Earning a master’s degree online has become an increasingly popular option, especially for students for whom traditional education on campuses is not convenient or accessible. Online master’s degree programs make education accessible to more professionals throughout the country.
What Are the Benefits of Earning a Master’s Degree Online?
Online education at the master’s level provides an important option for students who work full time. Many people who pursue their master’s degrees do so to enhance their existing careers. Others do so to specialize in particular careers. Either way, applying to graduate school and earning their master’s degrees online might allow students and professionals to work full-time while also “attending” classes and completing coursework and projects. Online master’s degree programs may be an excellent option for busy and career-oriented professionals.
Online master’s programs might also work well for students who live in remote or rural areas or are otherwise distant from schools that offer master’s programs. They might be able to “attend” colleges and universities in distant cities of their resident states or even attend colleges in other states. Online master’s programs allow students to earn their master’s degrees no matter where they live.
Many people choose to pursue their master’s degree online because doing so may allow them to “attend” class at times most convenient to them. This flexibility might allow students to have more control over their own schedules and to participate in classes at times more convenient to their lifestyles. Students in online programs also enjoy the benefit of not having to drive to class, find parking, or worry about scheduling conflicts. Completing a master’s degree online may be the perfect option for a person with a busy schedule.
Another benefit of online education is that it may allow students to earn their master’s or phd degree online from the schools of their choice (so long as the schools of their choice offer online options, of course) without having to relocate. This can be especially beneficial to parents, people with spouses, people with careers, and people who love where they live and don’t want to move.
Types of Master’s Degrees Online
There are numerous types of master’s programs available online. Colleges and universities across the country have recognized the increasing demand for online master’s programs that are reputable, convenient, affordable, and offered in a variety of fields and subjects; as such, many respected schools now offer students the opportunity to earn M.A.s, M.S.s, and MBAs online. They have also recognized the demand for online programs that cover a wide variety of subject areas and disciplines. Accordingly, many colleges and universities have created master’s programs that fit the needs of a diverse range of students and professionals.
Thousands of accredited online master’s programs may be found in private and public colleges and universities throughout the United States. Some of the more commonly offered programs include:
Business and MBAEducation and TeachingHealthcare and Public HealthComputers and TechnologyEngineeringHumanities and CultureSocial and Behavioral Science
Additionally, colleges and universities offer programs in subjects such as Law and Criminal Justice, Physical and Earth Sciences, Art and Architecture, Biological and Earth Sciences, and Biological and Life Sciences. Most online master’s programs even allow students to specialize in particular specialties and areas of interest.
Two Online Master’s Degree Formats
Depending on the program and subject, students can complete online master’s programs in two primary formats: online and hybrid. Both offer students the opportunity to complete master’s programs without having to be on campus full time. The following sections offer a description of online and hybrid programs.
Online Master’s Degree Programs
Online programs may require students to be on campus one to two weeks per year or not at all. Online programs are typically in subjects such as business, computers and technology, humanities and cultures, and other subjects that don’t require students to receive direct supervision or training, or to otherwise engage in person-to-person interaction. Online programs are great for students and professionals who live far away from schools, don’t have blocks of time to spend on campus, and otherwise require the conveniences of online education.
Hybrid and Distance Learning Programs
Hybrid or distance programs typically require students to spend more time on campus. Such programs are commonly offered in fields and subjects that require hands-on experience, supervised training, and/or closely guided research. In hybrid or distance programs, students might spend anywhere from 20% to 75% of their time on campus. Teaching, nursing, art, and architecture are all subjects commonly offered through hybrid or distance learning programs.
To explore a list of online and hybrid master’s programs available in your area(s) of interest, visit here.
Tips for Online Students
- Secure a trustworthy, fast, and dependable internet connection in your home
- Introduce yourself directly (via email) to your professor and classmates. If possible, talk to your professor on the phone to get to “know” him or her before starting the course
- Set up times to complete your work and meet your obligations. Because online programs inherently offer less structure, you’ll need to keep yourself on track
- Keep in mind that tone, voice, and intention don’t necessarily translate in online interactions. Write in a way that allows you to successfully convey your thoughts online with as little misinterpretation as possible
- Talk to people about what you’re learning. Sometimes the simple act of saying something out loud or discussing an issue with a live person can help you learn. Substitute the lack of person-person interaction inherent to an online program with live conversations about your courses