There’s no doubt that a Master’s degree helps in advancing your career. Job prospects, salaries and career opportunities are way better for a Master’s degree holder vis-à-vis those who have a diploma or a bachelor’s degree. The unemployment rate after a Master’s is very low at 2%, while it is 3.7% for a high school diploma and 2.2% for a bachelor’s degree in US.
The finances required for an on-campus Master’s program are much higher as compared to those for an online Master’s degree. Hence, students are increasingly opting for an online Master’s degree, which is comparatively more affordable and at the same time also helps in reaping quite a few benefits of the degree.
Top 20 affordable Master’s degree in US
We have compiled a list of the top 20 graduate schools offering an online Master’s degree in US. Make sure to explore online Masters courses at:
- Purdue University
- Georgia Institute of Technology
- University of Florida
- California State University- Fresno
- The University of Texas at Austin
- Wilmington University
- Lamar University
- North Carolina State University
- University of Connecticut
- Clemson University
- University of San Diego
- Missouri State University
- John Brown University
- Wayne State College
- The University of Alabama
- Western Carolina University
- The University of Wisconsin
- Oklahoma State University
- Strayer University
- Graceland University
Advantages of an Online Master’s degree
The various advantages offered by an online Master’s degree are flexibility, multiple start dates, no on-campus housing costs, no transportation charges, asynchronous delivery formats and more.
- Flexible joining dates: Most online programs maintain a rolling admissions policy, which enables students to join the program as per their convenience. Prospective students need not wait until the next admissions round, which could be either a spring date or a fall date to join the program.
- Affordable costs: The program being off-campus, leads to a reduction in tuition fees. Transportation and housing costs are also saved due to the course being online.
- Students have the option of selecting a part-time or full time course as per their other work or personal life commitments. Students may also opt for an accelerated program and complete the degree faster if they wish so. Asynchronous classes give students the flexibility to manage work alongside study.
Requirements for an online Master’s degree
The basic eligibility criteria for admission into an online Master’s program is as follows:
- Test scores for graduate entrance exams like GRE or GMAT
- High school or bachelor’s degree certificate with a GPA of 3.0 or above
- Letters of recommendation from at least three or four professors you have previously worked with.
Technical programs or science-focused programs may require completion of specific courses before joining. While programs in art and dance might require applicants to submit a portfolio of their work.
Graduate program requirements could vary from passing a comprehensive exam to submitting a thesis or completion of a project before finishing the master’s. Meanwhile, some master’s programs could be course-work only, which do not need any culminating activity for graduation.
Scholarships for online graduate students
Financial assistance is often offered for postgraduate studies in case of qualified students. Students can find funding from private agencies or professional organizations also.
There are five scholarships which are awarded to master’s degree seekers specifically. They are as follows:
- AAUW Selected Professionals Focus Professions Group Fellowships
- AKA/EAF Financial Need Scholarship
- LAGRANT Foundation Scholarship
- National Academy of Human Resources Scholarship
- Beinecke Scholarship
Are online Master’s degrees worth it?
Recruiters give importance to accreditation of the institution from which one graduates. The institution needs to be well-recognized and hold a good reputation in order to catch the eye of the employer. Regional accreditation awarded by accrediting agencies and recognized by the US Department of Education is a significant factor for most employers.
In the case of universities as well, there is no distinction between degrees earned through distance education or one which is completed on-campus. In recent times, online education is gaining popularity and acceptance over time in many professional fields, especially healthcare.
A Master’s degree gets you higher salaries and boosts your career as well in terms of the job positions offered. A significant wage premium is offered to master’s degree holders in almost every profession. Based on a 2019 survey, approximately 70% of the graduate students who took online degrees get employed soon after. Due to flexibility and reduced costs, the demand for online courses will only continue to grow in the future.