Postgraduate education, which is usually referred to as “graduate” education in this country, is the type of learning that enables students to obtain a professional or academic degree, certificate, diploma, or other form of qualification that goes above and beyond that obtainable through a bachelor’s degree. Postgraduate degrees are a type of higher education. Different countries, and even different institutions, structure and organize their degree programs in different ways.
In recent years, online education has become increasingly popular. One of the reasons for this is that it gives working adults the opportunity to complete a degree in a flexible manner, without them having to stop working. Additionally, it allows for access to universities outside of their personal geographical area.
In the 2015 Survey of Online Learning released by the Babson Survey Research Group, it was demonstrate that there was a 3.9% rise in colleges that offered online courses between the start of the 2013 academic year and its end in 2014. The main reason for people taking part in an online degree was found to be career aspiration, which was demonstrated by Aslanian Market Research and the Learning House.
The U.S. News & World Report on the 2017 Best Online Programs
One of the main ways for people to find a degree that is suitable for their needs today is through the U.S. News & World Report, which has released the 2017 Best Online Programs rankings. This report enables people to properly compare the options available to them. Interestingly, this report also includes the subsection of Best Online Programs for Veterans, which is the fifth year they have done this in a row. The U.S. News & World Report has also changed requirements for a program to be listed in the report as best for veterans, as it must rank within the top 50%, be certified for the GI Bill, and offer specialized rates for veterans, preferably through the Yellow Ribbon Program.
In order to determine which programs are the most popular, the U.S. News & World Report looked through over 1,300 different online programs. Some of those programs are 100% online, while others still have some physical elements, including support and testing services, clinical requirements, and orientations. The report has also considered both for profit and nonprofit programs. However, they have disregarded any blended programs.
The most popular post graduate degrees to get online in terms of quality of education, according to the U.S. News & World Report are the:
- Master of Business Administration at Temple University’s Fox School of Business
- Master of Business Administration at Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business
- Master of Business Administration at Indiana University – Bloomington’s Kelley School of Business
- Master of Business Administration at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill’s Kenan-Flagler Business School
- Master in Business at Indiana’s Kelley School
- Master in Business at the University of Texas-Dallas
- Master in Business at Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business
- Master of Education at the University of Florida
- Master of Education at the University of Houston
- Master of of Education at Florida State University
- Master of Nursing (MSN) at St. Xavier University
- MSN at the Medical University of South Carolina
- MSN at Duke University
- MSN at Ohio State University
- Master of Engineering at the University of California – Los Angeles’ Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science
- The Master of Engineering at the University of Souther California’s Viterbi School of Engineering
- Master of Engineering at Columbia University’s Fu Foundation School of Engineering
- Master in Computer Information Technology at the University of Southern California
- Master in Computer Information Technology at Virginia Tech
- Master in Computer Information Technology at New York University
- Master of Criminal Justice at Sam Houston State University
- Master of Criminal Justice at the University of Nebraska – Omaha
- Master of Criminal Justice at the University of California – Irvine
Thanks to the way technology is advancing, more and more universities are able to offer 100% online graduate degrees nowadays. Usually, these courses are offered in an asynchronous manner, which means adults can complete them at a time and place that is suitable to them. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, those who complete a graduate degree can expect to see a 30% increase in their yearly salary, which also means these degrees offer an excellent return on investment.
While the list of most popular post graduate degrees to get online described above is down to the quality of the education, other lists focus more on popularity in terms of enrollment. From that perspective, the most popular degree options are the:
- Master of Business Administration, particularly with concentrations in energy, international business, entrepreneurship, supply chain management, and finance
- Master’s in Psychology – either the master of arts (MA) or master of science (MS)
- Master of Accountancy (MAcc), which enables graduates to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) by meeting the educational requirements to take that examination
- Master’s in Education, which enables initially certified teachers to improve their quality and standard of education
- Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
- Master of Public Health (MPH)
- Master of Health Administration (MHA)
- Master of Engineering (MEng)
- Master of Science in Finance (MSF)
- Master of Computer Science (MCS)
What the two lists demonstrate is the variety of options available to you. If you are ready to take on a graduate education, you should be able to find a degree in the field that you are interested in, and complete it online. Do make sure that the program is accredited. Also, determine whether it is delivered synchronously or asynchronously, as those two elements are vital to planning your personal professional future. Accreditation means that your degree is worth taking part in it. Whether it is synchronous or asynchronous will tell you whether you must study at certain specific times (synchronous), or whenever and wherever is suitable for you (asynchronous).