How to choose an online masters program

This article will teach you how to choose an online masters program so you can get to work like this guy!

This article will teach you how to choose an online masters program so you can get to work like this guy!

With each passing year, the employment market is becoming an increasingly competitive place. With downward pressure being applied to not just blue collar careers, but white college ones as well, increasing levels of competence and expertise are becoming more and more necessary in order to remain employable.

Automation and outsourcing are moving lower skilled tasks into the hands of computers and lower paid workers in foreign countries, so to ensure your position isn’t next on the chopping block, it pays to invest in furthering your education and developing skill sets that will continue to make you a valuable commodity in the years ahead.

While you understand the need to shore up your resume, you don’t have the time or the saved up capital to take a year or two off to go back to school. Fortunately, the internet works in your favor on this matter, as there are many institutions out there that offer masters programs via the internet, allowing you to complete courses in the evening, on weekends, or if you’re crazy enough, over your lunch breaks at work.

Before you sign on the digital line for a school, it’s important to be certain that the institute that you will be working with is legitimate and meets your needs as a mature learner. The following tips will teach you how to choose an online masters program, ensuring that your online learning experience is a uniformly positive one…

Above all else … check their credentials

Any school that you enroll with should always have the proper credentials with regards to the quality and integrity of the programs that they offer. Find out which accreditation agencies are the gold standard in your field.

If you can’t find any, looking for AACSB certification is your best bet. Secondly, run a Google search on the credentials that an online school provides. If it doesn’t exist, you’ve got a diploma mill on your hands … stay away!

How is the curriculum composed?

If you’re taking an online degree from a well-established brick and mortar institution, compare to their on-campus offerings and see if they mirror each other in terms of content. If they don’t , look for one that does, as you are paying big money for a Master’s program … you deserve the best possible value per dollar spent.

What are the basic system requirements to run the necessary software for these courses?

In order to translate in-class presentations into a digital format, online programs will almost certainly make use of various multimedia formats to transmit this content to you. Find out what the system requirements to run this content and if it doesn’t match up well, either upgrade your hardware/install the necessary software, or find a program that places less demands on the computer that you own.

Are there real world tests that you will have to complete as part of the online program?

While this almost never is an issue with colleges that are 100% online, some brick and mortar post-secondary institutions will require that you get out from behind your computer and meet at certain locations in the real world for proctored exams, and on their campus for courses that require lab time. This will require scheduling ju-jitsu to balance it with your day job, and if it isn’t possible, you might have to consider a school that doesn’t place these demands on your time.

Check their graduation and employment stats

When it comes to schools that are 100% online or those that you aren’t that familiar with, this step is an absolute must. Even if they somehow managed to gain (or forge) accreditation from relevant authorities, their graduation and employment stats as compared to other schools will tell the true story of the quality of their curriculum, and what the world of work thinks of them.

Low rates in either category often indicate a hack school that in the field to fleece unsuspecting students … as with the first point, if this is the case, run away!

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