MBA http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/12907/all en-US 3 Ways to Get a Legit Business Education Online http://www.wisebread.com/3-ways-to-get-a-legit-business-education-online <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/3-ways-to-get-a-legit-business-education-online" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/businessman-computer-480182749-small.jpg" alt="businessman computer" title="businessman computer" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="145" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Business majors are in demand. A recent survey by Millennial Branding and Beyond.com found that <a href="http://millennialbranding.com/2014/05/multi-generational-job-search-study-2014/">18% of companies are interested in hiring business majors</a> &mdash; second only to the 27% of companies looking to hire engineering and computer majors.</p> <p>There's a need for people with business degrees, or at least business skills. And the Internet offers a dizzying number of flexible, low-cost options for learning the ways of business. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-cheap-ways-to-continue-your-education-without-going-back-to-school?ref=seealso">8 Cheap Ways to Continue Your Education Without Going Back to School</a>)</p> <p>Here are three approaches to getting a quality business education online.</p> <h2>1. Earn a Degree</h2> <p>A growing number of schools that offer traditional undergrad and graduate degrees in business now offer completely or mostly online options for obtaining a degree. Such programs typically have admissions requirements that are just as rigorous as their on-campus degree programs, although some offer open admissions, meaning all you need is a high school degree or a GED. Participating in a degree program is, by far, the most expensive route toward an online business education. Still, if it's an actual degree you're after, online programs are less expensive than on-campus programs.</p> <p>To help sort through the various online degree offerings, a few organizations list, rank, or help you search for programs that meet your needs or interests:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education">U.S. News &amp; World Report</a> ranks online programs in general (not by program) and graduate business programs, using criteria such as faculty credentials, student services, and student engagement (opportunities for interaction with other students and teachers).<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="http://www.thebestschools.org/rankings/30-best-online-colleges-2014/">TheBestSchools.org</a> offers various online program rankings, from the 20 Best Online <a href="http://www.thebestschools.org/rankings/20-best-online-bachelors-business-management-degree-programs/">Bachelor's in Business Management Degree</a> Programs to the 20 Best Online <a href="http://www.thebestschools.org/rankings/20-best-online-bachelor-marketing-degree-programs/">Bachelor's in Marketing Degree</a> Programs. Its criteria includes academic excellence, return on investment, and &quot;incidental benefit&quot; (student satisfaction, graduation rates, campus safety, and more).</li> </ul> <p>Of course, if there's a particular school you're interested in, just search on the name of the school and &quot;online business degree&quot; to find out if it offers such a program.</p> <p>At the early stages, though, the below examples ought to give you a sense of how some school's online programs match up to there on-campus counterparts.</p> <h3>Penn State</h3> <p>Penn State offers numerous online undergrad and graduate business degrees through its <a href="http://www.worldcampus.psu.edu/degrees-and-certificates/business-bachelors/overview">World Campus</a>. Tuition costs $518 to $559 per credit &mdash; almost 25% less than the in-state on-campus tuition. Compared to the out-of-state tuition, the online costs are less than half the price.</p> <h3>Indiana University</h3> <p>Indiana University's well-regarded <a href="http://kelley.iu.edu/onlineMBA/">Kelley School of Business</a>, likewise, offers an online MBA (students need to spend one week on campus in Bloomington, IN for an &quot;intense introduction to the program&quot;). Tuition costs $1,175 per credit hour. With 51 credit hours required, that comes to nearly $60,000 plus about $100 per course for books and other course materials. By contrast, the school's on-campus two-year MBA program costs $104,000 for in-state students and $143,000 for out-of-state students, including tuition, fees, and room and board.</p> <h3>Northwestern University</h3> <p>At Northwestern University, you can't get an online MBA, but you can get an online Master's Degree in <a href="http://www.scs.northwestern.edu/program-areas/graduate/imc-online/index.php">Integrated Marketing Communications</a>. It costs $3,744 per class (13 classes required), $115 technology fee per class, and a $500 deposit for a total of a bit over $50,000. By comparison, the five-term, full-time on-campus Integrated Marketing Communications program costs over $130,000, including tuition, room and board, health insurance, books, and everything else.</p> <h3>University of Phoenix</h3> <p>And finally, a lower cost option is to obtain a degree from the <a href="http://www.phoenix.edu/">University of Phoenix</a>, which has been providing online learning for 20 years and is the nation's largest for-profit college. Beware, though, according to <a href="http://chronicle.com/article/Panel-Recommends-Reaccrediting/139229/">an article in The Chronicle of Higher Education</a>, this school came under fire last year over questions about retention and graduation rates, some of its educational processes, and other issues. Ultimately, it was re-accredited, but told that it needs to make certain improvements.</p> <h2>2. Earn a Credential</h2> <p>If you don't need a full-fledged degree, but still want some type of credential to show for your efforts, there are several options.</p> <h3>Harvard CORe</h3> <p>Harvard just introduced a $1,500 online <a href="http://www.hbx.hbs.edu/hbx-core/">HBX CORe program</a> (Credential of Readiness) consisting of three business courses: business analytics, economics for managers, and financial accounting. It's designed for undergrad students who want some business knowledge, non-business grad students, and those early in their careers. Right now, the program is limited to students who live in Massachusetts, but eventually the school plans to introduce additional business classes and make them available to students worldwide.</p> <h3>Extension Programs</h3> <p>Many schools offer certificate programs through their extension or continuing education programs. For example, <a href="https://www.uclaextension.edu/Pages/fos/BusinessPrograms.aspx">UCLA</a> offers numerous online business certificate programs, such as a Business Administration Certificate With Concentration in Finance for a total of just under $11,000.</p> <h3>MOOCs</h3> <p>Online platforms such as <a href="https://www.coursera.org/">Coursera</a>, <a href="https://novoed.com/">NovoEd</a>, <a href="https://www.edx.org/">edX</a>, the Open University on <a href="http://www.open.edu/itunes/subjects">iTunes U</a>, and <a href="https://www.udacity.com/">Udacity</a> offer a huge number business classes, some of which offer the option to obtain a certificate for an additional fee.</p> <p>The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania now makes its first-year MBA classes, such as <a href="https://www.coursera.org/course/accounting">An Introduction to Financial Accounting</a>, available for free through Coursera, including a Statement of Accomplishment signed by the instructor and issued by Coursera.</p> <p>Coursera and other online platforms also offer higher-level certificates that are issued by the platform and the partner university. For example, you can take a class from Vanderbilt through Coursera called <a href="https://www.coursera.org/course/innovation">Leading Strategic Innovation in Organizations</a>. The course may be taken for free. Or, if you want a Verified Certificate, that costs $49. While such certificates don't represent college credit, they may provide stronger proof that you successfully completed the course, a bit more prestige, and perhaps more help in obtaining tuition reimbursement from an employer.</p> <h2>3. Gain Some Knowledge</h2> <p>MIT's <a href="http://ocw.mit.edu/index.htm">OpenCourseWare</a> site offers MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses) content from over 2,000 of the school's courses, including many undergrad and graduate classes from the Sloan School of Management. While you can't get a degree from completing the courses, they are all free. You can download lecture notes, assignments, exams, and in some cases, video lectures.</p> <p>Many other universities, such as <a href="http://online.stanford.edu/">Stanford</a>, make many of their courses available in similar fashion.</p> <p>One of the more innovative uses of these free online courses can be seen in the experience of Laurie Pickard. From her home in Rwanda, where she works for the United States Agency for International Development, she's working through a handpicked assortment of free online grad school classes from some of the world's best business schools. While she won't receive an official MBA, she'll have what she considers to be the equivalent. She's chronicling her experience at an appropriately named <a href="http://www.nopaymba.com/">No Pay MBA</a> blog.</p> <p>You'll find countless free online non-credit classes on the platforms mentioned earlier: Coursera, NovoEd, edX, iTunes U, Udacity, and others.</p> <h2>No Shortage of Online Learning Options</h2> <p>Online education is a fast-growing space, with a lot of experimentation going on among schools and platforms. Many questions are emerging along with that growth, such as how much value employers will place on an online degree versus a traditional degree, and how resume-worthy are non-credit or certificate classes. But for students looking for flexible, low-cost learning opportunities, there have never been so many options to choose from.</p> <p><em>Have you taken an online university class? What's been your experience?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/matt-bell">Matt Bell</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-ways-to-get-a-legit-business-education-online">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-masters-degrees-that-will-drastically-increase-your-earning-power">5 Master&#039;s Degrees That Will Drastically Increase Your Earning Power</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-ways-obamas-free-community-college-deal-will-help-you">3 Ways Obama&#039;s Free Community College Deal Will Help You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-you-need-to-know-before-taking-online-classes">7 Things You Need to Know Before Taking Online Classes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-times-you-should-choose-private-school-over-public">7 Times You Should Choose Private School Over Public</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-didn-t-learn-in-college-but-you-should-have">10 Things You Didn’t Learn in College (but You Should Have)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Education & Training Personal Development business education education MBA online classes online college Thu, 26 Jun 2014 21:00:04 +0000 Matt Bell 1149172 at http://www.wisebread.com The Value of a Degree in Entrepreneurship http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/the-value-of-a-degree-in-entrepreneurship <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/managing/article/the-value-of-a-degree-in-entrepreneurship-thursday-bram" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/managing/article/the-value-of-a-degree-...</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/the-value-of-a-degree-in-entrepreneurship" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000003224162Small.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The stereotype of the entrepreneur seems to include pulling one up by one's boot laces, without any special training or education. But more and more schools are offering degrees in entrepreneurship to both undergraduate and graduate students. Schools like Stanford and MIT offer programs that promise to prepare an entrepreneur for all of the questions he'll face in founding a business.</p> <p>But what's the real value of a degree in entrepreneurship?</p> <p><strong>Is Any Degree Necessary?</strong></p> <p>When you found a new business, no one comes by to check if you have the proper credentials to operate a company. There are plenty of entrepreneurs who have grown companies with no college degrees whatsoever, let alone one in entrepreneurship. My own grandfather falls into this category. He likes to say that he has a degree from the school of hard knocks. In terms of formal education, he just barely completed the eighth grade. But he's built several businesses, including a real estate development company. My grandfather is in good company, as well, with the more well-known entrepreneurs without degrees, like Bill Gates.</p> <p>In truth, if you're committed to your business idea and you're willing to work every hour in the day, you don't need a degree to launch a successful company. A degree just makes certain aspects easier. Being in a college environment provides you with easy access to a lot of information, as well as to experts in a variety of fields.</p> <p><strong>The Actual Value of Your Degree</strong></p> <p>A college degree, at least at the undergraduate level, is a fairly in-depth introduction to your topic of study. When you graduate, you aren't an expert, but you probably have a pretty good idea of who the experts in your field are and what you can read to try to catch up with them. You can handle the nuts and bolts work without any problem and may even have a good idea of where to go next to get even more information you need. Depending on the program you choose, you may even be able to complete a project or two that are directly related to the company you want to start.</p> <p>There's a lot of theory involved in getting a degree from most schools, but not necessarily a lot of practice. Once you get a degree, taking it out and using it in the real world can be a little more complex than a student might expect. But your degree also means that you're not starting from scratch, trying to figure out how to even choose the books you should read about a given subject. Because you have experts (also known as college professors) guiding your learning, you can skip over a lot of material that doesn't actually help you. You even have access to experts outside of the business school at most colleges. If you need some help with other parts of launching your particular business, you can likely get it.</p> <p>With a good entrepreneurship degree, you don't just get exposure to one part of running a company, like you would with a management or a human resources degree. Instead &mdash; at least in theory &mdash; you get information that pertains directly to starting your own business, as well as a grounding in all those topics necessary to actually keep your business going. In Stanford's graduate program, you can take classes like &quot;Social Entrepreneurship&quot; or &quot;Building and Managing an Effective Sales Team.&quot; It's information that you'll have to figure out how to put into practice, but will leapfrog you ahead of the people trying to learn it on their own.</p> <p><strong>Deciding If You Need a Degree in Entrepreneurship</strong></p> <p>It's often a tough call to decide whether you need a degree in entrepreneurship or not. On the one hand, who wants to put down their money for a college degree when they're about to start a new venture that may need that cash? And, for that matter, who wants to spend time in school when they could be out starting a business? On the other hand, though, learning about entrepreneurship and running a business ahead of time can minimize risks, as well as damage caused by a trial-and-error approach. It is certainly a personal choice.</p> <p>If you know that you want to run your own business, but you don't know where to start and don't have an idea of what that business will look like, a degree in entrepreneurship is more likely to be useful. There are many entrepreneurs who have a great idea for a product or a service, but simply don't come from a business background. It's possible to pick up everything about business, but the structure of a degree can be very worthwhile in such situations.</p> <p>That said, a lot of entrepreneurs are going into business in an area that they're already familiar with and have a lot of passion for. It's not out of the question that an entrepreneur already has some background in running a business, even if it comes from working for an employer. If you know the ins and outs of your industry already, and you're comfortable figuring out details like funding a company, it's a lot harder to justify the cost of a degree.</p> <p>It's also worth noting that not all entrepreneurship degrees are created equal. It takes some hunting to find the good ones &mdash; simply running the phrase through a search engine only gets you links to online schools that may not provide you with a degree that really improves your odds of success when you start your own business. It's better to just dive into learning about business on your own than to waste your time on classes that won't get you where you want to go.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/thursday-bram">Thursday Bram</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/the-value-of-a-degree-in-entrepreneurship">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/250-tips-for-small-business-owners">250+ Tips for Small Business Owners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-small-business-pitfalls-and-how-to-avoid-them-part-one">6 Small Business Pitfalls, and How to Avoid Them: PART ONE</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-inspiring-stories-of-normal-people-building-a-thriving-online-store">4 Inspiring Stories of Normal People Building a Thriving Online Store</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/lessons-we-can-learn-from-blockbusters-demise">Lessons We Can Learn From Blockbuster&#039;s Demise</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cant-get-a-bank-loan-8-other-ways-to-finance-your-business">Can&#039;t Get A Bank Loan? 8 Other Ways To Finance Your Business</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Small Business Resource Center business management college education MBA small business starting a new business Thu, 24 Feb 2011 11:47:49 +0000 Thursday Bram 491449 at http://www.wisebread.com The Shoestring MBA http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/the-shoestring-mba <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/managing/article/the-shoestring-mba-elaine-pofeldt" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/managing/article/the-shoestring-mba-ela...</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/the-shoestring-mba" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000008873172Small_0.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>To compete in today&rsquo;s economy, it&rsquo;s essential to stay on top of the latest business ideas. But like many entrepreneurs, you may not have much time for traditional continuing education, whether through conferences or seminars or an MBA program.</p> <p>Fortunately, a growing number of free, online resources are available to help you close gaps in your knowledge, invigorate your thinking and otherwise help you keep pace with key business trends. And you can tap into them in whatever time you have available, whether it&rsquo;s while listening to your iPod during a lunchtime walk or at midnight, after your family is asleep. Here are some that are worth checking out.</p> <h3>Get a quick crash course</h3> <p>Launched by MBA Stephanie Burns, <a href="http://www.chic-ceo.com/">Chic CEO</a> offers information for both entrepreneurial newbies and seasoned business owners on practical topics ranging from applying for an Employer Identification Number to documenting an invention to protect your intellectual property. Although the site is aimed at women from 25 to 45, it contains a lot of useful information for all entrepreneurs in a light, easy-to-read style.</p> <h3>Create a stand-out business plan</h3> <p>An MBA program isn&rsquo;t the only place you can learn to write a great business plan. Whether you started your business without such a roadmap &mdash; as legions of entrepreneurs do &mdash; and now need to write one &mdash; or need to fine tune yours so you can raise funds &mdash; the process of writing one can be a little overwhelming. SCORE, an organization that provides free and low-cost advice to entrepreneurs, offers a useful <a href="http://www.score.org/Develop_Business_Plan.html">mini-course in business plan writing</a>.</p> <h3>Expand your thinking</h3> <p>You can tune into the latest ideas from experts at universities such as Harvard and Stanford on videos at <a href="http://www.apple.com/education/itunes-u/whats-on.html">iTunes U</a>. They&rsquo;re not just talking about theoretical stuff. The Yale Entrepreneurial Institute, for instance, offers courses such as &ldquo;What Angel Investors Want,&rdquo; &ldquo;From Entrepreneur to Investor,&rdquo; and &ldquo;Design and Innovation.&rdquo;</p> <p>Another good place to turn if you&rsquo;re looking for fresh ideas is <a href="http://my.brainshark.com/"> Mybrainshark</a>. While the offerings aren&rsquo;t as extensive at those at iTunes U, if you search under the term &ldquo;entrepreneur,&rdquo; you&rsquo;ll find useful video presentations including &ldquo;Cash Rules for Entrepreneurs,&rdquo; a seminar on cash flow management, and &ldquo;No Time Marketing,&rdquo; a 45-minute conference presentation.</p> <h3>Branch out overseas</h3> <p>Considering exporting? Simply determining if it makes sense to market your product or service in a foreign country can be a bit daunting. The U.S. Small Business Administration offers a helpful overview, including an Exporting Self Assessment, at Export.gov.</p> <h3>Stay on top of taxes</h3> <p>Even if you have a great accountant, it&rsquo;s important to understand IRS tax policies that affect your business. Even if you delegate the task to a pro, you are ultimately responsible for filing your taxes correctly. To get up to speed, entrepreneur Janis Badarau, owner and designer of CrafTea Designs and Tea Dyed Teas in Lavonia, Ga., recommends Tax.gov, an IRS portal that includes short audio and video presentations (and written transcripts) on topics that range from reporting bartering income to managing payroll so you withhold the correct amount from employees&rsquo; paychecks.</p> <h3>Rethink your mission</h3> <p>Need to rebrand your business or reach out to a new client base? Consider signing up for the 30-Day New Year/New Career Challenge, a virtual coaching series funded with a grant from Jones New York. Career coach Caroline Ceniza-Levine, co-founder of <a href="http://www.sixfigurestart.com/">Six Figure Start</a>, will run free webcasts each Wednesday from Jan. 26 through February 16 from 9 to 9:45 pm Eastern Standard Time. (It&rsquo;s possible to listen in by phone only.) The topics: Create a Multidimensional Personal Brand (January 26), Build a Network That Supports You (February 2), Align Time, Money and Energy with Your Goals (February 9), and Open Q&amp;A (February 16). Register early: There is a limit of 250 people for the webcast and 1,000 for the phone lines.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/elaine-pofeldt">Elaine Pofeldt</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/the-shoestring-mba">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-ways-a-masters-degree-can-boost-your-career">3 Ways a Master&#039;s Degree Can Boost Your Career</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-ways-to-get-a-legit-business-education-online">3 Ways to Get a Legit Business Education Online</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-small-business-mentors-you-can-access-for-nearly-free">6 Small Business Mentors You Can Access for Nearly Free!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/250-tips-for-small-business-owners">250+ Tips for Small Business Owners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-great-jobs-that-offer-college-loan-forgiveness">7 Great Jobs that Offer College Loan Forgiveness</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Education & Training Small Business Resource Center grad school higher learning MBA small business Thu, 27 Jan 2011 04:02:00 +0000 Elaine Pofeldt 474553 at http://www.wisebread.com 3 Ways a Master's Degree Can Boost Your Career http://www.wisebread.com/3-ways-a-masters-degree-can-boost-your-career <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/3-ways-a-masters-degree-can-boost-your-career" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/486123189_e6f1db2295_z.jpg" alt="graduating group" title="graduating group" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="148" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Have you ever considered going back to school for a masters degree to get ahead in your job? Let me guess: You&rsquo;ve never made it past the consideration stage because it&rsquo;s a lot of work and can be pretty expensive? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-pay-less-money-for-a-college-degree">6 Ways to Pay Less For A College Degree</a>)</p> <p>The prospect of spending all that time and money leaves most of us wondering if we'll get our money's worth out of a master's degree, asking questions like &quot;<a href="http://moneysmartlife.com/is-an-mba-worth-the-money/">is an MBA worth it</a>?&quot; While hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars does seem like an awful lot to invest in knowledge, what I&rsquo;ve found is that the information you absorb is only a portion of the benefit.</p> <p>The technical knowledge you learn about your trade can make you better at the work you do, but the people you meet and the perspective you gain can really help propel your career forward.&nbsp;Here are three things I noticed as I earned my degree that didn&rsquo;t show up on the diploma, but can make a big difference in career advancement.</p> <h3>1. Industry Connections</h3> <p>There are some great networking opportunities available when you&rsquo;re regularly in close contact with 10 to 20&nbsp;professionals in your field. The relationships you form during the course of your classes can yield benefits for years down the road.</p> <p>The most obvious benefit is&nbsp;a list of contacts if you ever need a job or are looking to hire good people. For example, two people I met in my classes were mid-level managers with a different company. They weren&rsquo;t doing the hiring when I applied to that company years later, but I was able to use them as references and got the job.</p> <p>For those in an <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-taking-classes-online-right-for-you">online degree program</a>, don&rsquo;t think that you&rsquo;re missing out on all the networking opportunities.&nbsp; I was introduced to another software engineer virtually through one of my online courses who has helped me out several times throughout the years. It may take longer to build relationships online, but when you work closely together in a few classes, you get to know people &mdash; whether it&rsquo;s in person or virtually.</p> <h3>2. Experienced Mentors</h3> <p>One of the things to consider when you <a href="http://moneysmartlife.com/choose-an-mba-program/">choose an MBA program</a> or other master's degree is the background and experience of the instructors. One of the things I really liked about my program is that they followed a practitioner-based approach. This meant all the teachers were still working in the field and only taught part-time.</p> <p>Some of them were entrepreneurs and owned their own companies. One was a CEO of a medium-sized business and several were executives at major companies. For example, many of my project management courses were taught by the head of the Project Management Office at a Fortune 500 corporation. I also had the Chief Security Officer of the same company teaching me courses on information security.</p> <p>The real world experience they shared with us was extremely helpful, but even if your instructors are no longer actively involved in your industry, they&rsquo;re still likely full of tricks of the trade. Your teachers probably enjoy helping develop upcoming professionals, otherwise they wouldn&rsquo;t be there teaching in the first place. They&rsquo;re perfectly suited to help mentor you and give you guidance in your industry. Having access to experienced professionals like that can give you a definite advantage over your peers at work.</p> <h3>3. Expanded Job Opportunities</h3> <p>When I told my boss that I might be enrolling in an online master's degree in information systems, he asked if there was anything he could do to help me get real-world application out of what I was learning.</p> <p>I didn&rsquo;t realize it at the time, but it turned out that his offer was good for me from a career perspective. Every class at the master's level had some type of big project associated with it ,and I always tried to work through the class project steps using a real-world project from my job.</p> <p>Since the projects were &ldquo;extracurricular,&rdquo; I wasn&rsquo;t tied down to the standard types of work I did in my day-to-day position. Not only did I learn about parts of the business that I wasn&rsquo;t normally exposed to, I was also able to help my boss and his manager address issues they&rsquo;d always had on a wish list but never had time to work on.</p> <p>These projects put me in contact with higher-level managers in the company and also helped me stand out in my annual reviews &mdash; both of which were good for my career.</p> <p>So when you see the price tag of a graduate degree, keep in mind the potential benefits in addition to the technical knowledge you&rsquo;ll gain. Be sure to think about things like industry connections, potential mentors, and expanded job opportunities when you&rsquo;re evaluating graduate programs.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ben-edwards">Ben Edwards</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-ways-a-masters-degree-can-boost-your-career">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-ways-to-get-a-legit-business-education-online">3 Ways to Get a Legit Business Education Online</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-taking-classes-online-right-for-you">Is Taking Classes Online Right for You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-great-jobs-that-offer-college-loan-forgiveness">7 Great Jobs that Offer College Loan Forgiveness</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-freebies-for-college-students">20+ Freebies for College Students</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-places-to-buy-or-rent-textbooks">20 Places to Buy or Rent Textbooks</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Education & Training graduate degree masters degree MBA Thu, 13 Jan 2011 14:00:09 +0000 Ben Edwards 428101 at http://www.wisebread.com