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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 July 17, 2019

    The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

    The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

    What happens in our heads when we set goals?

    Apparently a lot more than you’d think.

    Goal setting isn’t quite so simple as deciding on the things you’d like to accomplish and working towards them.

    According to the research of psychologists, neurologists, and other scientists, setting a goal invests ourselves into the target as if we’d already accomplished it. That is, by setting something as a goal, however small or large, however near or far in the future, a part of our brain believes that desired outcome is an essential part of who we are – setting up the conditions that drive us to work towards the goals to fulfill the brain’s self-image.

    Apparently, the brain cannot distinguish between things we want and things we have. Neurologically, then, our brains treat the failure to achieve our goal the same way as it treats the loss of a valued possession. And up until the moment, the goal is achieved, we have failed to achieve it, setting up a constant tension that the brain seeks to resolve.

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    Ideally, this tension is resolved by driving us towards accomplishment. In many cases, though, the brain simply responds to the loss, causing us to feel fear, anxiety, even anguish, depending on the value of the as-yet-unattained goal.

    Love, Loss, Dopamine, and Our Dreams

    The brains functions are carried out by a stew of chemicals called neurotransmitters. You’ve probably heard of serotonin, which plays a key role in our emotional life – most of the effective anti-depressant medications on the market are serotonin reuptake inhibitors, meaning they regulate serotonin levels in the brain leading to more stable moods.

    Somewhat less well-known is another neurotransmitter, dopamine. Among other things, dopamine acts as a motivator, creating a sensation of pleasure when the brain is stimulated by achievement. Dopamine is also involved in maintaining attention – some forms of ADHD are linked to irregular responses to dopamine.[1]

    So dopamine plays a key role in keeping us focused on our goals and motivating us to attain them, rewarding our attention and achievement by elevating our mood. That is, we feel good when we work towards our goals.

    Dopamine is related to wanting – to desire. The attainment of the object of our desire releases dopamine into our brains and we feel good. Conversely, the frustration of our desires starves us of dopamine, causing anxiety and fear.

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    One of the greatest desires is romantic love – the long-lasting, “till death do us part” kind. It’s no surprise, then, that romantic love is sustained, at least in part, through the constant flow of dopamine released in the presence – real or imagined – of our true love. Loss of romantic love cuts off that supply of dopamine, which is why it feels like you’re dying – your brain responds by triggering all sorts of anxiety-related responses.

    Herein lies obsession, as we go to ever-increasing lengths in search of that dopamine reward. Stalking specialists warn against any kind of contact with a stalker, positive or negative, because any response at all triggers that reward mechanism. If you let the phone ring 50 times and finally pick up on the 51st ring to tell your stalker off, your stalker gets his or her reward, and learns that all s/he has to do is wait for the phone to ring 51 times.

    Romantic love isn’t the only kind of desire that can create this kind of dopamine addiction, though – as Captain Ahab (from Moby Dick) knew well, any suitably important goal can become an obsession once the mind has established ownership.

    The Neurology of Ownership

    Ownership turns out to be about a lot more than just legal rights. When we own something, we invest a part of ourselves into it – it becomes an extension of ourselves.

    In a famous experiment at Cornell University, researchers gave students school logo coffee mugs, and then offered to trade them chocolate bars for the mugs. Very few were willing to make the trade, no matter how much they professed to like chocolate. Big deal, right? Maybe they just really liked those mugs![2]

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    But when they reversed the experiment, handing out chocolate and then offering to trade mugs for the candy, they found that now, few students were all that interested in the mugs. Apparently the key thing about the mugs or the chocolate wasn’t whether students valued whatever they had in their possession, but simply that they had it in their possession.

    This phenomenon is called the “endowment effect”. In a nutshell, the endowment effect occurs when we take ownership of an object (or idea, or person); in becoming “ours” it becomes integrated with our sense of identity, making us reluctant to part with it (losing it is seen as a loss, which triggers that dopamine shut-off I discussed above).

    Interestingly, researchers have found that the endowment effect doesn’t require actual ownership or even possession to come into play. In fact, it’s enough to have a reasonable expectation of future possession for us to start thinking of something as a part of us – as jilted lovers, gambling losers, and 7-year olds denied a toy at the store have all experienced.

    The Upshot for Goal-Setters

    So what does all this mean for would-be achievers?

    On one hand, it’s a warning against setting unreasonable goals. The bigger the potential for positive growth a goal has, the more anxiety and stress your brain is going to create around it’s non-achievement.

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    It also suggests that the common wisdom to limit your goals to a small number of reasonable, attainable objectives is good advice. The more goals you have, the more ends your brain thinks it “owns” and therefore the more grief and fear the absence of those ends is going to cause you.

    On a more positive note, the fact that the brain rewards our attentiveness by releasing dopamine means that our brain is working with us to direct us to achievement. Paying attention to your goals feels good, encouraging us to spend more time doing it. This may be why outcome visualization — a favorite technique of self-help gurus involving imagining yourself having completed your objectives — has such a poor track record in clinical studies. It effectively tricks our brain into rewarding us for achieving our goals even though we haven’t done it yet!

    But ultimately, our brain wants us to achieve our goals, so that it’s a sense of who we are that can be fulfilled. And that’s pretty good news!

    More About Goals Setting

    Featured photo credit: Alexa Williams via unsplash.com

    Reference

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