The Pros and Cons of Distance Learning for a Masters Degree

Mar 16, 2016 by

Many people decide to continue their education after their first degree, whether they do this immediately after graduating, or years later when they have plenty of professional experience. For some, a Masters degree is essential for getting to where they want to in their careers. For others, it is a chance to switch to a new career later in life, perhaps when they feel that they have done all they wanted to do in their initial path, or after a break, for example for raising children.

The Rise in Distance Learning for Masters Degrees

Because the reasons why people pursue Masters degrees, and the circumstances they are in when they do it are so diverse, there are understandably a lot of different ways to study. It can be done on campus at a university, can be done at local community colleges, or can be done remotely by distance learning.

Distance learning has become increasingly more viable as a way to deliver education as the internet has become more advanced, allowing distance learners to communicate in real time with tutors, and to access a wealth of resources from videos of lectures to vast banks of data held by their chosen university. As a result of this, Find a Masters online degrees have become far more well respected, and offered by flagship universities all over the world, like the University of South Dakota Online. Of course, the experience the student has is vastly different when they study online to studying on campus, and what suits one person may be a negative for someone else. Here are some of the pros and cons of doing a Masters over the internet:


  • Studying online is much easier to fit around a job, so Masters students can carry on working and undertake their degrees in their free time.
  • Studying online doesn’t require the student to move to a new location, no matter which university they want to go with.
  • Studying online can be done at the student’s own pace.
  • Students with children appreciate the flexibility of online study, and don’t have to worry about childcare.
  • Online degrees can be more affordable, as there are no extra costs for things like travel and accommodation on top of tuition, materials and exams.
  • There is far more choice in terms of which educational establishment you study with.


  • Students who want a lot of support from tutors can find it hard to build the relationship they want remotely.
  • Fewer networking benefits than being on campus.
  • Less access to beneficial university facilities.
  • Students have to be more motivated and self disciplined without the local support network of a university.
  • Students can miss out on the social aspects of student life.

Most of the negatives tend to be social ones, and so for many Masters students who have already experienced university life this isn’t so much of a drawback. All in all, online degrees can be an excellent option that make Masters programs more accessible to a wide range of people who’d like to do them.

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