Once you’ve earned your degree, it’s hard to get motivated to spend a few more years in school. However, obtaining a master’s degree can be hugely beneficial – it can help you advance your current career or start an entirely new one.
In addition to teaching you new skills and knowledge, a master’s degree unlocks a higher salary and more job opportunities. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics¹, a master’s degree could mean an increase in salary of $25,000 per year.
If you’d like to advance your education but don’t want to invest the time and money to go back to school, pursuing your master’s degree online could be the answer. With new options available in online education, getting your master’s degree from the comfort of your home couldn’t be easier. Even better, an online education will cost less and give you flexibility in scheduling your classes.
To help you decide if pursuing an online master’s degree would be the best option for you, here are four benefits to consider.
Online Graduate School Is Cheaper
Online graduate schools are typically cheaper than traditional brick-and-mortar schools. One reason for this is online schools don’t have the cost of managing and maintaining buildings, land, and infrastructure that traditional schools have, cutting tuition costs for students.
U.S. News² reports that some online master’s programs, like the University of Texas, offer classes for as little as $203 each – and Student Loan Hero³ reports that Georgia Tech offers one of the most affordable online graduate programs for a total of just $7,000. That’s a huge savings compared to the average master’s degree cost of $50,400 reported by Student Loan Hero⁴.
And the savings don’t stop at tuition. Students in online programs don’t have to pay for room and board, save on commuting expenses, and don’t have to pay any on-campus fees.
You Can Choose Your Learning Environment
One of the most obvious advantages to pursuing your master’s degree online is the ability to do so from absolutely anywhere. As long as you can get online, you can take classes, complete assignments, and connect with professors. You can earn your graduate degree in your own home or any environment you choose.
You’ll also be able to learn at a pace that works best for you. You can fit your classes into your schedule, and you can advance as quickly or as slowly as you need to in order to absorb the material. You could work on your classes early in the morning, late at night, or on your days off. This is an advantage students in a traditional college don’t have. If you have the time, you can even choose to expedite your education and receive your master’s degree in less time than at a traditional school.
Online Master’s Degrees Are Flexible
Obtaining your master’s degree online can lead to many new career paths and to increased income. A master’s degree can provide an opportunity for you to move into a different field – or it could be the boost you need to become an executive.
A master’s degree may allow you to move up the ladder quickly. This could significantly increase your salary. According to CareerBliss⁵, a general manager with a master’s degree will earn more than $97,000 compared to a salary level of about $80,000 for someone with an undergraduate degree only. In a variety of positions, the salary level for a person with a master’s degree can increase by as much as 20 percent when compared to the same job for an employee with an undergraduate degree.
Online Master’s Students Have a Great Job Outlook
A wide variety of jobs are available for those who earn a master’s degree online. Some of the jobs a master’s degree might qualify you for include:
- Staff Software Engineer
- General Manager
- Graphic Designer
- Financial Advisor
- Marketing Director
- Managing Partner
Some positions require an advanced degree, meaning your options could be limited without a master’s. Many times, when employers are looking to fill a supervisory position, they specify that a master’s degree is required in order to qualify. Even for non-supervisory positions, Fast Company⁶ notes that almost 30 percent of employers are requiring master’s degrees for positions that previously required only four-year degrees.
How to Start Your Online Master’s Degree
The first step in earning an online master’s degree is investigating your options. Search for online master’s degree programs and compare their benefits and costs. Make sure the schools you’re considering are fully accredited. You should also check the school’s graduation and employment rates, plus the faculty’s qualifications.
Once you decide on a school, you’ll need to enroll – but it’s easy to do so. You can sign up immediately online, though an online program may ask to see your undergraduate transcript and other qualifications. When you’re officially enrolled, you can begin exploring all of the new knowledge you’ll need to reach new heights.
Like anything, it’s always a good idea to be aware of the latest research. We recommend comparing at least 3 or 4 options before making a final decision. Doing a search online is typically the quickest, most thorough way to discover all the pros and cons you need to keep in mind.