The time it will take to complete a degree program is an important consideration for busy educators looking to add a master's degree to their credentials. Many programs, such as the Master of Science in Education programs offered online by Emporia State University (ESU), feature flexible degree plans that enable students to pace themselves. Students have the option of taking only as many online courses per session as will fit their lifestyle.
Taking a course or two at a time enables educators to continue working while enrolled in graduate school. Doing so makes it easier to balance studies with other responsibilities in their professional and personal lives. Those with more free time can take on heavier course loads to complete their online degree program in as few as 12 months in some cases.
If you are a teacher interested in an online master's degree in education program, consider these benefits:
- You can go at your own pace: There's no getting around the fact that working while attending school will mean you are adding another responsibility to your list of commitments. The good news: You can control the class load and schedule. Graduate courses in ESU's online programs typically last seven weeks, and teachers can take fewer classes when their teaching load increases.
- No income loss or career hiatus: Another benefit of enrolling in an online degree program is the ability to keep your current income and avoid a break in your career. Though graduate students in on-campus programs typically earn a stipend as research assistants, the pay is usually modest. Holding a full-time job while earning a master's can offer the financial stability some need as they pursue a degree. Forfeiting a teaching opportunity to be able to attend graduate school full time may put you at a greater disadvantage in the long run.
- Cut costs associated with on-campus programs: Commuters attending on-campus programs end up spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on a variety of costs on top of tuition, such as travel, parking, and childcare. When your classes are online, you are free to invest in other educational resources such as professional development courses, conferences, or membership in professional associations.
- Apply what you learn in the program to your job: Another benefit of teaching while attending a graduate program is that it allows you to test and apply the theories and pedagogy you learn to the classes you teach. This will help you not only retain the information, but also generate feedback you can share in your discussions with professors and other students.
- Do coursework and study when it suits your schedule: Finding on-campus classes that align with your schedule can be tricky. If you are asked to teach an extra class or host a parent-teacher meeting, you'll need to adapt your schedule quickly. Enrolling in an online program gives you significantly more control over your studies to keep them from interfering with your career obligations. Though some courses may require video meetings, you'll do the majority of the learning when it suits you best.
Educators no longer need to choose between keeping their current lifestyle and earning a master's degree. Online Master of Science in Education programs, such as those offered by Emporia State University, make it possible to do both.
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