If you’re like many professionals in a wide range of industries, not having an advanced degree is the only thing holding you back from moving up in your career. As much as you want to earn a master’s degree to earn that promotion, you know that leaving the workforce isn’t an option. An online graduate degree program would be ideal, but you may wonder if you’ll have to settle for a limited selection of degrees and schools to choose from. Fortunately, today’s online students have plenty of options when it comes to finding the online master’s degree program that’s right for them.

A Wealth of Options for Online Graduate Degrees

When you decide to pursue a graduate degree online, the possibilities are virtually endless. You can earn Master of Arts degrees, Master of Science degrees, and a long list of specialized degrees, like the Master of Education, Master of Engineering, Master of Accountancy. You can choose from subjects as diverse as statistics, fine art, finance, nuclear engineering, anthropology and pharmacology. Today, online degrees exist even for fields that require clinical experience, like nursing and psychology. In short, you can earn just about any master’s degree online.

It’s no coincidence that online learning is an option for prospective graduate students in so many different fields. After all, there are plenty of reasons why it’s a good idea to earn a master’s degree online instead of on-campus. For one thing, studying online means your college selection won’t be limited by your geographical location. You can choose your program based on the school’s reputation and specific information about how it will help you develop new skills and get ahead in the workforce – not the distance from your house. Like online programs at other levels, online master’s degree programs offer a flexible schedule and convenience that traditional programs can’t. Depending on the school and program you choose, you may even be able to save money by studying online.

What You Need to Know about Earning a Master’s Degree Online

If you do choose to earn your master’s degree online, you won’t have to begin your college search blindly. Every year, U.S. News & World Report ranks online programs in addition to its traditional Best Colleges Rankings. In particular, the publication recognizes the best online graduate programs in such popular disciplines as business, business administration (MBA), criminal justice, education, engineering, information technology and nursing.

Online master’s degree programs are plentiful and offer several advantages, but that doesn’t mean they’re easy. To succeed in any online program, you will have to be disciplined, dedicated and organized. Before you enroll in a program, set realistic expectations about how much time you’ll have to spend per week earning a master’s degree online, particularly if you’re also working full-time or have extensive family responsibilities. Develop a plan for balancing your academic work with your personal and professional obligations. Don’t hesitate to take advantage of help and tutoring services if necessary.