Masters degrees open up a world of possibilities to graduates who make the extra investment in time and money. Often, those with bachelors degrees want to continue their education after working for a while in their chosen field to increase their chances of moving up in their company or field. In most fields, a Master’s degree is not required, but will put you in a good position to hold much more responsibility and earn a significantly higher income.
High school graduates in Florida see an unemployment rate of around 8.7% in 2011. Those with a masters degree saw this rate fall to a comfortable 3.6%. If that isn’t enough of a reason to pursue your masters degree, consider the income differences between the different degree levels. Weekly earnings for students with some college averaged in at $719 dollars, and masters graduates saw a median weekly income of $1,264, almost $2,000 more a month, or $24,000 a year. With Florida enjoying a lower than average cost of living, that extra income can go a very long way, not just for your current expenses, but in helping you set your family up for a comfortable retirement.
While all of these stats are important in helping you understand the benefits of the additional investments a masters degree require, they are most likely not the driving force behind most students’ choice to continue their education. If you ask a child what they want to be when they grow up, you won’t hear them reply with things like “I want to be rich and highly desired in my field.” Instead, you will hear career paths like doctor, nurse, astronaut, The President, a ninja or even a cowboy. We all want to do the things we love and follow the paths of those we look up to the most. Online colleges in Florida can prepare you to do just that.
You will need to decide what path you are most interested in taking to find the perfect online college in Florida. Some of the fastest growing fields that require a masters degree are the ones you might expect, but the numbers may help you decide which one is best for you.
Our population is aging, and the medical field is feeling the strain. So, it comes as no surprise that entering the field of medicine can help you meet the job security and income requirements that you’re looking for. At a masters degree level in medicine, you could enter the field as a physician assistant. You would work as a doctor, more or less, in this field under the supervision of an actual doctor. You’ll provide diagnostic, therapeutic, and preventative healthcare services just like an actual doctor would; you will just do it with a little less schooling. Employment in this field is expected to grow by 39% between now and 2018, and physician assistants can expect a median income of over $80,000 a year.
If medicine seems like something you want to do, but you are more interested in treating animals than humans, consider earning a veterinarian’s degree from an online college in Florida. With an expected job growth of 33% and a median salary of $75,000 a year, this can be a great path to take for your education.
If you are more interested in entering the field of business, consider a degree that can get you working as an Industrial-Organizational Psychologist. While this sounds like a fancy and mysterious career, the actual work is very important, but also very simple to understand. You will be in charge of researching the psychology behind workplaces to help improve productivity and quality of work-life balance. The field should see a growth of around 26% through 2018, and those in the field can expect an income of $77,000 a year. A masters degree in psychology is all that is needed to enter this field.
With a few ideas on the plate and a solid understanding of why a masters degree is so important, you need to find the right online schools in Florida for your needs. There are a number of paths you can take through school, so get some basic requirements down, and then start looking at the schools that meet that criteria.
The University of Phoenix is probably the most well-known online college, and it can train you for just about any type of career. Earning a masters degree from this college is a great way to get yourself ready for your future without having to worry about transferring credits between schools. There will be a few satellite sites throughout Florida for the rare occasions that you need to visit them, but your education will be handled mostly online.
If you prefer to attend a college in Florida that offers online colleges, you have plenty of options. Two of the more popular ones are the University of West Florida located in Pensacola and the University of Central Florida with locations in Cocoa, Daytona Beach, Leesburg, Ocala, Palm Bay, Sanford/Lake Mary, South Lake, South Orlando, Valencia Osceola, and Velencia West. Most Florida online colleges will offer lower tuition rates to in-state students, so this may be the best bet for you. Speak with advisors and counselors at the schools to see what advice they have, and spend some time speaking with potential employers in your field to find out how well the schools are respected for those with masters degrees from these specific colleges.
The first step is always the hardest, but when you consider the flexible schedules that online colleges in Florida provide to students, you can start working on your Master’s degree in no time at all. Regardless of whether you are starting fresh or just upgrading from a bachelors degree, Florida online universities will give you plenty of options to reach your goals without having to make major changes to your current schedule. Planning and research are important, so make sure you spend some time on that before starting, so that you aren’t caught by surprise once you take that first step.Wes Ricketts