Online Education Master’s Degrees

A master’s degree gives students training and education in a specialized field of expertise with greater depth than studying for a bachelors degree. Students pursuing a master’s degree traditionally need to hold a bachelors degree and commit to one to six years of study in a particular field. Online education masters degree programs make it easier for working business professionals to complete their education and attain advanced positions in their field.

Masters degrees definitely afford individuals an opportunity to increase their earning potential. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average weekly earnings for a masters degree holder are $1,102, which is $200 more than people holding a bachelors degree. These statistics further reveal that only 5.9 percent of adults in America hold a masters degree.

Online education masters degree programs may consist of any combination of advanced study courses, internships and independent research, such as a thesis. Some master’s degree programs enable students to go directly into a career, others require internships or additional credentials and some prepare students to enter doctoral degree programs. To fulfill the requirements of a masters degree program, students must attend between 30 to 60 semester hours, which may be completed online between 15 and 36 months.

Masters degrees are differentiated by post-nominal letters that indicated the level of academic achievement, honor or office a student has earned. The most common areas of online education masters degree study are:

Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.). The National Postsecondary Student Aid Study determined that about one in five students seeking to earn a master’s degree pursue an M.B.A. The masters degree in business administration is research-oriented and involves independent study and achievement. Online education masters degree programs give business executives the ability to fit educational advancement into their schedules at their convenience. Further, according to “Taking the E-Train” by Douglas Bartholomew there are quite a few opportunities for business networking and making professional connections through online education.

Master of Education (MEd, MAT, MSEd). According to the National Postsecondary Student Aid Study, about 28 percent of students study for a masters degree with a focus on education. There are several specialization that students can choose, including elearning, corporate training, teaching and administration. Graduates can pursue careers as teachers, in technology or as principals and administrators or pursue doctoral degrees to seek positions as education experts in their field. Online education masters degree programs provide educators with the opportunity to seek advanced education while maintaining their current positions and tenure in the field.

Master of Science (M.S.). A master of science can be earned in a variety of research, education and health care fields. Pursuing an M.S. degree usually involves independent study as well field work. Graduates are employed in careers such as research, health care, education and more. Certain M.S. Programs prepare students to enter doctorate study to become employed in positions such as physicians and health care administrators. Online education masters degree programs give busy doctors, nurses and scientists the chance to practice in the field while attaining higher degrees.

Master of Arts (M.A.). A masters degree in the arts is often considered to be a terminal degree. This means that graduates are prepared to enter their chosen field and no further degree is needed to advance professionally. For example, the Master of Fine Arts (MFA) enables graduates to enter directly into careers such as a photographers, sculptor, creative writer and painter. An M.A. gives a greater level of distinction, expertise accomplishment to those working in the fine arts and can even qualify people to educate others on artistic pursuits.

Financial aid is readily available for all types of online education masters degree programs. Students can find out about tuition reimbursement from their employers, especially in fields such as health care that need more certified people in certain professions. Federal and state grants and loans may be available, such as Stafford Loans. There are also private students loans through entities such as Citibank. Certain online education programs offer payment plans to students who are unable to pay a lump sum at the beginning of the semester. Finally, there are a wealth of scholarships available to students willing to apply and pursue them. Financial assistance is readily available for students who want to attend online education masters degree programs.

Online Education Degree Programs

With an online education degree program you can earn an education degree that can be helpful in your teaching career to become a teacher, principal, education advocate or professor. These online programs are generally catered to suit the needs for people who have hectic personal activities. It’s flexible property focuses on you and your needs by giving you the opportunity to earn a degree without having to step into crowded lecture halls or traveling between work and school.

There are basically three types of online degree programs – bachelor, master and doctoral. A Bachelor-level program provides you a platform to become teachers at elementary or secondary level of education. Master students that take up online education degree programs can actually come from career changers who have the desire to obtain teaching certificates as part of their graduate job. Some are actually looking forward to qualify for administrative positions or teaching jobs at community colleges.

Doctoral students may also choose these programs to increase their opportunities in becoming education professors and engaging in research related with education. Today, teaching needs an excellent certification to be qualified as an educator. You have to practice caution by researching and checking with your state’s rules and regulations regarding the appropriate requirements before you enroll yourself in any of the available online programs. There may be a requirement for you to take additional tests or to complete a local student teaching hours before you are allowed to become a classroom teacher.

Earning an education degree through online program has its own benefits such as you are allowed to juggle between work and studying at your own pace and most importantly the students are able to make a wider connection from all across the globe thereby increasing the access to experienced professors with a wide variety of education experience.

In your quest of finding the best online programs that offer you an education degree course, bear in mind that accreditation is a vital element. Certificates that are fully accredited have the best opportunity to land you a job offer. Now that you have known this, make a thorough research on the list of online college or university profiles to find the best accredited and recognized program that is in line with your schedule, finance, and learning methods.

Making Online Education Attractive

All over the world, the numbers of people in school at the different levels takes pyramidal shape. There are huge numbers at the elementary, but as they progress, the numbers decrease, leaving just a few in higher education. In the United States, some 65 million students were expected to enroll from K to K12 in the fall of 2015. In the same period, it was expected that 20.2 million would be attending Colleges and Universities. It is estimated that 25% of fresh high school students in the U.S.A are not able to graduate. For fresh students who enter colleges or universities 1 out of 3 are likely not make it to second year. This dropout out rate hinders national development, because many people do not receive the full training they need to be functional in society. National development would be hugely fostered, if more adults receive education, in order that they become functional in society.

I am not saying that all adults who were not fully educated are not playing important roles in society. There are very prominent individuals in society who dropped out of school at some level. Bill Gate, Mark Zuckerberg, Oprah Winfrey, for example, at some point dropped out of school. Though this list is not exhaustive, the number of people who dropped out of school or decided not to gain higher education and yet became successful are relatively few. For the majority who dropped out or discontinued education, and could not become successful in their careers, it was because they lacked the knowledge they needed to develop their potential. If you check the history of those who in spite of dropping out or discontinuing schooling have become successful, you would find that appeared to have found their life’s purpose and so pursued those goals and, more importantly, they received some kind of education later.

Education as we all know is a life-long activity. At any point in time, whether you dropped out of school or got honors at your graduation, you would need education. The school dropout who has found himself a vocation or gained employment needs education so he/she can be more productive, the dropout who has realized the need to school but has ‘grown past school going age’ and desires to school obviously needs education, managers as well as employees need further education in order to keep pace with today’s rapidly changing world and gain increased wages and status respectively. Somehow, the traditional education dependent society we have created for ourselves and considers the ‘best’, limits our quest for continuing education. For many people, formal education ended the day they dropped out or graduated from High School, College or University, even though, technology makes it possible for us to sit in our houses and still get quality education.

When technology – computers and internet connectivity – replaced physical classrooms and made it possible to study by distance in real time, it appeared the issue of continuous education for everyone, including the dropout and the working class have been solved. It appeared, and still does, that now the teacher need not leave his students, apply for study-leave or leave of absence to pursue further education. It appeared the fifty-year-old woman who dropped out of school several years ago could now school from home and it appeared the father could learn what his daughter is learning at College using the same device he uses to call her. That is what it appeared. Those who dropped out of school due to issues of finance and have not since had a breakthrough would not benefit, and those who have the money would not want to put their money into a certificate employers and academicians alike would frown upon. So little appear to have changed for these two groups of people, though online Colleges and Universities abound.

Two prime issues are to blame. First, online education is too expensive for the target group of learners and second, there is the perception that online Colleges and Universities do not provide holistic education like the traditional Colleges and Universities. As indicated by Ed Vosganian – founder and CEO of College Funding 123, the cost of on-campus University for undergraduate is estimated at 42,000 dollars while for the same group it cost around 21,000 dollars for online universities. By comparison we would say that it cost far less to study via online. But we need not lose sight of those who mostly enroll in online University. It is those in the middle and lower classes who opt for online universities. They include; the employee who has sacrificed pleasure for higher qualification in return for better wages, the unemployed who wants to gain employable skills, the dropout who wants to get back to school in the hope that there will be a brighter future, and the people living in the remote part of the world, especially in the developing world, who don’t even have the money to pay fees and so would have to learn and work simultaneously. To these 21,000 dollars is money so huge, it is very difficult to raise. There are people of the higher income class who enroll in online universities, but online learning is not popular among these due to low prestige and the myths associated with online education. The online institutions will tell you, they would not put anything on your certificate to show that you received a non-traditional education. This kind of advert speaks of how society values online education. Online education is considered a cheap way of getting ‘watered down’ education. Online Colleges and Universities were until recently considered diploma mills. This perception still exists, though empirical evidence tells us there is no disparity in quality of students from traditional Colleges and Universities on one hand and online Colleges and Universities on the other. The online Universities and Colleges are doing their best to make online learning prestigious and bring down study cost, but they cannot do it alone. With government intervention online learning can become prestigious and lower and middle class friendly.

Government should provide a national framework for online education, subsidize accreditation, and grant scholarships and student loans for students in online Colleges and Universities. A national framework to guide the operations of all online colleges and universities should be instituted by the state, through the Department of Education or the relevant government agency. This framework, which would be descriptive and not prescriptive in nature would describe, for example, the minimum courses to be taken at a given level, and the general mode of operation of online universities and colleges without prescribing specific courses or mode of operation. Accreditation is not just laborious for online Colleges and Universities; it is also expensive. This cost is passed to students, souring up program fees. If the government decides to absorb half the cost of accreditation, though there is no guarantee the program fees will be halved, the program fee would be reduced somehow. Lastly, most of the students who opt for online colleges and universities do not receive scholarships and student loans from the state. Those who receive something do not get huge scholarships and student loans like their counterparts in traditional Colleges and Universities. Government should make scholarships and students loans available to students of online Colleges and Universities just as it does for students in traditional Colleges and Universities.

The ramifications of these interventions would definitely be awesome. Providing a national framework for online education would take away the false negative perception people have about online learning. Many think online learning is easy and also the number of credits taken are far less than those taken in traditional learning settings. This thinking exists because there are some poorly designed online courses in which certificate are awarded after just a couple of assignments have been submitted. Such practices can be stopped, when a national framework is developed and operationalized. A national framework will give credibility to online learning, because a national standard for online would have to be adhered to and so no online college or university can just sell certificate. Subsidizing Accreditation will yield three results. The most obvious is that, it would reduce program fees because amount to pass to the students would be less. Subsidizing accreditation fees would encourage online Colleges and Universities to seek accreditation from accrediting bodies recognize by the Department of Education or the appropriate state agency. Even though accreditation is not compulsory in some parts of the world, like the united states, some occupation that require state licensing would not accept degree from non-accredited Colleges and University. Prospective online learners are, usually, worried about whether the can easily work with their certificates. Government intervention would remove this worry and remove the negative perception people have about online education as well. Government interventions in the form of scholarship and loans would ease the financial burden and make it possible for those who hitherto would not be able to school to do so. In sum, government intervention would go a long way to produce an enlightened society by permitting many people to receive higher education.

There are many people wanting to get higher education through online Colleges and Universities so they gain knowledge and skills, or enhance their knowledge and skills but cannot do because of either the cost or the uncertainty of the acceptability of the certificate. Government intervention in the form of national framework for online universities and colleges, subsidizing accreditation cost and providing scholarships and student loans would open the door for those who want to study from home. Government intervention can give the assurance that online learning is as good as traditional college or university learning, and that their certificate would be accepted jobs that require state licensing. It would ease the pressure on facilities in traditional Colleges and Universities, produce the well-educated citizenry needed for national development and convert the current pyramidal shape into a ‘near’ cylinder.