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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.

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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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    Last Updated on March 15, 2019

    How to Be a Leader Who Is Inspiring and Influential

    How to Be a Leader Who Is Inspiring and Influential

    When I began managing people 15 years ago, I thought having a fancy title was synonymous with influence. Over time, I learned that power is conferred based on likeability, authenticity, courage, relationships and consistent behavior. When leaders cultivate these attributes, they earn power, which really means influence.

    Understanding influence is essential to professional growth, and companies rise and fall based on the quality of their leadership.

    In this article, we will look into the essentials of effective leadership and how to be a leader who is inspiring and influential.

    What Makes a Leader Fail?

    A host of factors influence a leader’s ability to succeed. To the extent that leaders fail to outline a compelling vision and strategy, they risk losing the trust and confidence of their teams. Employees want to know where a company is going and the strategy for how they will get there. Having this information enables employees to feel safe, and it allows them to see mistakes as part of the learning journey versus as fatal occurrences.

    If employees and customers do not believe a company’s leadership is authentic and inspiring, they may disengage, or they may be less inclined to offer constructive criticism that can help a company innovate or help a leader improve.

    And it is not just the leadership at the top that matters. Middle managers play a distinct role in guiding teams. Depending on the company’s size, employees may have more access to mid-level managers than they do members of the C-suite, meaning their supervisors and managers have greater influence on the employee and the customer experience.

    What Is Effective Leadership?

    Effective leadership is inspiring, and it is influential. Cultivating inspiring and influential leaders requires building relationships across the company.

    Leaders must be connected to both the teams they lead as well as to their own colleagues and managers. This is key as titles do not make a person a leader, nor do they automatically confer influence. These are earned through trusting relationships. This explains why some leaders can get more out of their teams than others and why some leaders experience soaring profits and engagement while others sizzle out.

    Eric Garton said in an April 25, 2017, Harvard Business Review article:[1]

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    “… inspiring leaders are those who use their unique combination of strengths to motivate individuals and teams to take on bold missions – and hold them accountable for results. And they unlock higher performance through empowerment, not command and control.”

    How to Be an Inspiring and Influential Leader

    To be an inspiring and influential leader requires:

    1. Courage

    The late poet Maya Angelou once said,

    “Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.”

    Courage is required in the workplace when implementing new strategies, especially when they go against professional norms.

    For instance, I heard Lisa TerKeurst, bestselling author and founder of Proverbs 31 Ministries, explain her decision to move away from her company’s magazine. While the organization had long had a magazine, she saw a future where it didn’t exist.

    In order to make the switch, she risked angering her team members and customers. She took a chance, and what started out as a monthly newsletter, has grown into a multi-dimensional organization boasting half a million followers. Had Lisa not found the courage to change the direction of her organization, they undoubtedly would not have been able to experience such exponential growth.

    It also takes courage to give and receive feedback. When leaders see employees who are not living into the company’s mission or who are engaging in behavior that may undermine their long-term success, one must risk temporary angst and speak candidly with the colleague in question.

    Similarly, it takes courage to hear constructive criticism and try to change. In business, as in life, courage is necessary for being an inspiring and influential leader.

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    2. A Commitment to Face Your Internal Demons.

    If you feel great about yourself, enter a leadership position. You are likely to be triggered in ways you didn’t think possible. You are also likely to receive feedback that may leave you second-guessing yourself and your leadership skills.

    The truth about leading others is that you get to a point where you realize that it is difficult to take people to places where you yourself haven’t gone.

    To be an influential and inspiring leader, you have to face your own demons and vow to continually improve. Influential leaders take their personal evolution serious, and they invest in coaching, therapy and mindfulness to ensure that their personal struggles do not overshadow their professional development.

    3. A Willingness to Accept Feedback

    Inspiring and influential leaders are not afraid to accept feedback. In fact, they actively solicit it. They understand that everyone in their life has a lesson to teach them, and they are willing to accept it.

    Inspirational leaders understand that feedback is neither good nor bad but rather an offering that is critical to growth. Even when it hurts or is an affront to the ego, influential leaders understand that feedback is critical to their ability to lead.

    4. Likability

    Some people will argue that leaders need not worry about being liked but should instead focus on being respected. I disagree. Both are important.

    When team members like their boss and believe their boss likes them, they are more likely to go the extra mile to fulfill departmental or organizational goals. Likable leaders are moved to the front of the line when it comes to being influential.

    Relatedly, when colleagues feel management dislikes them, they experience internal stress and can spend unnecessary time focusing on the source of their manager’s discontent versus the work they have been hired to do.

    So, likability is important for both the leader and the people she leads.

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    5. Vulnerability

    Vulnerability is critical for being an inspiring leader. People want the truth. They admire leaders who can occasionally demonstrate vulnerability. It promotes deeper relationships and inspires trust.

    When leaders can showcase vulnerability appropriately, they destroy the illusion that one must be perfect to be a leader. They also demonstrate that vulnerability is not a dirty word; they too can be vulnerable and ask for a helping hand when necessary.

    6. Authenticity

    Authenticity is about living up to one’s stated values in public and behind closed doors.

    Influential leaders are authentic. They set to live out their values and use those values to guide their decisions. The interesting thing about leadership is that people are not looking for perfect leaders. They are, in part, looking for leaders who are authentic.

    7. A True Understanding of Inspiration

    Effective leaders are inspirational. They understand the power of words and deeds and use both strategically.

    Inspiring leaders appropriately use stories and narratives to enable the teams around them to see common situations in an entirely new light.

    Inspirational leaders also showcase grit and triumph while convincing the people around them that success and victory are attainable.

    Finally, inspiring leaders encourage the teams they lead to tap into their own genius. They convince others that genius is not reserved for a select few but that most people have it in them.

    As explained in the article True Leadership: What Separates a Leader from a Boss:

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    “A leader creates visions and motivates team members to work together towards the same goal.”

    8. An Ability to See the Humanity in Others

    Inspiring and influential leaders see the humanity in others. Rather than treating their teams as mere tools to accomplish organizational goals, they believe the people around them are unique beings with inherent value.

    This means knowing when to pause to address personal challenges and dispelling with the myth that the personal is separate from the professional.

    9. A Passion for Continual Learning

    Inspiring and influential leaders are committed to continual learning. They invest in their own development and take responsibility for their professional growth.

    These leaders understand that like a college campus, the workplace is a laboratory for learning. They believe that they can learn from multiple generations in the workplace as well as from people from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds.

    Influential leaders proactively seek out opportunities for learning.

    The Bottom Line

    No one said leadership was easy, but it is also a joy. Influencing others to action and positively impacting the lives of others is a reward unto itself.

    Since leadership abounds, there is an abundance of resources to help you grow into the type of leader who inspires and influences others.

    More Resources About Effective Leadership

    Featured photo credit: Markus Spiske via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] Harvard Business Review: How to Be an Inspiring Leader

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