What are the benefits of an online degree?

You’re ready to go back to school, but you don’t have time to commit to a full-time program. You want to specialize your skills, but the local colleges and universities don’t offer your ideal learning track. Or maybe you love your current position, but you want to advance your skills so you can work your way up the ranks. If so, an online degree may be the academic track for you.

Online programs allow graduate students to advance their skills and open doors to career advancement without putting their current commitments on hold. If you’re debating whether to head to campus or the computer, rest assured that there are online degree programs that are just as fulfilling and valuable as the traditional learning experience.

Consider these benefits of online education when making your decision to pursue a master’s degree.

Embrace the flexibility

Online learning gives you the opportunity to learn from anywhere, on your own terms. With that flexibility, you can take full control of your learning experience. Starting with the degree, you’re free to choose your ideal program. Rather than limit yourself to what’s available at local campuses, you can select from seemingly endless online options across various areas of study.

Once enrolled, you can create your own routine for how, when and where you complete your coursework. As long as there’s internet connection, you can set up your classroom wherever you please. With lessons, resources, assignments and worksheets all at your fingertips, you can cater your experience to your own learning preferences. Set your own pace for reviewing the course materials, plus reference them whenever necessary. This makes online learning a convenient experience that works to your schedule.

Balance your commitments

When learning doesn’t happen in the traditional classroom or on the campus schedule, you can continue to manage your personal and professional commitments as you pursue your degree. Your online studies can become part of your weekly routine, just like your family commitments, volunteer work, parties and other social gatherings. Plus, you don’t have to quit your day job to go back to school. Instead, you can complete your coursework outside of office hours, and continue to gain valuable work experience simultaneous to furthering your skills and knowledge. When you continue to earn as you learn, tuition costs are also less of a financial burden.

Take advantage of virtual networking

It’s easy to assume that the online learning experience lacks the same networking opportunities as on-campus education, but digital tools allow colleges and universities to provide collaborative, interactive workspaces for valuable interactions with peers and professors. At the University of San Francisco, for instance, our online programs employ cutting-edge digital instruction methods to ensure your experience parallels that of students on campus.

You can connect with professors and fellow students through messaging platforms and discussion boards, sharing insights and analyzing ideas together. Plus, as online programs can be completed anywhere in the world, you can benefit from the varying perspectives of your fellow graduate students.

At the University of San Francisco, students enjoy small class sizes that create effortless opportunities for networking and developing meaningful relationships with fellow students, faculty and administrators. You’ll also benefit from a helpful support network of Enrollment Advisors and Program Coordinators. These valuable resources have the answers to all your questions and can help you make the most of your online learning experience.

Master additional skills

When you enroll in a quality online program, you can gain the same skills and expertise as students who pursue their degree on campus. However, you can also walk away with a new set of digitally-friendly strengths.

As you interact with professors and peers through digital platforms, including discussion board comments, email, video, messaging apps and more, you’ll learn the details of digital communication etiquette. That includes how to capture the right tone and personality while also conveying your message concisely. These online learning platforms mirror the digital communication methods used in many office settings, which means you can apply these skills to your professional interactions.

Boost your resume

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that an online degree is any less prestigious than one earned on campus. Your online education can still qualify you for the same career advancement, making you an attractive candidate for potential employers.

Plus, most employers understand that completing an online degree displays a powerful set of qualities, including excellent time management skills and dedication to furthering knowledge. Managing your life commitments with your studies is no small feat, and potential employers will see you as a strong self-starter who is passionate about working in the field. Along with holding yourself accountable for finishing the coursework, your online learning experience gives you the opportunity to master resume-worthy skills, such as successful multitasking, smart prioritizing and effective organizing.

Value lower costs

Good news for your wallet: Many online programs offer the benefit of lower tuition costs, when compared to their traditional counterparts. And even if the tuition costs are relatively the same, online learning can save you money in other ways. There are no moving costs involved, as you won’t have to relocate to campus. Plus, when you can study from home rather than commuting to class, you save funds on public transportation and gas.

Choose online learning at the University of San Francisco

If you’re interested in pursuing a Master of Public Administration, the online program at the University of San Francisco offers the same rigorous coursework, advancing learning and networking opportunities as the on-campus program. As one of the few private university-based MPA programs accredited by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration, you can feel confident that you’ll receive a quality education – even if it’s from the comfort of your own couch.

Our online students benefit from the same established resources and graduate with the ability to apply course concepts and theories to their current positions, as well as qualify for opportunities to advance their careers. Plus, you can earn your degree with the convenience of online learning in as little as two years.

Are you ready to pursue your professional goals and enhance your commitment to social justice? Reach out to an enrollment advisor to learn more about the online MPA program at the University of San Francisco.

Recommended Readings:

What to expect from online learning

Why an MPA degree?


Online Master of Public Administration by the University of San Francisco

3 Academic Advantages of Online Programs by U.S. News & World Report

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