The education once available only on a college campus can now be accessed by students anywhere through convenient online programs. Advanced knowledge and strong leadership skills can be yours, on your schedule, no matter where you may live. As online degree programs become more common, so do the possibilities and benefits that come along with them. Here are four advantages to earning your graduate degree online.
Jobs, families and other responsibilities make it difficult for many students to adhere to the time requirements and pace of on-campus master’s degree programs. In addition, traditional master’s programs are not always attuned to adult learners’ needs. Traveling back and forth to classes can add even more stress to a student’s life, and a traditional class schedule often does not coincide with a working professional’s hours.
Earning a master’s degree online offers the opportunity to attend and review classes, turn in assignments and take exams on your schedule, as your time allows. Flexible scheduling means you can take as few or as many classes as you wish, working at the pace that works for you.
You will “be able to plan school around your busy life,” says Elizabeth Blass, who completed her Master of Science in Management, Strategy and Leadership completely online through Michigan State University. Her advice to anyone considering an online program: “Be committed to learning and contributing to the class.”
With a little commitment and organization, you’ll enjoy a lower level of stress while you enhance your professional credentials for greater career opportunities.
If you don’t want to uproot your life to further your education, or, on the flip side, you like having the flexibility and freedom to roam without adhering to a class schedule, you’ll love pursuing your graduate degree online. You’ll no longer need to worry about being in class at a certain time or day – because you can attend classes any time of the day, seven days a week.
For Ana Cifuentes Gonzalez, a native of southeastern Spain now based in Virginia and working for one of the biggest supermarket chains in Europe, flexibility was a must.
“I didn’t want to stop working to come study,” says Gonzalez. “I cannot leave my job or leave life for weeks at a time to come to class and do the master’s.”
Gonzalez was able to successfully complete a cross country relocation AND her graduate degree, all while applying information from her courses in her day-to-day work. MSU’s MS in Supply Chain Management blended format provides 24/7 access to online courses with only three required three-day campus sessions.
Enrolling in an online program can be the ideal way to enrich your skills and increase your professional knowledge even when you’re traveling for vacation, work or family responsibilities, or if you’re simply staying put in your current town, home and job. The convenience and flexibility of pursuing a master’s degree online means you don’t have to move to earn this valuable degree.
Enrolling in an online master’s degree program can mean significant time savings for you. With an online program, you won’t need to commute back and forth to a college campus, find parking and pay parking fees, walk from one side of campus to the other, or spend time arranging child care, saving both time and money.
"As professionals mostly find, time is a precious commodity," says Jeff Day, a tech company CEO, father of four, and graduate of MSU's 100% online MS in Management, Strategy and Leadership program. "Online gave me the ability to do the program whenever, wherever."
Most online students make efficient use of that flexibility, completing their degree requirements in less time than on-campus students, which can mean significant additional financial savings.
Accredited online degree programs meet the same quality standards as on-campus programs. Often, the same esteemed professors teach both online and onsite classes. And you’ll have the same diploma as brick-and-mortar graduates. Potential employers will know you’ve earned a respected master’s degree from an accredited institution.
Case in point: U.S. News & World Report has ranked MSU’s supply chain management programs as the nation’s best, and the fact that she could earn the graduate degree through a blended online format was key in Ana Cifuentes Gonzalez’s decision to apply to the program. “I was talking with different people in the field and I realized that, in the industry, this is a very good program that people recognize and that people value,” she says.
By doing a little research to ensure the online degree program you choose has been accredited by a regional or national accreditation agency, you won’t need to worry about getting shortchanged in your education when you choose to complete your master’s degree online.
Earning a master’s degree online provides working professionals the ability to study on their own time and the opportunity to attend a prestigious university without having to move. Online master’s degrees also save students money and time without sacrificing the quality of education acquired. Professionals everywhere know that adding the credentials of a prestigious master’s degree to your resume can help you stand out from the crowd and land that highly sought-after position to grow your career. It’s never been easier, so why not start exploring your options for an online program?