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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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