Why Online Master’s Degrees are Better for Changing Careers

Changing careers can be a beautiful thing!

Shooting for the moon with your career change aspirations?

Thinking About Changing Careers

If you are thinking about changing careers to one that requires additional formal education, this article is for you. Whether unhappiness in your current career or a stroke of luck  where a new opportunity arises drives your interest, thinking about changing careers is a healthy endeavor, and well worth your effort. But let’s be honest – approach it carefully.

A recent Forbes article clearly articulates the most important considerations to keep in mind if you are interested in using a master’s degree to help you change careers. Here are their key points:

  1. The cost of earning a master’s degree is significant. Taking on the financial burden of a student loan could negatively impact your overall career outcome.
  2. There is an opportunity cost to consider when you take the time to complete the degree, especially if you reduce your work week or stop working all together to attend class.
  3. Employers favor work experience over classroom time, and graduate school curriculum is often more theory than practice.
  4. You may start your new career at the same level as others who have just completed their master’s, which minimizes the value of the years of experience you have in your current career.

Online Master’s Degrees Minimize These Drawbacks

However, earning your degree online easily overcomes these drawbacks. And, many public and private universities and colleges offer online master’s degrees, giving you lots of great options. Most importantly, the learning outcomes, course quality, and cost of these programs are comparable to on-campus offerings.

Let’s go through how online degrees overcome the drawbacks identified in the Forbes article, step-by-step:

  1. Shop online master’s degree programs to find the ones that meet your financial needs. For example, online MBA programs cost as little as $10,000 or as much as $120,000. And there are over 470 online MBA programs to choose from in the U.S. There’s an online program out there that will meet most, if not ALL, of your requirements.
  2. Most online master’s degrees are designed to allow you to continue to work full-time and take your online courses part-time. These programs offer five or eight week terms, back-to-back within a semester, so that you can take one course at a time. This allows you to complete two or three courses in a semester. So the opportunity cost of losing work time is minimized with an online degree.
  3. Look for an online program that includes a capstone, internship, or practicum experience. Most professional online master’s programs have these components to ensure you get the hands-on experience employers look for. The more experience you gain in your new career field, the better.
  4. And, think carefully about how your work experience in your previous career enhances your candidacy for a position in your new career. Be sure the master’s degree IS the right pathway to this new career. If it’s not, don’t do it. Most online master’s degrees are in fields where there is demand for employees with a master’s degree (Business, Healthcare, Engineering, Social Work, Criminal Justice, and more).

Master’s Degree Benefits For Every Career

Finally, it’s important to realize that all master’s degrees (online and on campus) train students in:

  • critical thinking
  • research and analysis
  • writing and presenting
  • and, students are required to successfully participate in cross-functional team projects, one of the most common business skill sought by employers

Get Started With The Online Degree Database

Of course, figuring out the pathway to your new career on your own is a lot of work. That’s why we developed the Online Degree Database. The database contains the most comprehensive listing of online professional master’s degrees, and their details, in the market today.

We are not a marketing company – we don’t sell your contact information to anyone. Visit our Available Programs page to see our available degrees, and then use our interactive tool to select the programs that best meet your needs.  Easily complete your due diligence on managing the cost of the programs you consider with this tool. Or, look at our Prepared Reports which identify the top online programs in the leading professional master’s degree categories.  If you’re just starting to think about whether an online master’s degree is the right path for you, visit our website for helpful tips and blog posts designed to help you with your decision-making process!

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