Whether you are progressing your career or broadening your skillset, the reasons for studying an online MSc are often very clear. It is crucial to select the right online degree for you, as this choice highly influences your future. Here we discuss ways to narrow down your choice of MSc, particularly if you have a business, science, technology, economics or mathematical background. In many cases, the core skills of these disciplines cross over, unlocking a wide range of rewarding careers, from IT to banking.
Navigating the crossroads
Because so much rests on your chosen postgraduate route, it pays to consider your options carefully. Personal preference plays a role, but your choice may also be limited by your previous qualifications, your work experience and your particular background. To help focus your decision, these are some of the questions to ask yourself:
1. What is your primary interest?
Are you into computing and data, or do economics and finance excite you more? Maybe you have a passion for business and management? It is important to follow a course of study you’re interested in, since it makes it far easier to maintain your commitment over time.
2. What are your career goals?
Do you want to become a leader in your field, or just gain the expertise you need to perform your current role better? Consider the scope for development in your chosen course, as well as looking at the opportunities available for the line of work you wish to pursue.
3. Do you have other commitments?
Your location, current job and family commitments all have a bearing on the type and length of course you can enrol in. By giving you the flexibility to choose when and where you study, online university courses mean you can study without completely changing your lifestyle.
4. Do you have a bachelors degree?
To enrol in an online MSc, you usually need a bachelors degree or equivalent, commonly in a related discipline. Some universities also consider students with relevant work experience or other professional qualifications.
5. Were your previous studies in a quantitative field?
Some courses require a deeper understanding of quantitative factors than others, so it is worth looking into the individual course requirements. For example, to be considered for an Applied Economics online MSc at the University of Bath, you need a degree in a quantitative field, such as mathematics. However, you need no such background to apply for our Entrepreneurship Management and Innovation online MSc.
6. How competent are you in programming?
To enrol in many computer-focused postgraduate degrees requires a high level of programming knowledge. At The University of Bath, for instance, some knowledge of programming is recommended before applying for our AI course, and programming ability is required for Business Analytics. Unlike many other universities, no prior experience of programming is necessary to study our Computer Science online MSc.
Choose your path
Choosing the right path can be challenging, especially where the fields of business, finance and digital innovation overlap. This is why we offer a portfolio of different branches of online postgraduate study for students to choose from. These are as follows:
- Applied Economics (Banking and Financial Markets) online MSc equips students with the practical tools to apply real-world economics in a number of fields.
- Artificial Intelligence online MSc explores the applications and implications of AI in the real world, from the technical to the ethical.
- Business Analytics online MSc seeks to harness the power of big data to tackle today’s biggest business challenges.
- Computer Science online MSc helps students develop transferable computational skills necessary for a career in this ever-growing field.
- Entrepreneurship Management and Innovation online MSc equips students with the entrepreneurial mindset and management skills to drive innovation in a family business, corporation or start-up.
Through case studies, teaching and coursework, each of these courses is grounded in real-world experiences, giving professionals the best opportunity to specialise in transformative and future-focused career environments.
After following your chosen pathway through to graduation, many students find success, thanks to the growing interest from employers in these fields. But, one person’s criteria for success may not be the same as another. It comes down to preference, ambition and lifestyle choice, but also the attributes of the university running the course. For example, lecturer expertise, the real-world nature of the research, and the mix of global students are just some of the reasons for choosing one university’s course over another.
For Jess Cress, Computer Science online MSc student at the University of Bath, real-world experience was crucial: “I chose the University of Bath because they are part of the Institute of Coding, which aims to increase the number of people who can work in technology. It’s important to me to study at a university that understands the real-world impact of technology.”
Ané Craig, Applied Economics (Banking and Financial Markets) online MSc student, values the experience of studying online alongside an international cohort: “The online environment has allowed me to meet and work with students from various backgrounds, in different fields of employment, from all over the world. Building these connections has been one of the best parts of the online experience so far.”
Looking to the future
The opportunities for further study and subsequent career development are huge. With more and more industries seeking specialists in business, technology and economics, this can only grow. So you can enjoy the process of choosing your path, whilst knowing that whatever route you select has the potential to unlock future career success.