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Top Career & Job Opportunities Online with a Master's Degree

Many people who enter the work force with a Bachelors Degree will hit a glass ceiling, sooner or later. Management jobs are increasingly being filled with Masters Degree graduates. Then there are the technical specialties in many fields that require a couple of years of additional education and offer premium wages. The list below describes five of the top opportunities for career advancement with the addition of a Masters Degree, and the various positions from which you can make that jump.

Health Administration According to the U.S. Department of Labor, "Future medical and health services managers must be prepared to deal with the integration of healthcare delivery systems, technological innovations, an increasingly complex regulatory environment, restructuring of work, and an increased focus on preventive care." That's a job description for a business manager, not a medical expert and the graduate programs will accept a variety of undergraduate degrees.

The need for these positions is projected to grow rapidly, and a masters degree in public health care, business management, public administration or even operations management may qualify you for a job. The Commission on Management of Health Care Accreditation currently lists just 72 accredited universities offering Masters Degrees in Health Care Management. However there are dozens of MBA programs with health care management as a concentration. An example of a distance learning option is Boston University's online Masters in Health Communication.

Operations Management This is a general term for professionals in all manner of businesses - manufacturing, financial services, distribution and sales, you name it - and it is a position that many larger firms are increasingly looking to fill with a manager who understands business infrastructure, personnel management, project management and budgets. All of those roles point to a Masters in Business Administration. Today there are thousands of MBA programs that provide concentration in all of these disciplines as well as overall Operations Management. You can move from a mid-level supervisor to a management career by pursuing an MBA.

Thousands of schools are now offering MBA programs that are accessible to working people. The Ohio State MBA for Working Professionals program is an example. The University of Maryland has an online MBA dual degree program that includes International Management and in Procurement & Contract Management. Executive MBA programs can take as little as twelve months; the Executive MBA Council maintains a list of member schools that is extensive.

Nursing The projected need for an additional half million nurses over the next decade includes thousands who are qualified for advance practice. The need for highly trained nursing personnel is evident in the number of RN to MSN programs offered in U.S. Universities. There are close to 3,000 different programs offered by almost 500 colleges and universities. In some instances, it's your RN status rather than a Bachelor's Degree that qualifies you for a Masters in Nursing Program.

State Universities often have comprehensive advance practice nursing programs. The San Diego State School of Nursing offers a Masters in Nurse Midwifery, Masters in Clinical Nurse Specialist, Masters in Women's Health Nurse Practitioner and several others. Cal State Dominguez Hills has an online Masters in Nursing track. The University of Massachusetts Online offers a Masters of Science in Clinical Nurse Leadership

Accounting Accounting graduates are among the most sought after students upon completion of their undergraduate studies. A Bachelors Degree in accounting can prepare you for an excellent career as a skilled manager of general ledgers, budgets and finance reports - but it can't prepare you for the development of such documents, which are the principal financial tools used in business management. Most CPA programs are de facto Masters Degree programs today, and CPA certification can put you in position to function as a controller in a small business or as a reliable senior member of the finance department in a corporation.

You can move into management ranks with a Masters Degree in Accounting and Financial Management offered by the University of Maryland Online. Finance experts today are participants in the decision making process in many corporations; the Florida State University Business School has an entire department dedicated to Risk Management, Insurance and Business Law. Opportunities to assist in capital management will come your way if you have credentials like the Masters in Accounting developed by the University of Michigan School of Business.

Law Enforcement The creation of the Department of Homeland Security has forever changed the face of law enforcement in this country, particularly at the federal level. The events of 9/11 resulted in both new and realigned security agencies in the federal government and new careers in emergency management, immigration and domestic security at the state and local level.

Perhaps the premier program for a Masters in Homeland Security is offered by the Center for Homeland Defense and Security, a joint effort operated by the Naval Postgraduate School and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. San Diego State University offers a Master of Science in Homeland Security program, citing the San Diego/Tijuana border as a "living laboratory" for research and learning purposes. Farleigh Dickenson University has a Masters in Homeland Security program designed for adult students that want to transition from traditional law enforcement roles into local or regional homeland security management positions. FEMA has a comprehensive list of schools offering Masters Degrees and certificates in emergency management, preparedness, counterterrorism and bioterrorism degrees.

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            • Full Sail’s curriculum combines elements of creativity, art, business and life skills, technical prowess, and academic achievement.
            • Full Sail offers accelerated programs, so a degree that would normally take four years takes 24 months on average.
            • Students work with industry-standard tools and technologies, allowing them to gain practical knowledge and real-world experience.
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            • Ranked 33rd among the Best Grad Schools for Social Work in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • Founded in 1904 as the nation’s first institute of higher learning to offer training for clinical social workers.
            • Provides a rigorous education, including a nationally accredited Master of Social Work (MSW) Program and PhD in Social Work.  
            • Offers inventive programs with hands-on experience.  
            • Incorporates social justice values and multicultural perspectives into curriculum. 
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            • Communications@Simmons prepares students to become leaders who achieve their organizational, professional, and personal goals through a strategic integration of communications theory and practice.
            • The rigorous, practice-based curriculum ensures that students develop the key skills and competencies necessary to successfully navigate the shifting landscape of the digital world.
            • Simmons’ faculties are scholars and practitioners who provide individualized attention to students, guiding their professional and personal development through hands-on engagement.
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            • Ranked among the Best National Universities in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • Ranked 8th among the Best Online Graduate Education Programs in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • A private, co-ed college founded in 1821 and located in downtown Washington, D.C.
            • Its student-faculty ratio is 13:1, and 55.1% of classes have fewer than 20 students.
            • Has distinguished alumni including Senator Harry Reid, former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, and actress Courtney Cox.
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            • Ranked #12 in the 2015 Best Graduate Schools in Social Work by U.S. News & World Report.
            • Offers more specialization opportunities than any other social work program, with 10 concentrations and sub-concentrations and 8 dual-degree programs.
            • The first elite researching university to offer a Master of Social Work degree online.
            • Has 4,000 field internship opportunities that give students real-world experience.
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            • Master of Science in Communications offered online through Syracuse University’s world-renowned Newhouse School of Public Communications.
            • Ranked among the Best Global Universities in 2016 by U.S. News & World Report.
            • Specializations include Advertising, Public Relations, and Journalism Innovation.
            • Coursework provides students with communication strategies for today’s changing media landscape.
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            Nursing@Simmons, the innovative, online nursing degree program from Simmons School of Nursing and Health Sciences prepares Registered Nurses for the next stage of their careers.

            You need to have a Bachelor’s degree and RN license to be qualified for this school.

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            • Founded over 60 years ago on the principles of inclusion and social justice.
            • Offers credit for previous life and work experience.
            • Equipped with over 17,000 titles in their library.
            • Has 3 semesters and 6 start dates a year.
            • Located in Pasadena, CA, with instructional sites in Sacramento, Salinas, Santa Cruz, and Visalia as well as online options.
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
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            • A private, Christian, liberal arts university founded in 1905 and open to students of any faith.
            • Has an average class size of 20 students.
            • 97% of students receive financial aid, with the average freshman receiving $10,000.
            • Offers over 25 undergraduate degree programs.
            • Has approximately 5,000 students; 60% female and 40% male.
            • Accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
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            • A private university founded in 1939.  
            • Part of an international network of Assemblies of God colleges and universities.
            • Offers bachelor’s programs that give students the option to take one 7-week course at a time and complete their degree in as few as 36 months.
            • Provides 18 month programs for a master of arts in organizational leadership, digital media, and more.
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