Many college students are counting down the days until they walk across that stage, degree in hand, and ready to face the work world. They’ve spent the last 17 or more years of their life in school and spending more time in a classroom may be the last thing they want. But wait…what about a master’s degree?
Benefits of a Master’s Degree
It used to be that a bachelor’s degree was enough to land you your dream job. These days, however, a master’s degree can offer you some leverage when it comes to the job hunt, making you a more marketable candidate.
- You have more credibility and marketability, so it makes the job hunt easier. Most degrees, like a Master of Public Administration or Engineeringcan add credibility to your resume. It shows you have more skills, more knowledge and more expertise. Often, you learn added technical skills as well.
- You can earn more money. Some fields base pay on the level of your degree. For instance, in education, your salary will depend on what degree you have. You’ll make more money with a master’s degree than a bachelor’s, and sometimes the system will even help you pay for it.
- You learn relevant skills. You’ll be better prepared for your job with a master’s degree. Whether you obtain it right after your bachelor’s degree or wait a few years and return to school, you’ll learn beneficial skills to increase your success and productivity.
What about online classes and degrees?
For some people, it’s tough to go back to school for another degree. The first one may have been time consuming enough, and now with other commitments, both career and family, they don’t have the time to go attend class at a college campus. There’s an alternative, though, and that’s online classes for a master’s degree.
Clearly, the time factor is a benefit to an online degree. It’s not the only one though.
- Completing an online program shows initiative, time management skills and drive. Employers can see that you will get the work done and are self motivated.
- Online classes can be more flexible. You don’t have to worry as much about classes filling up or if the class is too crowded or big for your learning style. Though you’ll be working on your own, you’ll still have access to other students and teachers to confer and consult with.
- Perhaps you don’t have a college campus nearby, or your rush hour traffic is too much to deal with. Online classes take care of this problem.
- Online courses listed on websites like The Course Nerd might be more affordable. Often, online students are exempt from certain campus fees. Textbooks are usually electronic so you don’t have to pay as much for as materials, if anything.
Some people believe that an online degree is not as credible as one earned in a brick and mortar classroom. However, according to a CNN report, “83 percent of executives in the survey say that an online degree is as credible as one earned through a traditional campus-based program.” They site factors such as the college or university’s accreditation and the quality of its graduates. The name of the college or university is also a factor.
The report also cites some important factorsin finding a good online school:
- Reputation – Having an actual campus is a plus.
- Accessibility – Can you get help and support if you need it?
- Cost – Cost should be based on per credit hour, not program.
- Time it takes to earn the degree – Even an online degree should take time to earn. If claims say you can be finished in months, be careful.
Earning the Degree
If earning a master’s degree has been on your mind, take a look into online classes. Whether it’s a local college or one farther away, see what programs they have that suit your interests and career. If you already have a job, your employer will appreciate the incentive and drive you’re showing. A master’s degree could lead to a nice promotion and pay raise.
If you are still job seeking, a master’s degree on a resume is something to be proud of, and something to catch a manager’s eye. You’ll be more skilled, more adept and ready to take on a strong position that showcases your skills. It may be a challenge, but the reward will even be beyond the money and position.
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