you need to do a realistic cost-benefit analysis.
Sure you need to carry out a time consuming task of finding the right online master’s program that exactly suits your career goals.
Never, settle on doing any degree for the sake of it’s title. You will reap no benefits in the end.
Never, choose your online master’s program just because it is cheaper. Cost is important, but you need value.
Never, take it just because it is the easier to complete. Your degree must be relevant to your career goals.
Your choice has to be made after detailed analysis of your requirements. Remember, after all, it is what you get in the end is what matters most. In terms of return on investment how your online master’s program would rank is one of the first questions you need ask yourself.
No doubt, having a master’s degree will give you a higher earning potential. But how much and how long? What prospects are there to career advancement and increased earnings? These are critical questions that need realistic answers.
If you find difficult to answer all these questions yourself, seek help.
You should not forget that you need to make sure the selected program is accredited by a recognised independent accreditation body.
Which version is more important in the employers eyes? It is a tricky question to answer. There are many factors weighing on this question.
It is true that traditional degrees still have higher recognition in the employer’s eye. Specially the fields that require intensive practical training such as medicine, nursing or teaching. In certain fields like computing, programming or software development, it makes almost no difference.
But the trend is such that online masters are becoming popular over time.
Online master’s degree programs, as any other online educational program, need close scrutiny. Norms are yet to establish. Till then, you have to exercise proper care in selecting the university or institution for your online master’s.
Look for accreditation. There are independent accreditation bodies that help you find the level of credibility of most online programs.
All brick and mortar campuses who are leaders in the traditional master’s programs are fast embracing online option. There are many well established universities that offer complete online masters degrees. If possible, select a program offered by one of those institutions.
Some universities offer the exact same curriculum and course content both online and on campus and the degree certificate will never mention if it was earned online or offline. You are off to a better start if you can land on such a master’s program.
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