Should you really get an online Master’s degree?

Although online courses had been on the market for several years, during the health crisis caused by Covid-19, this type of training has finally established itself in the education system at all levels. Without a doubt, online or distance learning was the only resource during the months of confinement that worked and was adapted more and more along the way, but is it here to stay?

The answer is a resounding yes. Most universities, business schools, and other training centers have decided to keep this type of training on offer beyond the health crisis because it is much more accessible, so it can reach a wider public and, depending on the case, provide a more global offer. However, it is not all that pretty, and it must be recognized that distance learning, when the time comes, can also have certain disadvantages.

If you are interested in taking a Master’s degree or another type of distance learning course, this article will explain the main advantages and disadvantages.

What benefits can an online Master’s degree give you?

First of all, you should know that the price of a distance learning Master’s degree is usually lower than a face-to-face course. One of the main savings factors with this type of degree is the fact that you do not have to travel to the place where it is taught or rent a house if you do not live in the same city where the study center is located.

Online degree saves not only financial resources, but also time. Therefore, online training is ideal for those who work or reconcile training with their personal and family lives. Students can connect to the learning platform from anywhere with just one click, quickly, efficiently, and, most importantly, at any time. No need to wait for the next day or spend time on travelling to an institution to ask one or two questions – everything can be arranged and solved with several messages.

It will also be a great option for people who cannot change their place of residence for personal or professional reasons. In this sense, business schools have revolutionized the way of studying one of the most widely accepted and recognized Masters to accelerate professional careers, such as the traditional MBA or Master of Business Administration. Enrolling in one of the MBA courses online can be an excellent solution for those who want to specialize in business administration and management without changing their place of residence and work. In any case, it is important to know that a good Master’s degree, especially an MBA, will always involve a certain cost and a great effort to achieve the quality standards and knowledge required to obtain it. However, you should be aware of the case of MBA Masters that are taught in mixed mode, called hybrids that combine online and face-to-face mode. In this type of program, students must attend specific classes to guarantee excellent learning and enrich the experience with contact with classmates and professors. 

However, among the wide offer of this type of hybrid modality, there are also some in which students have the absolute freedom to decide when to attend face-to-face classes and when to follow the classes remotely while the rest of their classmates are in the classroom. They can also have consultations with their tutor, essay writer, or even other students at any suitable time. This way, each person decides to manage their time and work or even family obligations without losing sight of the learning objectives defined by the degree.

The possibility of studying at any time, from home or any corner of the world is an important advance that, thanks to the different technological tools and resources, facilitates access to specialized training for thousands of people with different experiences, lifestyles, and cultures. Likewise, on many occasions, if the student cannot attend the class or lecture given live, they have the option of viewing the pre-recorded session, and they can review and take notes at any time and as many times as necessary, even after the end of the academic course.

What are the drawbacks of doing an online Master’s degree?

Although this type of training is here to stay with all the benefits and facilities it offers, it is not necessarily the same in the different centers where it is offered. First of all, it is very important to know the various universities, business schools, or other types of specialized institutions that offer training in the area of interest.  It is also necessary to gather information on the academic program, admission requirements, prices, opinions of other students, the profile of professors, etc., and carry out a comparative analysis to identify each training offer’s main strengths and weaknesses.

Another fundamental aspect that should not be overlooked is that, although an online program or course may be more accessible than a face-to-face or blended learning program in certain cases, not everyone is able or prepared to participate in such a program. Those students who need to establish direct contact with teachers or who are more interested in integrating into the community of the study center, university, or school to motivate themselves and prefer to follow a strict agenda may not be able to fit in with this type of training and may quickly seek the option of leaving the program unfinished with high levels of demotivation and frustration.

On the other hand, those interested in this type of training should also consider their technological skills. People who do not know how to handle digital platforms with agility and confidence may face obstacles when connecting to classes, participating actively, submitting assignments online, making presentations, etc.

For the same reasons, and as mentioned in previous points, distance learning Masters work very well with an audience or profile of people who prefer to organize themselves and set their own pace. However, for those who need help to organize themselves and disconnect completely from their daily activities to contact other similar people, work in a team and enjoy the experience comprehensively, it is preferable to opt for face-to-face or hybrid Masters.

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