Their two main types of masters degrees that are available today. First there are traditional masters degrees that are held in brick-and-mortar institutions. Second there are online institutions that allow you to take your classes over the Internet. Each institution has its own set of benefits and drawbacks.
First let’s consider some of the benefits of a traditional masters degree program. In traditional masters degree program you physically go to campus, sit with other students in the classroom, and listen to the teacher. This model of education has stood the test of time and has worked quite well for the past few hundred years. Some significant benefits over traditional masters degree or better networking with your peers and teachers and more of a social atmosphere. This may seem like a minor thing but it is a very important part of education. Many first jobs and careers are greatly influenced by who you went to school with. In a traditional institution you get to know people face-to-face and this is a very important part of your educational process. If you are struggling with a particular concept it’s easy to talk it over with a friend or classmate. Even the few minutes you have before class starts allows interactions with other students and sometimes the teacher. This type of “rubbing shoulders” with people around her topic is very valuable and can provide you with an educational foundation and benefits that are going to be difficult to get in any other way.
The benefits also extend to the mindset you have a traditional institution. It’s a lot easier to be academic when you’re in an academic setting. There is a certain amount of inspiration that comes from the architecture, history, procedures, and rituals of an academic institution. These can be very beneficial in pursuing a degree because they help enhance your ability to study.
Now let’s consider some of the benefits of an online education. One of the major benefits is no commute. If you’re getting an online masters degree you don’t have to get in the car and drive somewhere to go to a class. That time can be spent studying. In less you live next door to university this can be a substantial timesaver. In particular it’s a benefit if you’re wanting to pursue a master’s degree while working a full-time job or while you have friend and family commitments. Another benefit of flexible scheduling. Online degrees often allow you to do your course work and attend lectures as it is convenient for you. You can’t get too far behind. However, if one week you want to do your lectures on Monday in the next week it’s easier to do them on Tuesday that typically isn’t much of a problem. This type of flexibility may seem minor injury actually experience it. Changing work schedules, kids with different needs and school events, and even just working around the schedule of getting together with friends can all be very difficult to schedule around a rigid class time. The flexibility of online classes is significant and can make it a lot easier to go back to school when you’re already in the middle of a busy life. Taken together with the time saved by not commuting, you have more time so there is less need to work around things.
In most cases the time you spend on the lectures is fairly flexible and can be broken down into smaller components. If you need to watch a two-hour lecture you can watch it for an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening. In some cases this can be even better from a study perspective because it allows you to mull over what you’ve learned during the day in and come back to it later. Online lectures typically can handle an interruption. If you’re trying to study while your kids are asleep and one of them gets sick if no problem with half lecture and come back and finish in the morning when everyone’s at school.
Another great benefit of an online degree is that you aren’t confined to schools that are geographically near your location. If you choose the school that the best fit for you and not necessarily the one that’s what then an hour’s drive of your house. You can also choose the school that offers classes and degrees that are in your price range instead of needing to pay a lot extra simply because a school is located next door.
Some of the drawbacks of a traditional degree have to do with timing and scheduling. With a traditional degree you’re going to have to being at university and you’re going to have to go to classes at specific times. If you’re a full-time student living on campus or nearby campuses might not be a very big deal. But if you’re working parent it can be very difficult to try to schedule times for classes without interfering with work or family. Even if you have a flexible job in understanding family members it can be difficult to get the amount of class time that you need. This particular true because a lot of classes meet for one hour three or four times a week. This means a good deal of your time will be spent mingling back and forth to the college. If you live just a short distance away from the university made even find that you’re spending as much time on the road as you are in class. It takes 30 minutes to get to and from the University in your classes are 50 minutes long. Days where you only have a single class may require you to spend an hour in the car for 15 minutes of instruction. This is an terribly efficient and it’s probably one of the biggest reasons that people don’t pursue an education after they are in the workforce.
An online masters degree does have some drawbacks as well. First of all not everyone can learn effectively in an online setting. There are several different types of online classes. Some classes are foreign-based in these type of glasses you go online at some comments to look for them and comment on other people’s comments. This is what a lot of online classes have done traditionally and the idea is to allow you to interact with other students. While this can be helpful in may not be the best way for you to learn. Also in such a setting you be greatly constrained by the intelligence of your peers. If you’re dealing with a bunch of people who are smarter than you and this type of interaction may be beneficial. However if you’re dealing with a bunch of people who are not as educated or not as smart as you it may actually hold you back instead of giving you the full benefit of your masters degree.
Another form of online masters degree classes is a setup attracts a live class. A teacher teaches just like you normally would to real students and the lectures are recorded. These lectures are then put online where you can watch them as if you were a regular student just in a different location. This type of set up is often the most ideal. It does take a significant amount of time and you don’t want to get behind on watching the lectures because the commute difficult to catch up. It’s also not possible to raise your hand and ask a question in a prerecorded lecture. Some schools are getting around this by offering live streaming of their classes. However this does away with one major benefits of an online degree which is having the ability to watch the lecture is whenever it is convenient for you instead of having to put your life on hold at a certain time a beach day of the week.
Another form of online instruction used in online masters degrees is a blend of multimedia interactions. These tend to be similar to the types of systems that were used in CD-ROM education. It may consist of some text end video, tutorials where you have to move things around on the screen, or experience-based learning. This type of education is very difficult to setup and requires a great amount of time on the part of the instructor. It can be a good experience for the student but oftentimes the experience is subpar. It is also difficult for the education to keep up with changes in the industry and new research it has once the coursework is created it can be difficult to make changes to it.
There are other types of ways to present course material to students but those are the major categories and you will find that most schools fall into one of those types of online education. One thing we did not mention was the whole idea of a traditional correspondence course simply using the Internet instead of postal mail. Universities are getting away from this model because it isn’t the most effective. In that model you are simply give them both in the study guide and use in your study guide and quizzes and tests back to a proper teacher at the university. Some schools have simply replaced the United States Postal Service with e-mail, but this isn’t really leveraging the power of having online classes.
You need to make sure that the way that your classes present material works with your personal study style. That doesn’t mean it’s a problem if it stretches you, but you want to make sure you’re not doing a bunch of work debt goes against the way that you learn the most easily.
Another drawback of an online masters degree is the fact that it can be very isolating to spend so many hours alone at your computer doing coursework. The social aspects of a traditional masters degree shouldn’t be overlooked. If you be very difficult to discipline yourself to go sit in front of the computer and do coursework if you’re and extremely social person and enjoy the interaction with other people. Getting masters degree will require a significant commitment of your time. You’re giving away quite a bit of your life to get the degree. And online degree may not give you a very fulfilling experience and as such are educational experience may suffer. It’s important to make sure you know yourself before investing too much in your online educational experience.
Another thing to consider when comparing the benefits and drawbacks of traditional and online masters degrees is the cost. Some of the least expensive educational opportunities are at brick-and-mortar universities. This is particularly true if you’re able to get in school tuition and are able to take advantage of state-sponsored educational opportunities. It can be more difficult to take advantage of different types of tuition assistance if you’re pursuing an online degree. Many of the schools that are catering toward working adults set a very high price tag on their education. This is because many of these people are having their education paid for by their employers, or are working at jobs and are easily able to get loans to pay for their education. Schools that are catering toward more traditional students may have more tuition assistance options and often will have lower prices because they are trying to fill the void in the market that doesn’t have as much disposable income. In the past online degrees were more expensive because the technology investment required to present classes online at to be recovered from the students. This is why you may see special assessments and fees for online versions of classes that are not paid if you attend the physical lecture. This is becoming less of an issue as the cost of technology has come down. What used to cost $1 million to set up now can be done easily with a standard computer.
Be careful that you don’t fall into the trap of thinking that a particular master’s degree is more valuable simply because it’s more expensive. This is not always the case. There are number of for-profit institutions trying to get people to sign up for Masters degrees that are taking advantage of this perception. Do your homework and make sure you understand the quality and history of the institution you are considering before putting money down.
One type of degree that we haven’t mentioned is the hybrid degree. Some masters degrees are recognizing the value of networking and social interaction. To help students get those experiences in addition to the academic experience they offer hybrid experiences. These allow students to do a great deal of the work online but bring them together every few months to work with other students face-to-face. Obviously these type of degrees can be expensive because they require traveling. When these type of degrees are pulling strings from all over the United States the place that you may go for the face-to-face meetings may move around as well. One month he may go to a local university in the next month he may be flying across the United States to go somewhere else that’s local for other students. However these type of experiences can be very valuable because they do allow you to get the face-to-face and social aspects of a degree while still preserving a great deal of flexibility in your day-to-day schedule.