Why Earning Your Master’s Degree Online Makes Sense

April 22nd, 2014 by

A master’s degree is a graduate-level program that can help students to get ahead in their careers, increase their earning potential and find fulfilling employment opportunities. While there is no question that a master’s degree can be a smart move for an upward career path, it can be difficult to fit early-morning lectures or exams into an already busy schedule.

Fortunately, an online master’s degree can be an obvious alternative for the modern student. Discover some of the key reasons why it makes sense to earn a master’s degree online.

Increase Your Earning Potential

Perhaps the most obvious reason to pursue an online master’s degree is for the opportunity to increase your earning potential. According to, the average graduate holding a bachelor’s degree will earn $43,000 each year.

However, the addition of a master’s degree, which takes just one to two years to complete, can boost earnings to an average annual salary of $53,000. While the specific amounts may vary from person to person depending on geographical location and industry, there is no doubt that getting an online master’s degree will boost your earnings and allow you to take home more money each year.

Work and Study at the Same Time

Although some students are able to drop everything to head back to campus and earn their graduate degree, others already have full-time careers. If you have a job but you still want to advanced your education, then the best option is often to study online.

An online master’s degree program allow students to stream lectures live, watch recorded classroom sessions at a later time, take exams whenever it fits into their schedules and participate in ongoing online discussions with their classmates and teachers. This allows you to recreate the learning experience without sacrificing your existing career or the income that comes with it.

Study a Niche Subject

Another popular reason to pursue an online master’s degree rather than a traditional campus program is to study a niche subject not commonly available to colleges and universities. While general subjects like history and business degrees might be found at just about every college on the planet, specific areas of study like modern European politics or global apologetics, both of which are actual master’s degrees in the United States, can be harder to come by.

Students who want to study something specific not available at their nearest university may want to branch out and consider online study instead. This offers students a staggering number of master’s degree options. If the degree exists, then you can study it online.

Get Ahead No Matter Where You Live

A common concern for aspiring master’s degree students is that they live too far from a college or university campus. Even if you live within driving distance, you might be forced to spend hours each week in traffic, commuting to lectures and searching for parking spots.

In rural areas, there might not even be a university campus available within commuting distance. An online master’s degree program allows students living around the world to have access to the very same curriculum, textbooks, lectures and exams.

Whether you live in Miami or Seattle, you can log on and view the same professor giving the same lecture, allowing you to have access to excellent teaching staff no matter what your geographic location.

Enter Into a New Career Field

Entering into a new career field can be a challenge, especially if you have either no experience in the field or a bachelor’s degree in a different area of study. Thankfully, it is not necessary for individuals to head back to school and get a brand new undergraduate degree in order to pursue a new career field. Instead, they can earn a master’s degree, which takes just one to two years, to propel them into a new field.

For example, someone with a marketing degree might earn a master’s of business administration, also called an MBA, in order to find a managerial position for a large financing and lending institution or a retail corporation. Earning a master’s degree is a proven way to make you more attractive to hiring managers, even if you are breaking into a brand new field of employment.

Balance Education and Family Life

Many parents struggle to find a balance between education, employment and family life. Spending time earning a college degree on a campus may be a good way to get ahead and provide for your children, but it also takes away from the time you get to spend with loved ones.

For many, the perfect compromise is an online master’s degree. This allows you to complete assignments and watch lectures in the evenings, while the children are in school or whenever you have free time. There is no mandatory classroom setting, and you can move your schedule around to accommodate school holidays, sick days or just a fun weekend with the special people in your life.

Enjoy the Flexibility of Online Study

The major appeal of an online masters degree is the flexibility that it offers to everyone. Rather than sitting in a lecture hall at a specific time for your class, you can log on from your computer and watch recorded classes, lectures and seminars from anywhere in the world.

Degrees can be completed through a series of early morning study sessions, or you can spend your summer break working hard to complete the bulk of the year’s work all at once. This kind of flexibility means that no schedule is too busy, and anyone with the desire to get ahead and advance their career can do exactly that.

Complete the Degree Program at Your Own Pace

A perk of studying to earn an advanced graduate degree online is that students can often set their own pace of completion. At a traditional college campus, students typically have to decide whether to pursue a one-year master’s degree or a two-year curriculum.

With an online program, however, students can work through the material at whatever pace suits them best. You might speed through certain courses that you are already familiar with, but you can also slow down when you have your children with you in the summer, you are going away for a family vacation or you just need a break.

Great Option for Technology-Based Careers

Today, online degree programs are readily accepted by most employers as equal to traditional campus degrees. In technology-based industries, however, an online degree might actually be an advantage. Employers will recognize that online students have the drive and computer skills to complete an entire advanced degree, and that can often be your foot in the door to secure an interview and eventually a position with the company.

During the course of your online degree, you will also likely strengthen your computer skills, which is helpful no matter what industry you plan to eventually work in.

Thanks to accredited online colleges, earning an online master’s degree is easier than ever. It allows students to pursue niche subjects, study according to their own schedules and get ahead in nearly every industry imaginable.

About the Author:

Sandy Davis

Sandy Davis is a long-time educator who holds a Master’s Degree in Education, having taught English, writing, and communication on the secondary and college levels. With ten years of experience in blogging, social media and content management, she is a freelance writer and content marketing specialist for a diverse range of clients.

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