Learn if getting an online master degree is the right choice for someone in your field and if your desired course has strong online options.
People considering an online master degree should be careful to check first if it is a good idea for people in their field. Granted, that it is a masters already makes it better—as opposed to, say, a baccalaureate—because employers are generally more accepting of a master degree online than an undergraduate online. Still, there is still a prevailing opinion that the conventional program is better, so you may have to do a little research into whether or not this opinion is stronger or weaker in your industry.
The first thing to figure out, perhaps, is what kind of industry you are looking to enter. This means whether you are going into the strict business industry, into that of computer technologies, and so on. Surveys of employers have shown that there are differing opinions about online programs in different industries.
Apparently, the most accepting industries for online graduates are those that are more deeply involved in technological processes. All industries are that, to some extent, but some do stand out more than others in that regard. For example, you can safely expect the IT industry to be among the leaders here.
As such, HR officers from the IT world are more likely to be receptive to the idea of hiring people with online degrees. In fact, surveys on employers from that industry have indicated as much. It makes sense, especially when you consider that they are among those promoting change in technologies, and so are more likely to welcome change in educational technologies as well.
Not all industries have the same attitude, though. Fields where computer technology has not permeated as strongly are more likely to turn down online degree graduates. This means that you should be wary of getting online degrees if your desired industry is one that is more rooted in tradition and the past than focused on the future.
That having been said, there are other factors that determine whether or not an online program is a good idea in your case. For example, what kind of field do you want to enter? If your chosen field is one that is more dependent on information than practice, an online program may be a good idea.
Examples of such fields would be those of Finance and Computer Programming. After all, you can easily perform functions related to them online. You can learn to manage finances and program computers online as easily as you would in a classroom.
Employers for people in such fields are aware of that. As such, they tend to be more accepting of online graduates. This gives you a nice sense of which possible professions and careers can be more easily pursued with online education.
A final note that may assist you in determining whether or not online education is the way to go is to find out if accrediting bodies exist for your course. An accrediting body can do a lot to legitimize a course in the eyes of employers. Furthermore, the existence of accrediting bodies for a course indicates how developed it is and how strongly it is developing.
An online master degree with accreditation is always better than one without it. Hence, you should do your best to find out if you have options available to you with this additional credit to them. It should make your choice so much better in the long run.