If you are contemplating whether or not you should pursue an online master’s degree, you need to weigh the costs and the benefits. There is no denying the fact that having a highly perceived Master’s degree will help you while you are on a mission to start or advance your career, but if you earn the wrong degree you might have difficulty putting it to use. Earning a degree can cost a pretty penny in the process, even if you choose one of the lower cost online Master’s programs. Here are some tips so that you can determine on your own if an online Master’s is the way to go.
Tuition Costs of Online Programs vs. Traditional Programs
A common conception is that it costs less to attend school online. One of the reasons why tuition costs are typically lower for an online program is because there is no need for a physical location that can seat every student attending. Since there is no need for a seating capacity on-campus, the overall costs would essentially be lowered. Unfortunately, that is not the case, as only 20 percent of schools charge less for online programs.
Advanced online degrees actually come with higher tuition costs than traditional on-campus options. How much more the tuition costs will add up to be depends on your residency and the school. Some schools charge $28,000 more when you take the same exact program online. Other schools will only inflate the rates by 10 percent. You may be surprised to learn this, but the demand is high for distance education and where the demand is high the rates are high.
Costs Savings That Come With Earning an Online Master’s
While the tuition might be higher, there are several instances where you can save money by completing school on your laptop. If you work a full-time job, online offerings could be the difference between getting an advanced degree in your lifetime and not getting one. In this sense, an online master’s is very valuable.
If you can manage to attend school and still work to earn a living, there are still other avenues where you can save. Some schools that deliver curriculum online do not even require text books, which could potentially save you thousands. The money that you will save commuting to and from school will certainly add up over the study period of 12 to 24 months.
Most Online Degrees Are Highly Perceived
Value is all about how your employer will perceive the degree you have earned. Employers are beginning to respect online degrees more than ever, but see how they are perceived in your line of work. They may not be inferior or associated with a stigma, but the degree that you earn still needs to be accredited.
As you can see, an online degree can most certainly be a good value. Whether or not you get your money’s worth will depend upon the program you choose and how serious you take your studies. Be sure that you are a good fit for online self-directed study, and then you can start to compare the accredited online master’s degree programs with fair tuition rates.