(Source: Clinefelter, D. L. & Aslanian, C. B., 2016. Online college students 2016:
Comprehensive data on demands and preferences. Louisville, KY: The Learning House, Inc., p 21)
Online Degrees and Career Advancement
Recent research with students enrolled in online degree programs indicates that career advancement is their top motivator for furthering their education:
- Twenty percent are motivated to further their education because they wanted a career in a new field
- Fourteen percent say they are back in school to keep their current job skills up-to-date
- Twelve percent needed more education to get a new job
- And, another eleven percent seek a promotion or new position in their field
That’s a total of 57% of all online students who are primarily motivated to seek an online degree to advance in their careers! Whether you need to up-skill, seek a promotion, get a new or better job, or want to move into a completely new field, there are online degree programs that can help get you there.
What Fields Require A Master’s Degree?
There are a finite number of fields that actually require practitioner’s to earn a master’s degree (or take some courses at the master’s level) as part of the requirement for earning certification or licenses in those fields. These include many health professions, like Nurse Practitioners, Licensed Social Workers, Occupational Therapists, Mental Health Counselors, and more.
But, there are no instances in business fields where a master’s degree is necessary for obtaining a license. And yet, these are the most popular master’s degrees in the market today. Students with an MBA or other business-master’s degree earn significantly more than their bachelor’s-only-trained counterparts. In some business fields, earning a master’s can fulfill part of the requirements to be licensed in certain highly sought-after specializations.
For example, Certified Public Accountants (CPAs), must have:
- Five years of higher education (one year beyond a bachelor’s degree),
- Continued education credits in business and accounting, and
- Verifiable business experience.
A Certified Internal Auditor must have a bachelor’s degree and two years of work experience; but a master’s degree can substitute for one year of work experience.
And some online master’s programs also offer special licensing test preparation as part of their degree offering. For example, Creighton University offers a Master of Investment Management and Financial Analysis degree. Creighton is an official partner of the Charted Financial Analyst (CFA) Institute. The curriculum covers the three major areas of material on the CFA test. This provides students with excellent preparation for seeking this credential. And the program is 100% online. This allows students to continue working while they complete their education to advance in their careers.
Finding The Right Online Degree Program
If you are interested in career advancement, you should carefully research the level and type of high education necessary to reach your desired career. Review the websites of professional accrediting bodies and state licensing boards for the specific requirements in your state. Reach out to employers to ask about what they look for in candidates for your desired position. And visit the Online Degree Database to get complete and unbiased details about online degree programs so you pick the best program! Search for online degree programs in your field of interest based on what’s most important to you. Is it total tuition, time to complete the degree, available specializations / concentrations, prerequisite or admissions requirements?
Also, see our prepared reports on the most popular online master’s degrees including MBAs, Master of Healthcare Administration, MSWs, and Master of Analytics. Save yourself hours, even weeks, of time researching degree options for online study on your own. You’ll be glad you did!