Don’t dismiss these 15 easiest online master’s degrees as too easy! Higher education always has its fair share of challenges that test your knowledge, patience and perseverance. Ask any of the 3,072,433 students enrolled in a post-bachelor’s degree program in Fall 2019, many of whom were enrolled in business, education, and health sciences. All three fields of study have fairly early sub-specializations that traditional and non-traditional students can complete.
But don’t limit yourself to these three fields of study either! The best way to maximize your return on investment in a master’s degree is to pursue a field of study that you’re passionate and knowledgeable about – or at least, with foundational knowledge.
Look into transportation and logistics, military technologies, and work and family studies. You will find a specialized field of study that’s both easy on your schedule, budget, and intellect but will also be a challenge.
Why pursue one of these easiest online master’s degrees in 2022? Here are a few reasons that we think will resonate with you!
- Master’s degree holders enjoy $1,545 median weekly pay compared to $1,305 for bachelor’s degree holders. The $240 per week difference adds up over the years! Note that median weekly pay doesn’t mean that it will be your pay! Instead, the median pay refers to the middle-of-the-ground pay – half have lower pay while the other half have higher pay.
- The unemployment rate for master’s degree holders is 4.1%, while that of bachelor’s degree holders is 5.5%. While a master’s degree isn’t a guarantee of employment and career advancement, it’s an edge – and it’s true for the 15 easiest master’s degrees, too. Note that employers and clients aren’t likely to be fussy about your master’s degree for as long as you have the right education and skillsets for the job.
- Individuals with higher education, including master’s degrees, tend to have greater contributions to society, both in economic and non-economic terms. Their access to healthcare services, education and other social services and their overall quality of life also improve – and we don’t even need studies to agree with this statement! Higher education can be a privilege.
- These online master’s degrees also have fewer admission requirements, not to mention that these programs have rolling admissions. The combination means that interested individuals – you, for example – can apply at their convenient time and enjoy convenience in their schedule. Many programs also have less demanding acceptance criteria aside from emphasizing math and science-heavy courses.
But because these easiest online master’s degree programs can be academically challenging, too, there are above-par student support services. You and your fellow students can rely on technical and technological support besides usual services like admission and career counseling, academic advising, and financial aid. Indeed, the range and quality of student support services must be on your list of priorities when considering online master’s degree programs!
Easiest Online Master’s Degrees in 2022
Master of Arts in Liberal Arts
The MA in Liberal Arts (MLA) is an interdisciplinary graduate degree with broad coverage of subjects, from philosophy, humanities, and the arts to the natural sciences and social sciences.
Students gain more depth and breadth about these liberal arts that, in turn, provide them with the knowledge and skills to succeed in numerous fields. Their skill sets are less technical but more transferable, thus, their flexibility in working in the public and private sectors, from government agencies to business organizations.
Students develop their critical and analytical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills in every course. Their higher faculty thinking skills are such that they can understand diverse issues in society and the workplace. The transferable nature of these skills means that their job prospects can be optimized by emphasizing such versatility in application.
For example, in business organizations, these skills are valuable in finding creative solutions, working in a team, and promoting the organizations to third parties. In development work, excellent communication skills are valuable, too, particularly in putting forward social development projects to their intended beneficiaries. Other possible applications of an MLA degree are in post-secondary teaching positions and government employment, such as human development and services.
An MLA degree is easy because of the emphasis on non-STEM subjects, such as social and natural sciences and English communication. Math subjects are typically introductory or taught to complement other subjects. Many programs also offer specializations or concentrations in humanities, language studies, and history. The concentrations provide a specialist focus that employers in niche industries may appreciate.
Median Pay: $80,560 per year
Job Outlook: 12%
Job Opportunities: Post-secondary teachers, training development specialists, and technical writers
Best Schools: Rutgers University, Arizona State University, and Stony Brook University
Master of Arts in Theology/Theological Studies
The MA in Theological Studies (MATS) meets a wide variety of professional purposes, from answering a vocation to forging a path in education.
Students gain a more comprehensive perspective of the Bible and Christian ministry, church history, and Christian theology. Studies of the Old and New Testaments, Christian apologetics, and ministerial preparations are also common online MATS programs.
But it isn’t just about the Bible and faith that’s learned in a typical MATS program either! Students also develop their English communication skills, both written and verbal, in conducting research projects, writing pieces on theology-related subjects, and presenting their results.
Since many students will follow the path of ministry, these are valuable skills that have real-world applications in and out of church settings.
MATS Programs are considered easier than other master’s degree programs because they emphasize the Bible’s history, applications, and issues. There are little to no math and science subjects tackled in the curriculum, meaning students with average knowledge in these areas can breeze through the program. But students must possess above-average English skills and robust Christian faith to succeed in the program.
Many programs also offer degree customization options through concentration and specialized theory classes in Greek and Hebrew.
MATS programs are typically suitable for aspiring laymen, pastors, and other church workers whose calling is in the ministry. Many other students also want to work in administrative roles in their local congregations, charity fundraising organizations, and community development agencies. Becoming a researcher on church-related matters or pursuing a doctorate are also popular options.
Median Pay: $56,560 per year
Job Outlook: 2%
Job Opportunities: Pastor/minister, church and community worker, and religious studies teacher
Best Schools: Liberty University, Columbia International University, and Lincoln Christian University
Master of Arts/Science in Library and Information Science
Library and Information Science (LIS) professionals are at the forefront of advancing literacy, acquiring information, and even providing safe places in public and private institutions.
These include educational institutions, public and private libraries, government agencies, and local communities. Indeed, their profession in particular, and libraries in general, are viewed in a largely positive manner by Americans!
A bachelor’s degree is considered sufficient for entry-level positions in libraries and similar settings. A master’s degree is typically required for career advancement.
This is particularly true for academic, school, and law librarians due to the more sophisticated systems and demands of jobs with supervisory/managerial roles.
The typical master’s in LIS degree program is considered fairly easy because there are fewer math and science-heavy courses despite the degree’s name. Instead, students learn the theory and practices related to library operations and services, including acquisition, organization, and distribution of traditional and digital media. There are also courses on child and adult literacy, event organizing, and public relations strategies designed to enhance the positive impact of the profession on society.
But there are also challenges, such as developing English communication skills vital in working with peers, supervisors, clients, and the community as a whole. Students must also possess interpersonal skills for collaboration and coordination, particularly involving third parties.
If you’re looking for specialization, you should consider programs that offer concentrations. The common choices include public librarianship, school librarianship, and law librarianship.
Median Pay: $60,820 per year
Job Outlook: 9%
Job Opportunities: Librarians, library media specialists, and archivists
Best Schools: University of Southern California, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and University of Washington Seattle
Master of Arts/Science in Sports Management
Individuals with a keen interest in people, sports, and business will appreciate the specific skill sets learned in a master’s in sports management program! The typical curriculum combines psychology, law, and motivational theories with marketing, finance, and management coursework.
While math-related courses, such as statistics and economics, don’t involve advanced coursework. Thus, the popular view is that it’s among the easiest graduate degrees.
Note that an MA or MS in Sports Management may be either of two types: first, an MBA concentration or, second, a standalone degree. As an MBA concentration, the coursework will focus on business management knowledge and skills with a specialized emphasis on sports.
As a standalone degree, the curriculum has an interdisciplinary approach, from psychology to business management and the law (e.g., contracts and obligations).
Other courses include sports marketing and sociology, sports mass media and communications, coaching and athlete development, and sports project and event management. Many programs require a capstone project and experience, such as internships in sports and recreation organizations. Thesis requirements are uncommon unless the program is geared towards students interested in a Ph.D. degree.
Aside from the technical skills, students also learn transferable skills that enable them to deal with diverse people and situations and to even think fast on their feet. These skills include persuasive communication skills, effective critical thinking skills, creative thinking skills, and leadership skills. Planning, time management, financial strategy, and an understanding of the sports industry’s factors are also on the list.
Median Pay: $ 98,070
Job Outlook: 10%
Job Opportunities: Sports agents, athletic directors, and public relations manager
Best Schools: Northwestern University, University of Florida, and Concordia University Irvine
Master of Arts in Second Language Acquisition
In an increasingly diverse world where globalization and immigration demand proficiency in multiple languages, individuals with a MA in Second Language Acquisition are highly sought after!
The degree opens up opportunities for lucrative employment in many jobs, including ESL teachers, instructional coordinators, and interpreters/translators. Many also use their skills in social work, community development work, and adult education teachers.
This is considered among the easiest master’s degrees due to its emphasis on language skills, not math and science skills. Students, nonetheless, must have a strong foundation in math and science subjects from their undergraduate studies, usually for thesis purposes.
Students must have a keen interest, if not innate talent or acquired skills from undergraduate study, in acquiring second languages both as a student and a teacher. The appreciation of foreign languages is also a desirable trait among students cultivated during undergraduate studies.
Typical coursework covers curriculum design, linguistics theory, second language acquisition, sociolinguistics, and language teaching. Students must also be proficient in teaching the English language, including its grammar, pronunciation, and context, meaning they must be proficient in the English language.
Since their future jobs will involve dealing with individuals whose first language isn’t English, they must also be patient, compassionate, and empathetic toward others. Interpreters and translators must also have active listening skills, be tactful in their words, and be conscious of cultural nuances. Adult education teachers must be sensitive to the collective and individual feelings of the underserved students in their classes, too.
Median Pay: $66,970 per year
Job Outlook: 10%
Job Opportunities: Instructional coordinators, translators, and adult education teacher
Best Schools: University of Maryland – Baltimore County and Carlos Albizu University Miami
Master of Arts/Science in Early Childhood Education
Earning a master’s degree in early childhood education isn’t particularly difficult because there are few advanced math, science, and technology courses. Instead, the coursework focuses on educating children from birth until second grade, meaning a master’s degree student should handle it.
Furthermore, the didactic and teaching practicum aspects are stimulating, rewarding, and fulfilling due to the opportunity to make a positive difference in children’s lives.
Students, however, must have a passion for teaching children because it isn’t an easy job, from studying its theories to applying the best practices.
Earning a master’s degree in early childhood education is also busy work! Reading the learning materials, writing the lesson plans, and performing other academic tasks will demand significant time, energy, and effort on your part.
Since professionals in early childhood education serve young children’s educational and developmental needs, the coursework covers education-related courses. These include curriculum design in early childhood education, language and literacy from birth till eight years old, and behavior management in children. The curriculum design usually covers preschool to elementary-level math, science, English, and social studies.
Many programs incorporate internship opportunities in teaching assistant positions, also known as practicum, in preschools and elementary schools. These internship requirements should be aligned with relevant state-level licensure or certification requirements. Be sure to check your state’s specific requirements on certification or licensure before considering a master’s program.
Holders of a master’s degree in early childhood education have several career paths waiting for them. Examples are preschool, kindergarten, and elementary school teachers; instructional coordinators; and consultants or interventionists.
Median Pay: $49,160 per year
Job Outlook: 11%
Job Opportunities: Preschool/kindergarten teachers, directors, and instructional coordinators
Best Schools: Fordham University, Pacific Oaks College, and Mercy College
Master of Science in Human Resource Management
Unlike an MBA degree with a broad business perspective, an MS in Human Resource Management has a more specific focus on human resource management.
The latter is also shorter in duration, with the required credits for graduation between 36 and 48 credits. Undergraduates with a bachelor’s degree in business management or administration will likely thrive in this field.
The MS in HRM degree is considered easier because most of its coursework is related to human resources and management, from hiring to firing.
While there may be a math-related course, such as statistics, the emphasis is on non-STEM topics, meaning students can concentrate on their transferable skills. But there are also technical skills that students must develop through courses in human resources strategies, employee outcomes, and information systems.
Students must also become well-versed in the laws related to human resources, particularly labor laws, contracts and obligations, and arbitration. Since HR experts must be effective communicators, students are expected to possess above-average English writing and speaking skills.
Many courses require students to write hiring, training, and firing manuals; perform mock interviews and assessments, and give presentations. Strong negotiation and conflict resolution skills are also vital among human resource professionals.
Indeed, human resource professionals are versatile individuals able to wear many hats! Their master’s degree level training prepares them for their wide range of roles, from workplace advocates to organizational advisors. Their adaptability to various situations is also crucial in their success amidst an ever-evolving world where humans are still considered the greatest resource in organizations.
Median Pay: $125,130 per year
Job Outlook: 9%
Job Opportunities: Human resources specialists, compensation and benefits managers, and labor relations specialists
Best Schools: Georgetown University, Northcentral University, and Boston University
Master of Science in Human Services
The interdisciplinary approach adopted by MS in Human Services programs is among the reasons for its widely held view that it’s a relatively easy degree to earn.
Students take a wide variety of subjects, including sociology, psychology, political science, even criminal justice, and behavioral science.
Many programs provide concentrations that allow students to gain specialist skills and concentration choices that include family, child, and adolescent services; gerontology and aging; and mental health.
Each concentration has specific core and elective courses that ensure specialist knowledge and skills with real-world applications. The mental health concentration, for example, brings students on a journey toward a deeper understanding of human sexuality and childhood psychopathology.
The degree requirements typically include an internship experience at healthcare, community, and law enforcement organizations, among other human services agencies. The hands-on experience complements the didactic coursework. The internship usually involves direct client interactions, collaborations with other professionals, and other real-world responsibilities.
But there are challenging demands, too, in pursuing an MS in Human Services degree! Students must deal with plenty of learning materials that should be read, summarized, and presented, aside from the usual quizzes and exams. Effective English communication skills in both the written and oral aspects are a must to impress the professors!
Transferable skills must also complement technical skills. Students must be compassionate and competent, empathetic and enthusiastic, team players, and demonstrate leadership. These soft skills are vital in dealing with people from all walks of life, from people in need to people in positions of power.
Median Pay: $104,280 per year
Job Outlook: 32%
Job Opportunities: Medical and health services managers, social and community service managers, and school counselors
Best Schools: California State University Northridge, University of Oklahoma, and Bellevue University
Master of Arts/Science in Criminal Justice
While becoming a law enforcement professional is relatively easy with a bachelor’s degree – or even with academy training and a high school diploma – a master’s degree is an edge!
The career opportunities extend beyond the beat, so to speak, with possible promotions to supervisory positions. Earning an MA or MS in Criminal Justice is also fairly easy since there are fewer STEM courses, which many people have difficulty with.
Lest you think, however, that everything’s easy-peasy with this master’s degree, think again because there are challenging demands like all graduate degrees.
The quizzes and exams, among other academic work, are mostly in essay form, meaning your English language skills are up to par with graduate-level standards.
There are also plenty of papers to write every semester, aside from the readings and discussions in class. Lectures are uncommon, so hiding behind your book or sitting in the last row won’t fly. The academic rigor – without the STEM-heavy courses – is preparation for comprehensive exams and thesis. But if you already have excellent English language skills and effective study habits, you’re likely to have an easier time.
Students tackle criminal science-related courses, including crime prevention, control, and causation; design, implementation, and evaluation of criminal justice systems; and crime and intelligence analysis. There are also courses in leadership, homeland security, and corrections, which can also be concentrations within the MS in Criminal Justice programs.
Capstone projects are common, and these are designed as culminating experiences that showcase the students’ acquired knowledge and skills. The type of capstone project varies, too, such as a research paper or a professional portfolio.
Median Pay: $67,290 per year
Job Outlook: 7%
Job Opportunities: Police and detectives, fraud investigators, and intelligence analysts
Best Schools: University of Central Florida, Florida State University, and Southern New Hampshire University
Master of Arts/Science in Teaching
A master’s degree in teaching is an excellent choice if you’re interested in career advancement as a teacher in the K-12 levels.
The didactic coursework and hands-on training enable students to work directly with K-12 students in classroom settings. But the curriculum varies depending on the concentration, such as:
- Early childhood education focuses on teaching children from birth until kindergarten
- Elementary education with an emphasis on the K-6 levels, as well as on appropriate teaching methods
- Secondary education that enables students to teach at the grades 7-12 levels after completion
- Special education for teachers who want to work with children with disabilities
While the concentration courses vary, the core courses are similar across programs. These include curriculum and instruction, technology and learning, and pedagogy. Classroom management, assessment tools, and theories of learning are also discussed. Indeed, an MAT or MST is an excellent choice for current and aspiring teachers who want to become the best they can be, thanks to advanced formal education and hands-on training!
The graduate degree becomes easier if and when you have an abiding passion for teaching children despite the challenges that come with the noble profession. Even the voluminous learning materials, academic papers, and tests aren’t enough to dissuade you from earning the degree, not to mention that it’s a ticket to success.
Most programs have a capstone requirement, a comprehensive paper, a research project, or a portfolio. The capstone is intended to highlight your interest and expertise in a specific subject, such as alternative student assessments.
Median Pay: $62,870 per year
Job Outlook: 8%
Job Opportunities: Elementary, middle, and high school teachers as well as special education teachers
Best Schools: Purdue University, Biola University, and University of North Dakota
Master of Arts in Creative Writing
The MA in Creative Writing is an excellent choice for individuals with exceptional talent in fiction and non-fiction writing. Both emerging and experienced writers find the curriculum to their liking and benefit because of its emphasis on practical writing skills. The ability to look at the writing industry and its practices with a critical eye is also part of its popularity.
This is also popular because of the relative ease with which students can earn the degree. Without the burden of non-writing-related courses, such as math and science courses, students are free to focus on their writing skills and portfolio.
Leading experts in creative writing, from authors to publishers, and experienced professors guide students in developing the breadth and depth of their writing. Students also dive deeper into the genres, history, and industry of writing through workshops and seminars and showcase their skills in a capstone requirement.
Most programs require their students to produce a portfolio with works published in literary journals and magazines, perhaps a writers’ anthology organized by the institution. The portfolio showcases their writing skills in narrative writing and other forms of creative writing, which have been tackled in the coursework. Other courses include theory, industry and practice, meaning students have a deeper appreciation of the theory and applications of writing.
The great thing about an MA in Creative Writing degree is in its versatile applications and, thus, its great value for your time, energy, and money. Your advanced writing skills can be applied in various advertising, book authorship, and publishing to entertainment, traditional and digital media.
Median Pay: $67,120 per year
Job Outlook: 9%
Job Opportunities: Writers and authors, digital content creators, and columnists
Best Schools: Drexel University, Mount Saint Mary’s University, and University of Denver
Master of Science in Social Work
Individuals seeking social work licensure must enroll in MS in Social Work programs with accreditation by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).
These programs combine didactic coursework covering advanced topics in social work and between 900 and 2,000 cumulative hours of internship. Their admission requirements are also fairly easy to comply with, thus, the inclusion of the MS in Social Work degree on this list.
Most, if not all, programs accept applications from individuals with an undergraduate degree in both social work and non-social work fields, usually with a liberal arts background.
This means that an MS in Social Work degree is valuable for career advancement and career change. Since the typical curriculum doesn’t include advanced-level math and science courses, working professionals consider the degree relatively easy to earn.
Common courses emphasize the theories and applications of social work in contemporary and diverse settings. Social welfare policy, interventions in clinical social work, human behavior and psychology, and poverty and inequality are a few examples.
Research in social work, which has qualitative and quantitative aspects, is also a top topic since students usually must submit a dissertation. The research skills gained here, including hypothesis formulation, research design, and data collection and analysis, are also valuable for students planning a research career.
Many programs also provide choices in concentration, such as addiction dependence, trauma, and medical social work. Students may also choose between direct practice, clinical track, or macro track alongside their chosen specialization. Many programs even offer dual degree options, such as an MS in Social Work and Public Administration or Public Health or Law.
Median Pay: $51,760 per year
Job Outlook: 12%
Job Opportunities: Medical social worker, career counselor, and substance abuse counselor
Best Schools: Columbia University, University of Texas Arlington, and Florida State University
Master of Art/Science in Marketing
The MA or MS in Marketing degree programs has math-related courses since contemporary marketing also involves the analysis of data and metrics. But these courses only require college-level math skills, which every master’s degree student should possess!
Individuals passionate about marketing, including human behavior, consumer attitudes, and market trends, will find the rest of the courses manageable.
While the specific courses differ between programs, the common ones include marketing metrics, digital strategies, entrepreneurship, and marketing communication. Business leadership concerning marketing is also a top topic.
Students are provided with the opportunity to customize their degree according to their career goals, thanks to choices in concentrations. Common examples are digital advertising, marketing analytics, integrated marketing communications, and social media marketing. Note, too, that a master’s degree in marketing can either be a standalone degree or a concentration of an MBA degree.
Professionals with a master’s degree in marketing have diverse job opportunities in advertising, public relations, and sales, among others. Many also choose to pursue a doctorate in marketing to become qualified for post-secondary teaching positions and research jobs. Note that entry-level jobs in marketing only require a bachelor’s degree, but a master’s degree can result in career advancement, thus, its popularity despite the considerable investment.
Marketing professionals’ popular job opportunity is advertising, promotions, and marketing manager jobs. These marketing professionals generate consumer interest for their companies’ products and services through marketing plans. Promotional campaigns include giveaways, coupons, and contests aside from advertising campaigns on traditional and digital media.
Median Pay: $141,490 per year
Job Outlook: 10%
Job Opportunities: Marketing managers, advertising and promotion managers, and market research analysts
Best Schools: Regis University, Saint Joseph’s University, and Florida International University
Master of Arts in Theater Arts/Performing Arts
The Master of Performing Arts (MPA) degree covers music, dance, and drama over two years of full-time study.
Students can choose from programs that focus either on the academic-based or the practice-based approach, meaning there are two primary career paths.
The academic-based programs mix theoretical aspects, including performing arts and practical work analysis. This is the preferred path for individuals who want to work behind the scenes.
The practice-based programs focus more on actual performances and, thus, these are more suitable for performers like actors and musicians.
MPA degree programs can be easy for individuals who have an abiding passion for theater arts or performing arts, whether on stage or behind the scenes.
The emphasis is on a combination of performing talent and skill, effective communication and collaboration with others, and willingness to improve from constructive criticism. There are few advanced math and science courses, not to mention dissertations being uncommon in practice-based programs.
But an MPA degree program can push your physical and mental limits! In the course of building their portfolio, students must put their best work forward, be it in original music compositions, dramatic performances, or dazzling productions. The professors, many of whom are known in the theater and entertainment industry, can demand the quality of the students’ output.
MPA holders gain key transferable skills valuable in the entertainment industry, the academe, and other industries. Teamwork and time management, self-awareness, self-confidence and self-discipline, and creative, analytical and critical thinking skills are among these skills.
Median Pay: $76,400 per year
Job Outlook: 24%
Job Opportunities: Theater, film and television directors, performers, and post-secondary theater arts teachers
Best Schools: University of Northern Colorado, San Francisco State University, and Roosevelt University
Master of Arts/Science in Communication
If you possess excellent English communication skills, you will likely think of an MA or MS in Communication to be easier. You already have the talent, skills, and interest to manageable the advanced coursework.
Even the voluminous reading materials that have to be read, summarized, and presented are easy-peasy, even enjoyable considering your love of reading.
Yet another benefit is its versatility of applications in the job market. The master’s degree in communication can be applied in the public and private sectors, academe and industry, and business-focused and non-profit organizations.
Job opportunities can be plenty if you cast a wide net, including communications managers and directors, public relations specialists, and corporate communications managers.
The master’s in communication degree programs provide a narrower academic approach than the bachelor’s degree programs. Students focus on a specific specialization, such as health communication, corporate communication, or strategic communication, during their master’s degree journey.
But there are also common courses across specializations, such as digital media storytelling, theory of communication, and communication research methods.
Most of these programs have a culminating requirement, such as a capstone experience or an approved dissertation. These requirements combine theory and real-world application, research and hands-on experience, and perhaps a little showing off one’s skills.
There are no licensure requirements associated with a master’s degree in communication, neither are these required for career advancement. Instead, communications professionals advance their careers through advanced studies, work experience, and leadership qualities. The exception is for individuals seeking to teach communication courses in secondary and post-secondary educational institutions.
Median Pay: $118,430 per year
Job Outlook: 13%
Job Opportunities: Public relations and fundraising managers, market research analysts, and public relations specialists
Best Schools: Southern New Hampshire University, Bellevue University, and University of Alabama
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Aside from the less demanding admission requirements and criteria, these online master’s degree programs focus less on STEM subjects. Yes, there may be math and science subjects in a few of these programs, but there’s a greater emphasis on other skills. These include English writing and speaking skills (i.e., effective and persuasive communication), critical thinking, creative thinking, and problem-solving skills.
Many, if not most, of these programs also have two or more of these features that make it easier to complete the academic requirements:
- Thesis or dissertation requirements aren’t on the graduation requirements. Without a dissertation, you will have more time to focus on your academics while maintaining a better studies-work-life balance.
- Although it’s uncommon, comprehensive exams and culminating projects may not be part of the graduation requirements. These requirements are usually given instead of the thesis or dissertation.
- Internships or externships aren’t required either. Even in programs with an internship requirement, students are typically allowed to earn the working hours at their place of employment or deliver on shorter internship hours.
But also remember that the level of difficulty of an online master’s degree program and its field of study is highly subjective! The programs listed above are considered easier because of their emphasis on non-STEM courses. STEM courses are considered the hardest for many students in higher education.
Again, earning a master’s degree in any field isn’t easy, even if it’s been labeled among the easiest! The common challenges reported by students in these programs include:
- There are plenty of learning materials that must be read, learned and summarized; master’s degree programs aren’t geared toward rote memorization since the emphasis is on gaining advanced knowledge and applying it in real-world situations. Just because it’s an online program doesn’t mean that you can procrastinate and slack off! Set aside time for reading, writing and submitting assignments on time.
- There’s also an abundance of presentations to be prepared and delivered, usually during classroom sessions, seminars and workshops. These presentations require sufficient research and preparation, from writing the drafts to practicing your presentation itself.
- There may be issues about connectivity to the Internet that, in turn, affect the students’ ability to participate in live streams or live classes and see and submit assignments. The personal computers or gadgets used must also be up to the technological standards set by the program to maximize learning.
- The physical and mental toll that juggling personal and professional responsibilities with pursuing a master’s degree can increase the risk of mental health issues. Even online students enrolled in asynchronous programs can experience anxiety, panic attacks or depression due to a more hectic schedule. The financial aspect can also increase the burden!
For sure, these easiest online master’s degrees aren’t as easy as you think they are! But with effective planning, time management, and lifestyle habits, you can thrive!
The beauty of online programs is in their wide range of choices, namely:
- Asynchronous programs are designed for self-paced courses but with weekly deadlines for assignments and other requirements.
- Synchronous programs have preset schedules of classes, including lectures, conversations via chats and videoconferencing, and giving out assignments, among other activities.
- Hybrid programs combine face-to-face and online formats, the latter of which may also be a mix of synchronous and asynchronous methods.
- Fixed-time programs require students to log on to their online accounts and attend pre-scheduled classes. There are little to no in-person meetings in these programs.
- Open-schedule programs allow students to submit assignments depending on their start date in each specific course.
Be sure to ask about the format for whatever online master’s degree program you’re considering applying to. The format will have a significant impact on your future schedule and ability to maintain a good work-studies-life balance.
The actual cost of your online master’s degree will vary depending on the status of the school (private or public), the type of degree earned, and your status (in-state or out-of-state), among other factors. On average, a master’s degree can cost $66,340, but it can be as high as $72,800 for a master’s degree in arts or as low as $55,200 for a master’s in education degree.
Note, too, that you may be able to save on certain expenses, including on-campus fees, transportation costs, and room and board, as well as incidental expenses associated with being an on-campus student. You may also be able to save on the costs of the dissertation and internship if you choose a program without these requirements.
If one of your concerns about getting an easy online master’s degree is the possible negative views of prospective employers, you shouldn’t be! Most employers have favorable views of online degrees, including at the master’s levels, partly because many well-known universities, even the Ivy League universities and Public Ivies, offer them. Colleges and universities have also made significant improvements in their online curriculum, delivery models, and graduate outcomes, thus increasing acceptability.
Just be sure to earn your master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution, preferably if the program itself has programmatic accreditation. You must be extra-vigilant about accreditation if you’re considering a lesser-known school since employers will likely ask about the school and its program. You may also want to reconsider a for-profit online degree program due to the stigma still attached to them, partly because of the widespread criticisms of their quality of education and other issues.
A few tips about discussing your online master’s degree program with prospective employers:
- Be honest about your degree, especially when asked for details. You will likely be asked for reasons why you chose the online option. You must give your reasons but keep it brief and on point.
- Emphasize your time management skills, determination to earn the degree, and other positive lessons learned during your studies. Tell an anecdote highlighting your communication and collaboration skills, even your ability to work under pressure.