Advertising
Advertising

Professionals Would Prefer Online Masters Programs Over Masters Degrees, Here’s Why

Professionals Would Prefer Online Masters Programs Over Masters Degrees, Here’s Why

With the introduction of the digital age, people have begun relying on the internet to fulfill more and more of their needs. This has led to industries hustling and bustling towards digital transformation.

The education industry, too, has begun to appear on the medium in the form of online training. Initially, online education was considered inferior to traditional degrees. Employers rarely accepted online degrees as equal to a degree from a reputed brick and mortar school. However, online courses seem to be taking the front seat in the race for the most preferred, blurring the fine line between traditional and online.

With employers demanding more refined and up-to-date skills from employees, the demand for online programs has increased in popularity. In fact, within the United States itself, 6.7 million students enrolled in at least one online course in the fall of 2011 – an increase of more than 500,000 students when compared to 2010. Online learning has become the new form of education, and here are 4 important reasons why.

1. It is cost efficient

According to a study by FinAid.org, the average cost of a Masters degree is somewhere between $30,000 and $120,000. The cost varies depending on the field of study of the degree and the university where the degree is taken.

Advertising

This humongous cost makes it extremely hard for students to meet financial requirements, leading them to take on loans and debt. Recent reports show that loan debt in the US alone is mind-boggling. Here are the numbers:

  • $1.26 trillion in total US student loan debt
  • 43.3 million Americans with student loan debt
  • Student loan delinquency rate of 11.6%
  • Average monthly student loan payment (for borrowers aged 20 to 30 years): $351
  • Median monthly student loan payment (for borrowers aged 20 to 30 years): $203

With online training, you won’t have to sell any of your organs to get an education. The price of online education is three times cheaper when compared to the cost of a traditional brick and mortar school, making it affordable and cost efficient. Plus, you won’t have to fly halfway across the world to get your education.

Comparing costs with on-campus programs varies drastically as well.

The 2-year MS in Project Management program at George Washington University costs US$57,600. At the University of Sydney, the 1.5-year Master of Project Management program costs $34,000, roughly US$26,000 for a year alone. These are both on-campus programs.

Guess how much Simplilearn’s Project Management Expert Masters Program costs – you won’t believe it.

Advertising

battle-of-the-titans-1

    2. The Job Market Benefit – Becoming job-ready

    You spend 2 years working your butt off understanding a subject, attending seminars, working through internships, and slogging for exams for what exactly? The hope that you may have the chance to sit for an interview? Well, here’s some news: traditional education does not guarantee a job!

    According to an article by Forbes, in 2008 over 35% of college graduates were underemployed. In addition, 22% of PhDs or similar professional degree holding professionals and 59% of people with Masters degrees did not have jobs.

    In June 2013, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York reported that a whopping 44% of graduates were underemployed.

    This data shows that a Masters degree cannot guarantee you a job. Yes, it is valuable. Yes, 1 out of 3 employers prefer a Masters degree. However, where it lacks is the fact that it does not provide a defined layout of training. These professionals are exposed to various areas of many domains, confusing them and giving them half-baked knowledge and skills.

    Online training courses, however, provide a student with job-oriented training. What this means is that if you take a program like the Simplilearn’s Data scientist Masters Program, you get trained solely in the Data scientist & big data domain. You will not defer into other areas, like Digital Marketing, and will learn through a learning path that is the brainchild of the Data scientist industry’s best experts. You will become a thorough master of this domain, which will increase your chances of getting a job by 3 times.

    3. The eligibility criteria

    Yes, we have all heard of the struggles of getting into a brick and mortar school – some of us have even gone through those struggles. Entry requirements can be a massive headache.

    From work experience to academic marks to English requirements, the eligibility criteria of a traditional school can be enough to completely drain an individual and destroy their self-esteem. And even if you try, hoping that the university gives you a little leeway because you’ve written a good statement of purpose or you’ve excelled in one area that will hopefully make up for the rest, you will be burned down. Universities are very strict on who they take in. If they do not feel that you are up to their standard or that you cannot meet their requirements, then you are immediately turned down.

    Advertising

    This does not hold true for online training or certification. Yes, there may be eligibility requirements, but they are a minimum few compared to that of a traditional brick and mortar school. Most certifications only require some sort of previous work experience.

    4. Convenience

    Traditional brick and mortar schools demand that you learn on-campus. You need to go to a classroom at a fixed time, sit there, listen to a lecture, get your attendance, and then leave. There are no two ways about it. Without your attendance, you won’t pass. And if you don’t pass, you don’t get your certificate. Without your certificate, you are useless to the job market – unless of course you want to become a delivery boy at Dominos. If you have other commitments, like a family or job, you need to put them aside to concentrate on your education.

    Above all else, the factor that truly sets online certifications apart from the rest is flexibility. Online courses provide this one beautiful option where professionals can study at any time that they want. With the coming of the internet, it has become easy to connect. This means opportunities for students around the world to connect with each other and their instructors over the net.

    A few online training institutes allow you create your own study timetable. All you need is an internet connection and a mobile device and you are ready to improve your skills at any time.

    Advertising

    A Masters degree can take about 2 years (more or less, depending on your specific field) to complete. But a Simplilearn’s Digital marketing specialist Masters Program takes only 6 months to complete.

    With the advent of the digital age, it isn’t going to be long before traditional mediums of educations vanish from the face of the earth. These are just a few of the reasons for you to consider online training today.

    More by this author

    Top 5 Certifications that Will Get You Your Dream Job in IT Industry Professionals Would Prefer Online Masters Programs Over Masters Degrees, Here’s Why Top 8 High-Paying Business And Tech Jobs of 2016 — And How to Get Them!

    Trending in Productivity

    1 4 Effective Ways To Collaborate With Your Team 2 Why Your Habits Hinder You From Reaching Your Goals 3 We Do What We Know Is Bad for Us, Why? 4 13 Bad Habits You Need to Quit Right Away 5 How to Reprogram Your Brain Like a Computer And Hack Your Habits

    Read Next

    Advertising
    Advertising
    Advertising

    Last Updated on January 6, 2021

    14 Ideas on How to Measure Productivity to Make Progress

    14 Ideas on How to Measure Productivity to Make Progress

    Everyone has heard the term productivity, and people talk about it in terms of how high it is and how to improve it. But fewer know how to measure productivity, or even what exactly we are talking about when using the term “productivity.”

    In its simplest form, the productivity formula looks like this: Output ÷ Input = Productivity.

    For example, you have two salespeople each making 10 calls to customers per week. The first one averages 2 sales per week and the second one averages 3 sales per week. By plugging in the numbers we get the following productivity levels for each sales person.

    For salesperson one, the output is 2 sales and the input is 10 sales: 2 ÷ 10 = .2 or 20% productivity. For salesperson two, the output is 3 sales and the input is 10 sales: 3 ÷ 10 = .3 or 30% productivity.

    Knowing how to measure and interpret productivity is an invaluable asset for any manager or business owner in today’s world. As an example, in the above scenario, salesperson #1 is clearly not doing as well as salesperson #2.

    Knowing this information we can now better determine what course of action to take with salesperson #1.

    Some possible outcomes might be to require more in-house training for that salesperson, or to have them accompany the more productive salesperson to learn a better technique. It might be that salesperson #1 just isn’t suited for sales and would do a better job in a different position.

    How to Measure Productivity With Management Techniques

    Knowing how to measure productivity allows you to fine tune your business by minimizing costs and maximizing profits:

    1. Identify Long and Short-Term Goals

    Having a good understanding of what you (or your company’s) goals are is key to measuring productivity.

    For example, if your company’s goal is to maximize market share, you’ll want to measure your team’s productivity by their ability to acquire new customers, not necessarily on actual sales made.

    2. Break Down Goals Into Smaller Weekly Objectives

    Your long-term goal might be to get 1,000 new customers in a year. That’s going to be 20 new customers per week. If you have 5 people on your team, then each one needs to bring in 4 new customers per week.

    Now that you’ve broken it down, you can track each person’s productivity week-by-week just by plugging in the numbers:

    Advertising

    Productivity = number of new customers ÷ number of sales calls made

    3. Create a System

    Have you ever noticed that whenever you walk into a McDonald’s, the French fry machine is always to your left? 

    This is because McDonald’s created a system. They have determined that the most efficient way to set up a kitchen is to always have the French fry machine on the left when you walk in.

    You can do the same thing and just adapt it to your business.

    Let’s say that you know that your most productive salespeople are making the most sales between the hours of 3 and 7 pm. If the other salespeople are working from 9 am to 4 pm, you can potentially increase productivity through something as simple as adjusting the workday.

    Knowing how to measure productivity allows you to set up, monitor, and fine tune systems to maximize output.

    4. Evaluate, Evaluate, Evaluate!

    We’ve already touched on using these productivity numbers to evaluate and monitor your employees, but don’t forget to evaluate yourself using these same measurements.

    If you have set up a system to track and measure employees’ performance, but you’re still not meeting goals, it may be time to look at your management style. After all, your management is a big part of the input side of our equation.

    Are you more of a carrot or a stick type of manager? Maybe you can try being more of the opposite type to see if that changes productivity. Are you managing your employees as a group? Perhaps taking a more one-on-one approach would be a better way to utilize each individual’s strengths and weaknesses.

    Just remember that you and your management style contribute directly to your employees’ productivity.

    5. Use a Ratings Scale

    Having clear and concise objectives for individual employees is a crucial part of any attempt to increase workplace productivity. Once you have set the goals or objectives, it’s important that your employees are given regular feedback regarding their progress.

    Using a ratings scale is a good way to provide a standardized visual representation of progress. Using a scale of 1-5 or 1-10 is a good way to give clear and concise feedback on an individual basis.

    Advertising

    It’s also a good way to track long-term progress and growth in areas that need improvement.

    6. Hire “Mystery Shoppers”

    This is especially helpful in retail operations where customer service is critical. A mystery shopper can give feedback based on what a typical customer is likely to experience.

    You can hire your own shopper, or there are firms that will provide them for you. No matter which route you choose, it’s important that the mystery shoppers have a standardized checklist for their evaluation.

    You can request evaluations for your employees friendliness, how long it took to greet the shopper, employees’ knowledge of the products or services, and just about anything else that’s important to a retail operation.

    7. Offer Feedback Forms

    Using a feedback form is a great way to get direct input from existing customers. There are just a couple of things to keep in mind when using feedback forms.

    First, keep the form short, 2-3 questions max with a space for any additional comments. Asking people to fill out a long form with lots of questions will significantly reduce the amount of information you receive.

    Secondly, be aware that customers are much more likely to submit feedback forms when they are unhappy or have a complaint than when they are satisfied.

    You can offset this tendency by asking everyone to take the survey at the end of their interaction. This will increase compliance and give you a broader range of customer experiences, which will help as you’re learning how to measure productivity.

    8. Track Cost Effectiveness

    This is a great metric to have, especially if your employees have some discretion over their budgets. You can track how much each person spends and how they spend it against their productivity.

    Again, this one is easy to plug into the equation: Productivity = amount of money brought in ÷ amount of money spent.

    Having this information is very useful in forecasting expenses and estimating budgets.

    9. Use Self-Evaluations

    Asking your staff to do self evaluations can be a win-win for everyone. Studies have shown that when employees feel that they are involved and their input is taken seriously, morale improves. And as we all know, high employee morale translates into higher productivity.

    Advertising

    Using self-evaluations is also a good way to make sure that the employees and employers goals are in alignment.

    10. Monitor Time Management

    This is the number one killer of productivity in the workplace. Time spent browsing the internet, playing games, checking email, and making personal calls all contribute to lower productivity[1].

    Time Management Tips to Improve Productivity

      The trick is to limit these activities without becoming overbearing and affecting morale. Studies have shown that most people will adhere to rules that they feel are fair and applied to everyone equally.

      While ideally, we may think that none of these activities should be done on company time, employees will almost certainly have a different opinion. From a productivity standpoint, it is best to have policies and rules that are seen as fair to both sides as you’re learning how to measure productivity.

      11. Analyze New Customer Acquisition

      We’ve all heard the phrase that “It’s more expensive to get a new customer than it is to keep an existing one.” And while that is very true, in order for your business to keep growing, you will need to continually add new customers.

      Knowing how to measure productivity via new customer acquisition will make sure that your marketing dollars are being spent in the most efficient way possible. This is another metric that’s easy to plug into the formula: Productivity = number of new customers ÷ amount of money spent to acquire those customers.

      For example, if you run any kind of advertising campaign, you can compare results and base your future spending accordingly.

      Let’s say that your total advertising budget is $3,000. You put $2,000 into television ads, $700 into radio ads, and $300 into print ads. When you track the results, you find that your television ad produced 50 new customers, your radio ad produced 15 new customers, and your print ad produced 9 new customers.

      Let’s plug those numbers into our equation. Television produced 50 new customers at a cost of $2,000 (50 ÷ 2000 = .025, or a productivity rate of 2.5%). The radio ads produced 15 new customers and cost $700 (15 ÷ 700 = .022, or a 2.2% productivity rate). Print ads brought in 9 new customers and cost $300 (9 ÷ 300 = .03, or a 3% return on productivity).

      From this analysis, it is clear that you would be getting the biggest bang for your advertising dollar using print ads.

      12. Utilize Peer Feedback

      This is especially useful when people who work in teams or groups. While self-assessments can be very useful, the average person is notoriously bad at assessing their own abilities.

      Advertising

      Just ask a room full of people how many consider themselves to be an above average driver and you’ll see 70% of the hands go up[2]! Now we clearly know that in reality about 25% of drivers are below average, 25% are above average, and 50% are average.

      Are all these people lying? No, they just don’t have an accurate assessment of their own abilities.

      It’s the same in the workplace. Using peer feedback will often provide a more accurate assessment of a person’s ability than a self-assessment would.

      13. Encourage Innovation and Don’t Penalize Failure

      When it comes to productivity, encouraging employee input and adopting their ideas can be a great way to boost productivity. Just make sure that any changes you adopt translate into higher productivity.

      Let’s say that someone comes to you requesting an entertainment budget so that they can take potential customers golfing or out to dinner. By utilizing simple productivity metrics, you can easily produce a cost benefit analysis and either expand the program to the rest of the sales team, or terminate it completely.

      Either way, you have gained valuable knowledge and boosted morale by including employees in the decision-making process.

      14. Use an External Evaluator

      Using an external evaluator is the pinnacle of objective evaluations. Firms that provide professional evaluations use highly trained personnel that even specialize in specific industries.

      They will design a complete analysis of your business’ productivity level. In their final report, they will offer suggestions and recommendations on how to improve productivity.

      While the benefits of a professional evaluation are many, their costs make them prohibitive for most businesses.

      Final Thoughts

      These are just a few of the things you can do when learning how to measure productivity. Some may work for your particular situation, and some may not.

      The most important thing to remember when deciding how to track productivity is to choose a method consistent with your goals. Once you’ve decided on that, it’s just a matter of continuously monitoring your progress, making minor adjustments, and analyzing the results of those adjustments.

      The business world is changing fast, and having the right tools to track and monitor your productivity can give you the edge over your competition.

      More Productivity Tips

      Featured photo credit: William Iven via unsplash.com

      Reference

      Read Next