The Advantages of Earning a Graduate Degree Online
Every working professional knows the value of earning a master’s degree. All things being equal, a graduate degree plus experience makes you a more attractive candidate for top jobs in your industry.
In the past, the challenge has been how to fit going to graduate school into your busy schedule. How many people do you know who wish they had stayed in school to earn a master’s degree? Once in the workforce, it seemed too difficult to block out time to go back to school.
That’s no longer the case. Online degree programs have revolutionized higher education. What once seemed incredible is now common. A student in Scotland can now earn a degree from a college in New England. And vice versa.
Online graduate degree programs have opened the door for working professionals to reach their academic goals. These are some of the ways that an online graduate degree program proves advantageous to such students.
Flexibility of an Online Graduate Degree
This is the game-changer for working professionals. Once the decision to attend graduate school came loaded with many other decisions. How would you make the time for classes? How would get back and forth from school? Would your employer be flexible in allowing you to miss work because of classes? If you had children, the questions multiplied exponentially.
Online degree programs have changed that. Students now can attend lectures, view assignments, collaborate with other students, and meet with professors all from their own computer. As long as you have an internet connection and a compatible device, you can earn your degree.
Your Own Pace
Another advantage that makes the online learning environment attractive is that you can often complete your degree faster. Or, conversely, you can take on coursework at a more deliberate pace. The bottom line is that students have more control over how, when and where they focus on school, and at what pace they complete their degree.
The cost of college tuition has risen quickly over the past two decades. That’s led to more than $1 trillion in student loan debt. Online degree programs typically offer lower tuition costs, as these programs have less overhead. Also, you can shop around for the best school anywhere since you don’t have to be there in person. For example, New England College, located in Henniker, New Hampshire, has students from 45 states and more than 15 countries.
As most professionals know, virtual collaboration is a key feature of many workplaces in the 21st century. Meetings now longer involve people sitting around a conference table – they also include people using Skype, Slack or other virtual meeting tools. Many companies now use project management tools such as Trello or Basecamp that connect workers from around the country and the globe.
Taking an online course prepares you for the new business world. Quality online learning systems allow students to not only message each other, but also to work collaboratively on projects.
Learning Time Management
Attending classes online requires a higher level of discipline. Without having to attend classes several times a week, students must practice self-motivation. And even though online classes offer a great deal of flexibility, they still require working professionals to balance school, work and personal lives. It’s doable, but it takes a focus on organization and time management. These are skills that will serve graduates well in the workforce.
Earning a graduate degree is a big step. Clearly, it can help bolster your skills and ignite your career. Many of the barriers that stood between professionals and going back to school have been broken down with online earning. It’s a viable option for those with higher academic goals.