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2019 Will be the Year of Online Graduates - For Good Reasons

Universities have made their online programs more available in the past few years. Even top names such as Suffolk University in Boston are introducing online courses for undergraduate and graduate students from around the world. In the United States, high school graduates are actively opting for online programs instead of offline courses, even when pursuing a similar (or the same) degree.

Online courses haven't been that popular in Europe, but that may be about to change. Since the second term of 2018, the number of students and professionals – with an emphasis on the latter – taking online courses is increasing by a substantial margin. Will 2019 be the year of online graduates? There are several reasons why it may be.

Affordable Programs

Online courses are becoming the primary option for students and professionals because of the lower cost they come with. It is not a secret that universities can limit their overhead costs when running online programs, which is why tuition and other fees for online courses are lower than those of offline programs.

The difference is substantial too. An online MBA is up to 40% more affordable than a conventional MBA, even though the curriculums are relatively similar. The lower cost of online degrees is particularly lucrative for those who pursue a higher degree with the help of a loan or by using their savings. Lower cost also means a higher return on investment (ROI).

High Return

Online degrees offer a high return on investment indeed. More companies prefer online graduates due to the contextual and up-to-date courses available today. Universities can update their online programs faster and make them in line with market demands and industry needs. As a result, online graduates are fully prepared for the challenges of the market.

This translates to a more substantial boost in career for those with online degrees such as an online MBA. Online graduates are more likely to be promoted to a strategic role in the company. They are compensated better and could earn better rewards in general. Online degree holders also have a better career progression.

Immense Flexibility

In a fast-paced economy like today, especially with the changes happening to the European market, staying agile and performing well are critical. For many professionals, taking some time off to pursue a higher degree is not an option. Time becomes a constraint more difficult to manage than money. This is where top online degrees come in handy.

Rather than quitting their jobs to pursue a higher degree, professionals can now pursue the degree while working a fulltime job and shining in their respective roles. It is even possible to pursue degrees like an online MBA or MSc from overseas – including from the United States. When it comes to earning an online MBA Massachusetts is only a click away.

Students are opting for online degrees for the same reason. More teenagers and young adults travel the world because they now have the flexibility to earn a degree while traveling. As long as they have a laptop and a working internet connection, they can complete the online program without a problem while visiting the best cities in the world.

Mastering New Skills

There are hundreds – if not thousands – of online courses designed to help professionals master specific skills. Sites like Udemy and Coursera are some of the places where these short courses can be found. Since the courses are on specific subjects, you have to take a lot of courses to master a particular skill; you need to take basic SEO, SEO implementation, and other courses to be good at SEO.

An online degree is designed to be more unified and seamless in its delivery of new skills. You still learn specific skills that are incredibly handy in the workplace, but you are doing so while understanding the bigger picture and how specific skills can be used with each other.

In an online MBA program from Suffolk University, for example, you can pursue an MBA in the field of business intelligence, finance, or accounting principles. Opting for an MBA in business intelligence will take you on an 18-month journey to mastering multiple data management and analytics skills, visualization skills, and more, all while learning how to implement them for business intelligence purposes.

All the Benefits of Offline Courses

In the old days, online programs are perceived as an easy way to earn a degree. That was clearly a misconception. Today's online programs are accredited using the same high standards used by offline courses. Their curriculums are also designed with market needs and educational standards in mind. As mentioned before, online courses usually have a more relevant curriculum based on the latest market needs.

Students pursuing their degrees online aren't missing out on the unique features offered by offline courses either. Students can still connect with each other and expand their professional network online. If you decide to take an online degree, you also have access to the best lecturers and industry experts leading specific classes.

Low Entry Barrier

The low cost, higher flexibility, wealth of skills offered by the programs, and other benefits we discussed in this article are amplified by the fact that online degrees are very accessible. Yes, you still need to meet certain requirements according to the program you are enrolling on, but the actual enrollment process is very straightforward.

At the same time, you have complete control over how you complete the program. You can select the classes you want to take; you maintain control over how many classes you take depending on how quickly you want to earn a degree. Professionals are earning their MBAs in as little as 15 months by allocating more time and investing more energy to study.

More students and professionals are realizing how opting for an online program – as opposed to attending a brick-and-mortar university – means earning a more valuable degree while having maximum flexibility along the way. At the end of the day, this is the biggest reason why more people are actively choosing to pursue their degrees online, turning 2019 into a milestone year for online education.

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