EDUCATION

5 Surprising Master Degree Programs that Offer Online Study

After obtaining a bachelor’s degree, many graduates opt to enter the workforce to begin their careers. For those interested in gaining additional knowledge, increasing their earnings potential, and/or switching careers, getting a master’s degree is another accolade worth pursuing.

But it’s not always that easy going back to school, especially in the wake of the ongoing pandemic and for those raising families and who are already entrenched in the workforce. So, what are some options for those wanting to go back to school but who are hesitant to attend in-person classes or simply don’t have the means or time?

As it turns out, there are quite a few online master’s degree programs out there worth pursuing. Many of these programs are offered by traditional universities looking to make higher learning more accessible and to remain competitive in today’s digital world.

Here are a few surprising options you have for pursuing an advanced degree on your own time:

1. Education

You might not think it, but many teachers now teaching your kids online were also trained in online courses. There are many options available for earning an advanced degree in education online.

Teaching degrees don’t just cover early childhood education; these days, online programs offer training in school counseling, adult education, and even doctorate-level education and administration.

If you’ve ever considered earning your teaching certification but couldn’t devote the time to a traditional in-class setting, explore your options with online study. Another added bonus, a new study shows that education workers are less likely to have a horrible boss, so this could be a major benefit!

2. Information Technology

As technology evolves and advances, the demand for IT professionals may rise dramatically. This demand is also partly due to the lack of qualified workers in the field. According to Gartner, IT executives see a talent shortage as the most significant adoption barrier to 64% of emerging technologies.

Talent in this field is so in-demand that many people working with only entry-level degrees cannot devote the time needed for in-person study, making online degrees a favored option. Those who have earned a master’s degree in this field can earn an average of $100,000 annually, according to payscale.com.

3. Business

There’s never been a more competitive market for new business professionals than during the pandemic. With people leaving their old jobs to focus on their own passions, small businesses are popping up left and right.

If you’re interested in earning an MBA in business and analytics, you have plenty of choices. Indeed, there’s never been a better time to earn an MBA with a focus on project management, as more of these programs are becoming available online for you to pursue on your own timetable.

4. Cybersecurity

As more and more of the workforce transitions to a digital workplace, cybersecurity will be a more sought-after skill set than ever before. That’s because, with companies allowing their employees to work and access sensitive consumer data at home, they’ll be investing money and time into finding the best cybersecurity professionals out there.

Cybersecurity suffers from many of the same generational workforce shortage issues as IT. According to The Washington Post, there are 16 times more federal IT workers age 50 or older than there are younger than 30. Not only that, but there are also currently more than half a million unfilled cybersecurity positions across the nation.

Ultimately, if you can secure a master’s degree in cybersecurity, you’ll have many job opportunities to explore.

5. Web Design

Much of the business we conduct on an everyday basis is now done online; that’s not going to change any time soon. In addition to established businesses that have used the online marketplace for years, there’s been a surge in new websites being built during the pandemic to launch small businesses.

As such, the demand for talented web designers has shot through the roof. In an online program, you’ll learn scripting languages, usability and accessibility, and basic security measures. This job will come not only with a steady stream of work but you’ll also be well paid.

The World of Online Learning is Your Oyster

As you can see, there has been a real explosion of choice recently in the world of online master’s degrees that you can pursue from the comfort of your own home. If you’re looking to advance your career prospects, these degrees can help you get there, especially since you can schedule them around your work and family responsibilities.

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