Masters Degree Programs Online: Should you Jump on the Band Wagon?

(This is a guest article by Justin Laughridge*)

If you are considering getting your degree online, regardless of your field or your chosen major, you aren’t alone in the current educational landscape. In fact, online education is a rapidly growing segment of the educational systems at many colleges, as evidenced by the rapid uptick in online enrollment. Consider this: from 2002 to 2006, the number of students enrolled in online degree programs has almost tripled, and the number continues to grow, with most estimates agreeing that well over 1 million students are currently enrolled just in masters degree programs online.

So if you are interested in accelerating the path to your degree or simply in making it more convenient, there has never been a better time to pursue your education online. But there’s no doubt that you still have some questions about the entire process, and hopefully this article is one small piece in your effort to get as much good information about online degree programs as you possibly can. If some of the questions below apply to you, the answers should prove helpful as you consider your online educational options:

How do I know that I’m finding reputable schools with degree programs I can trust? This is a huge issue, and you want to make sure that your online degree program of choice has reputable accreditation behind it. But rest assured - - more “traditional” universities are offering online education than ever before, with Harvard's Online MBA Program and other options like Duke University's Fuqua School of Business topping the list of available options. With so many options available in the current online education landscape, choosing one with solid credentials is an easier task than it ever has been before.

What if I’m interested in getting my master’s degree online? If you are a student that has already earned an undergraduate degree and what you’re REALLY looking for is a solid list of masters degree programs, your options in pursuing such a degree have never been more plentiful. Whether you’re interested in business, history, information technology, education, nursing, or any number of other fields, master’s programs are available and the options are growing every year! What’s even better is that each individual program is suited to your own needs and your own schedule. If you work at another job during the day or have other commitments that make traditional enrollment difficult to impossible, online master’s programs can always be tailor-fit to your schedule and your unique situation.

Even if it is more convenient online, earning another degree will still take time and effort. How do I know it will pay off? The simplest way to answer this question is in terms of probable payoffs over your years of future employment. And to that point, consider that a working adult with a master’s degree (whether it is earned online or on campus) can expect to earn double the lifetime income of a high school graduate with no further education, and that same adult will earn 20% more on average than his or her peer with an undergraduate degree. In real dollars, it comes out to almost $400,000 of increased income - - and with the average online master’s program costing around $18,000/year, the pay-off is well worth your time!!

So wherever you are in your decision-making process about an online degree, rest assured that resources are out there, good schools are out there, and the potential for higher lifetime earning power is out there as well.

*About the author: This guest blog is furnished by Justin of

*Image Credit: Photograph by lumaxart [via Flickr Creative Commons]

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Tom Gores said...

If your current job requires you to get a masters degree, then go get some.

online degree said...

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