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4 Reasons to Enroll in Online Master’s Degree Programs to Save Time and Money

By Chris Bibey

reasons to get masters degree onlineAre you interested in earning your master’s degree? Many people answer “yes,” but for one reason or another they never act on this desire. There are many reasons for this, ranging from the time that it takes to finish the coursework to the cost of tuition. While it does take time and money to receive a master’s degree, there is a way that you can save in both of these areas. By getting your master’s degree online, saving time and money is more than possible. In fact, it is to be expected. For those who immediately are rejecting this idea and want to go to a “top” school, keep in mind that a lot of the best universities and colleges have online programs as well!

How can this save me time?

There are two distinct ways that earning your master’s degree online will save you time:

1. No commute. With online courses you never have to leave home. Instead, you will complete your course load online, without ever stepping foot in a classroom. Not having to commute to and from school makes earning a master’s degree possible for many people, especially those with career and/or family obligations.

2. No long classes to sit through. When you decide to study for your master’s degree online, you are in charge of taking in the material, completing assignments, and staying on top of all required details. That being said, you are able to work at your own pace. If you have a nine to five job, for example, you can study in the morning or evening. There is no “set time” that you have to be in a classroom. Just remember that your teachers will set deadlines.

How can this save me money?

As you probably know, college can be expensive no matter what type of degree you are after. By studying for your master’s degree online, you should be able to save yourself some money:

3. You don’t have to choose a local college. If you are going to study for your master’s in a traditional sense (going to the campus on a regular basis) you will be limited to colleges in your area. In turn, you only have so many tuition options. But when you decide to use the online method, you can compare schools far and wide to find the one that best suits your budget and educational needs.

4. Again, no commute. Think about how much money it would cost to commute to a school in your area three to five days per week. Even if it is close by, you are going to spend money on gasoline, and most likely, other expenses such as food. When studying for your master’s degree online the only commute you have is to your computer desk and that is a free ride!

A master’s degree is a great way to increase your knowledge while better positioning yourself for future career related success. By studying online you can save yourself a lot of time and money. But, you need to do some extensive research about the master’s degree you’re seeking. You want to make sure that getting the degree online won’t decrease the value of the degree in the eyes of employers. It’s very common to see people having online master’s degrees in Business, but not very common to have one in Engineering. Catch my drift? Do your research about the online university, its reputation, and seek out other people who’ve received a master’s degree online from that institution to find out if they think it helped them in the job marketplace.

(photo credit: kevindooley)

Chris Bibey
Chris Bibey is a freelance writer who over the years has honed his personal finance experience by writing more than 100 feature articles on the subject. In his spare time, Chris enjoys sports - West Virginia football in particular!

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  • Gina

    I agree that getting an online degree can be useful. However, it can be a huge waste of money if the degree that you are working for will not actually reap you financial benefits in the future (do you REALLY need the masters degree to acheive your career goal, will the degree yield you a significantly higher payscale, is it likely that you will be switching careers again in the future, etc,).

  • Elizabeth I

    If you want a graduate degree, you really need to consider what job you want after you obtain the degree or companies that you desire to work for. Then, once you have established that, call recruiters and make sure that this online program is going to help you get that job.

  • http://madsaver.com Mac

    Appreciate the tips as I am thinking about getting a Masters’s and giving strong consideration to taking classes online. I’ve always had a tough time staying on task when taking on-line classes, but I handle deadlines quite well, so this may work. I’d like to see a comparison between online students and those that attend classes in-person and how successful each were in getting the career boost after graduation. That may be interesting.

  • http://www.castocreationsjewelry.blogspot.com megscole64

    I got my Bachelor’s degree online and LOVED it! It took a little longer, but I was able to work full time and pay almost all expenses myself (with the help of tuition assistance from my job…which I wouldn’t have had if I was going to a campus school…I could not work full time and attend classes). It is a little more expensive tuition wise but not so much that you don’t save money for the reasons you state above.

    You do miss out on social interaction, but for me that just wasn’t a necessity.

  • http://www.howisavemoney.net Lulu

    I got my first masters the regular way but in my current profession I am getting a second masters online.

    Yes you do save money by not commuting and working at your own pace is certainly a bonus but there are downsides. I have found that the coursework is a lot more than in a traditional classroom….so many assignments are due in a short space of time!!!

    You really need to be disciplined to get it all done and not wander off to watch television or go playing games online as well.

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