8 Reasons Why Earning an Online Master’s Degree is Beneficial
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Derick de Souza
Derick de Souza
Derick is a business and education consultant working on various projects and scopes. With about 25 years of experience in different settings, he loves to tell others about "how not to be a failure" rather than "how to be successful." Derick writes and edits articles on online learning, business, employment, and skill development, among others. His hobbies include photography, web design and development, and traveling.
Degree: Master of Social Work, Master of Health Psychology
Areas of Expertise & Credentials: None to disclose in particular; the basics are covered in the short bio.
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Online learning has been increasing its credibility and availability since the pandemic as students started opting for more virtual learning opportunities. Earning a master’s degree can help people get a promotion or ask for a higher salary than having a bachelor’s degree alone. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2020, the median weekly earnings for master’s degree holders was $1,545 compared to $1,305 for bachelor’s degree holders . That’s about a $200-difference a week and more than $12,000 a year.
Traditional or in-person learning has its benefits. However, online learning also carries similar or more paybacks as a catalyst for better career opportunities.
Here are the top eight reasons why earning an online master’s degree is beneficial:
1. Pay less for online master’s degrees
Online master’s degree programs have become one of the convenient options for students because of the lesser cost or lesser amount to be spent on the degree than if taken up on-campus. There are instances where schools charge less for an online degree than the regular one. Other than this, the additional hidden costs of on-campus schooling, like residency, meals, commute, etc., can be curbed when virtual classes are taken. Most online learning includes digital format education material, which is also less expensive than regular ones. Also, a consistent income or employer aid helps reimburse your online master’s degree fee quickly and easily.
2. Learn and work simultaneously
Retaining current employment and earning a master’s degree might have sounded like a more significant hurdle earlier. But with an online master’s degree program being a viable option for many, it gives room to pursue higher studies and execute their duties simultaneously. An online master’s degree program is also available as a full-time or part-time program; you can choose how and when you want to schedule and finish your academic pursuits.
3. Study where and when you want to
One of the benefits of an online master’s degree program is that the place is not a constraint. As long as reliable internet service is available, you can attend your scheduled online classroom sessions, do the requisite coursework and get along with your daily activities/duties from any location of your choice. The freedom that comes with an online master’s degree program is immeasurable; it offers the practicality and flexibility to pursue your career and study without being restricted to a specific place of learning or a physical classroom. In other words, you can learn at your own pace and schedule.
4. Customize your degree to your professional objectives
An online master’s degree program allows you to customize your degree program to suit your professional goals and personal interests. You can tailor your coursework and choose what to study and when. Doing so can complement your existing educational qualifications and target your career advancement or change. Moreover, at your own pace and time, you can review worksheets and lesson plans and submit your assignments or projects accordingly.
5. Improve your remote working skills
Remote working, virtual meetings, and hybrid work culture have become the new norm in office environments. Enrolling in an online master’s program will teach you how to connect with others and work virtually in various settings. After all, online programs involve participating in virtual discussions and submitting your analysis and assignments over the internet.
6. Employers accept online degrees
Since the advent of smartphones, tablets, light and affordable laptops, and high-speed internet connectivity, online problems have gained enough traction. Even after the outbreak of Covid-19, 89% of employers continue to envision online learning becoming increasingly common, says a report by FutureLearn. The same report also points out that the likelihood of hiring candidates with only online education has increased for three-quarters of hiring managers since 2020. The pandemic may have impacted how people view the worth of online education.
7. Build your professional network and community
Another critical benefit of an online master’s degree program is that you will almost always have a global classroom. A global classroom means many students or employees are enrolling for the same master’s from across the globe, from different countries, ethnicities, and social-economic backgrounds. This gives you a chance to build your professional network and community while also learning interesting facts about other countries and cultures that could be of immense use in your career.
8. Advance in your current career
Any employer would look for skill and expertise when recruiting people. A master’s degree definitely will give the leverage over a bachelor’s. If you want to grow in your career, opt for an accredited online master’s program. Some occupations require a compulsory advanced degree, so pursuing and attaining one through an online master’s degree program helps you take a concrete step toward your career goals and advancement.
FAQs on why an online master’s program is beneficial to students
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the process of an online master’s degree program?
Online master’s degree programs work on a similar pattern as traditional master’s programs but with a few changes; they: Do not have in-person training Do not involve learning in physical classrooms Require a computer and uninterrupted internet Have instructor-led virtual classrooms Provide the ability to revisit your classes as they are recorded sessions Offer ready reference to all classroom materials
Is an online master’s degree program a good choice for working students?
Yes. If you are a working student and your job involves traveling, opting for online programs is the best thing to do. Online degree programs offer the flexibility to study when and where you want without giving up your job.
What is the credibility of an online master’s degree program?
The credibility of an online master’s degree program is similar to any traditional master’s program. However, one has to enroll in a proper accredited online master’s degree programto their degrees to be recognized and valued by the public and potential employers.
Do employers accept an online master’s degree?
If you are thinking of starting your career or opting for career advancement or a change, an advanced degree helps greatly. However, there is no difference between a degree earned online or on-campus. Employers generally do not differentiate between the two.
Is it necessary to leave employment to earn a master’s degree online?
Many employees – especially those with families – choose to pursue an online master’s degree instead of attending in person. In almost all cases, you can continue to study and work simultaneously, provided you can manage your time and other obligations well.
Is there financial aid for online master’s students?
Because online master’s degree programs are largely similar to on-campus ones, funding sources do not differentiate between online-degree applicants and offline-degree applicants. Scholarships, grants,assistantships, FAFSA, loans, and other financial aid are available to both based on their eligibility criteria.
What are the technical requirements for learning online?
Master’s students need ongoing access to a reliable computer served by high-speed internet. For online chat, streaming presentations, and live courses, it is vital to have microphones, speakers, or headphones. Some programs may require additional applications or software.
In conclusion, choosing a traditional master’s program or an online master’s degree program is your choice; whether one is better than the other depends on the choice of subject, location, cost, interests, and career objectives, among other factors. Nevertheless, it is safe to say that the benefits of online master’s programs are as many as those of conventional ones, if not more.
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