Information systems professionals seeking opportunities to advance in their careers may consider earning a master’s in management information systems. This could be a smart idea, but it’s important to choose a master’s degree program that provides a quality education and valuable resources while supporting their lifestyle.
An online master’s in management information systems has a variety of advantages for IS professionals. Here are a few of the biggest perks to earning a master’s degree online through the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Balance life with school
Family, work, or other obligations can make returning to or continuing school difficult for some students. Sticking to a rigid class schedule means students have limited flexibility to fit in their other essential activities. Online courses, especially those delivered in an asynchronous format, make it much easier to balance life responsibilities with further education.
Asynchronous online courses are those which don’t require students to log in at predetermined times. This means students can watch lectures, engage in class discussions, and complete assignments at a time that works for their schedules.
For students earning their online master’s degree at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, course material, including recorded lectures, study guides, shared notes, and other resources, are available 24/7. The ability to access important information gives students greater control over their education and allows them to review and study as appropriate for their lifestyle and preferred learning methods.
Study from anywhere
The only basic requirements for an online degree program are a computer and an internet connection as well as any relevant prerequisites, such as a bachelor’s degree. Students can access resources from their own homes, their local library or coffee shop, or the break room of their office. This further builds upon the flexibility of the online format, allowing students to complete coursework during their lunch breaks at work or other free periods throughout their day.
Location can be a challenge for anyone living out of state who is interested in pursuing a master’s degree. While on-campus students must be able to get to campus on time for their classes, online students don’t. Instead, they can access lessons and coursework from anywhere — they don’t need to live in Alabama or even in the U.S.
It’s no secret that higher education is expensive. Americans have a collective $1.5 trillion in student loan debt, according to the Federal Reserve. However, education-related expenses can include more than just loans. Students who attend on-campus courses also have expenses related to traveling to and from campus, nearby housing, and more, educational nonprofit ASCD pointed out. Without the need for students to attend courses on campus or potentially relocate so they’re near the university, online degree programs can save students a significant amount of money.
Connect with classmates
Discussion and collaboration between classmates can help students view problems from new perspectives and can prompt greater analysis of a particular subject. Though it may seem like a small aspect, the ability to participate in discussions in a meaningful way is an important part of developing students’ understanding of a new concept.
Courses often include a collaborative component, and with in-person classes, that comes in the form of class participation. This can be a challenge for certain students, such as those who are soft-spoken or shy, as well as their classmates straining to hear their opinions, U.S. News & World Report pointed out.
Online discussions have numerous advantages that in-class conversations and debates lack. In class forums, everyone’s comments are equally represented, giving all students’ comments balanced importance, with no chance for someone to speak over or interrupt another. Conversation points can also be easily and clearly backed up with citations.
Though there are many advantages of online class discussions, there can also be a learning curve pertaining to virtual communication. It’s easy to unintentionally make a message come across in a rude, confusing, or critical way when collaborating online. However, virtual discussion is common when working with information systems, so mastering this mode of communication is critical for students earning a master’s degree in management information systems online. Practice by way of online class discussions can help students strengthen their skills.
Learn in multiple formats
Many online education programs, including the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s online master’s in management information systems degree program, take advantage of a wide range of digital tools to share information and facilitate collaboration. Multimedia tools are beneficial for several reasons.
For some students, specific modes of learning can be more challenging than others. For example, a student who learns better by listening to information rather than reading may have more success in a course where lectures are recorded and are available for on-demand playback. This is one of the perks of the online degree programs offered through the Collat School of Business, where course materials are available online 24/7.
Additionally, using multimedia tools can support knowledge retention, U.S. News & World Report explained. When information is presented in multiple ways that appeal to numerous senses, it’s easier to remember it. Having a range of video, audio, visual, and textual resources can help students learn and understand concepts taught in class better.
Earn an online master’s in management information systems from the Collat School of Business
Earning a master’s in management information systems can help IS professionals advance in their careers. It’s important to carefully choose the degree program through which to earn the degree. An online master’s degree has numerous advantages that professionals can benefit from. To learn more about the online programs available at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, reach out to an enrollment advisor.