With so many options at your disposal as to which direction you should take your career, it is often unclear whether pursuing your higher education and a master’s degree is necessary or not. Not only that, but once you decide to actually invest in a master’s degree, you have the added uncertainty of whether attending a traditional brick and mortar public university, or private university will be the best choice for you. Lastly, ask yourself which online master’s program is the right one and which one will benefit you the most when coming out of school.

Online education is definitely the wave of the future, and with over 7 million students enrolled online, it is slated for continued and exponential growth as the dragging economy furthers it’s impact on educational spending and the job market competition escalates. Investing in a master’s degree for your future is a sound choice and will give you a competitive edge in your chosen career. It has been estimated that a master’s degree graduate earns a significantly higher income over the course of their working lives than those with only high school diplomas or bachelor’s degrees.

According to an article by US News, the top five online master’s degrees are:

1.) Business
2.) Education
3.) Nursing
4.) Engineering
5.) Computer Information Technology

With engineering as the highest income generating career out of the five options and business and computer information technology close behind. The reason these are listed as the top five online masters degrees in the country is that they are also the most rapidly expanding industries.

Despite the ongoing economic recession, all five of these industries are on the rise and with that growth, the top five master’s degrees in these respective fields offer students the greatest chance at collecting valuable skills and experience that will translate to an immediate job post-graduation. Not to mention these students will usually acquire a successful career with generous income potential.

Choosing to explore online education options and committing to one of the top 5 master’s degrees will ensure that you obtain necessary skills to support you in your career while at the same time, not breaking your bank. One of the most valuable returns on your online education investment is the significantly lower cost compared to pursuing your master’s degree from a traditional private or public institution. Not having to shoulder expenses like paying teacher salaries, utilities, repairs and maintenance on a building are all perks. Not to mention the cost of daily parking and gas for a commute and childcare will ease your financial burden and make an investment into your education.

The benefits of choosing one of the top 5 online masters programs far outweigh those of traditional master’s programs obtained while attending regular institutions. Lastly, with more colleges and universities expanding their catalog of online offerings, there is certainly a desireable option available to you as you explore the extensive selection of already existing programs.