If you already have your bachelors degree and are looking to take your higher education a step further, the next step might well be a masters degree. For many people it can be difficult to justify spending another 2 years in full-time education. This is all the more true as career and family responsibilities grow. However an advanced degree can certainly enhance career prospects and earning potential and will give you the opportunity to specialize in an area which is of particular interest. This is why online masters degree programs can be the perfect choice.
Online Program Flexibility
Traditionally the two years of a masters degree are divided with the first year concentrating on courses and lectures in the classroom, leading to a second year of more independent research. If you are planning to earn a degree online, this can be somewhat different. One of the advantages here is a flexible approach to learning. This means both in the actual methods as well as the time taken to complete your degree. This is the ideal compromise for anyone who wants to continue their education while working full time and attending to other interests.
Selecting a Program that Meets Your Goals
The key when choosing a masters program online is to pick something that fits in with your goals. There are programs available in many different areas. Some of the most common include:
- Master of Education. Most states now require a master’s degree in order to acquire a permanent teaching position. Fortunately, many state education authorities will help with tuition fees. Federal aid for this type of qualification is also available.
- Master of Business Administration (MBA). This is one of the most widely-recognized masters degrees. It also tends to have a fairly direct and immediate effect on salary and career prospects, making it a popular option for those already in business or looking to make a career in this area. While giving a general business education, it is also possible to specialize in certain areas like finance or management.
- Master of Engineering. This is almost a necessity nowadays for anyone who wants to advance in the field of engineering. It allows the candidate to develop knowledge of different specialist areas.
Of course, there are masters degrees available in many other areas. These range from the practical and immediately job-related, such as nursing, to pure academics.
Traditional Colleges Offering Online Degrees
There are also many different schools that offer online masters degree programs. Some are clearly specialized in the distance learning market, but more and more traditional colleges are developing their offers in terms of online degrees. In fact, this is the fastest growing area of education currently.
Similar Entry Requirements for Online Programs
Entry requirements tend to be very similar, whatever discipline you are looking at. In order to start out on a master’s degree, you need to have completed and validated your bachelor’s degree, which usually means 120 credits worth. There are a couple of exceptions however. Some schools will let you complete the remaining credits if you haven’t quite finished and others will even take into account professional experiences that are linked to the course.
The Door to an Advanced Degree is Wide Open
The possibilities in online masters degree programs make this a really interesting choice for anyone who wants to either take their career to the next level or continue their education in a more specialized area. Choosing from a range of public and private colleges and being able to adapt the time taken to your needs mean that the door to an advanced degree has never been so widely open.