Online Information Science Masters programs include Master of Professional Studies and Master of Science degrees in informatics, information systems and library science. If you are a mid-career professional and want the opportunity to potentially boost your earning potential[i] or are looking for upward job mobility[ii], earning a Master’s degree is worth considering. As someone with other responsibilities, your time may be precious. This is where distance-learning can bridge the gap between where you are and where you want to be academically. Read on to explore the various online master’s degree programs in the interdisciplinary domain of information sciences.
On average, online information science masters programs take between 1 and 2 years to complete, and require prospective students to hold a Bachelor’s degree. The type of undergraduate background you have is likely to determine whether you earn more of a technical computer science, business administration and management or a development-oriented master’s degree. Undergraduate backgrounds in computer science, information technology and information science may be common platforms for online Masters in Information Science programs. For Masters in Library Science programs, a Bachelor’s in any subject might suffice[iii]. Apart from that, applicants may need to show transcripts, GRE scores, GPA, resume and letters of recommendation.
DID YOU KNOW? 33% of Business Intelligence Analysts and Strategic Business and Technology Intelligence Directors hold a Master’s degree..[iv]
While universities have different formats, online information science masters programs may have the exact same courses as the residential
programs, so students can benefit from a quality education without the commute. Distance-education has grown since correspondence courses with universities stepping up their game to ensure that students have a seamless learning experience. Often, what happens is that a professor will give the in-person lecture and then post the (taped) material onto a web portal. Students then have access to their material without having to be on campus. All you need for this asynchronous experience is a working computer and Internet. Other programs may use some live-streaming lectures, or entail a few visits to campus, so as with anything, research and read what is involved. For the autonomous learner, the convenient and flexible format may blend into your schedule well.
The variety of online information science master’s degrees makes it a potential fit for the technical, managerial, or scientific graduate student. Of course, universities often use different language to describe their programs. Do some homework on your ideal career goals and the education needed to support it. Often there are capstone projects or case studies which you can apply to your present workplace that provide the insight into real-world business issues and prepare you for a diverse possible occupations.
Two of the more common master’s degrees in Information Science are the Master of Professional Studies and the Master of Science. The Master of Business Administration may be available with concentrations in some of the related subjects such as management information systems (MIS degree). These tend to have core business topics plus courses in the major as opposed to being solely focused on it.
An online Master of Professional Studies (MPS) in information science is an interdisciplinary master’s degree that often allows a graduate student to tailor their courses to suit their interests. These flexible master’s programs may blend technical courses in business intelligence systems with courses that focus on human interaction with technology. Online MPS programs may require prospective students to show work experience, as this type of degree focuses on practical skills and is designed for current and aspiring professionals.[v]
An online Master of Science in Information Science may be more oriented to scientific learning and research. This may be the next degree after a Bachelor of Science and the platform to a doctorate degree. Depending on the courses you take, this type of degree provides the technical computer or technical managerial skills for future information professionals.
Information science is a broad term that intersects with computer science, information technology, management and research as well as systems development. Refine your search for online Information Science Masters programs by looking into:
In your quest to find the right degree and graduate school, you can look for institutions that have regional or national accreditation. Some online programs in library and information science may be ALA accredited (American Library Association). Graduating from an accredited program may be helpful when you apply for certain jobs[viii] or to apply to a doctoral program
Graduates of Online Information Science Masters programs may want to continue their studies with a Doctorate degree such as a research-oriented PhD in Information Science, PhD in Computer Science or a Doctor of Business Administration degree, depending on career goals.
Start to review accredited universities and colleges with online degrees. Our directory of sponsored programs is easy to use; find options that may include Master of Science in Information Systems, Master of Science in Computer Information Systems, Master of Library Science. Each of these online programs has unique features; use the request info setting to contact the school and get the details you need to enroll and start your academic journey of excellence.
sources: [i] bls.gov/careeroutlook/2015/article/should-i-get-a-masters-degree.htm#STEM |[ii] bls.gov/ooh/management/computer-and-information-systems-managers.htm |[iii] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/librarians.htm |[iv] onetonline.org/link/summary/15-1199.08 \[v] en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Master_of_Professional_Studies |[vi] en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Informatics |[vii] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/librarians.htm[viii] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/librarians.htm