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Completing A Business Master's Degree As An Adult Learner - Is It Right For Your Career?
By Margaret D Alessandro
No doubt about it, advanced degrees are necessary to get ahead in today's business world. If you want to be the man or woman in charge, if you want to be the go-to-person, if you're looking for that corner office, you're going to have to earn a master's degree in many professions.

But let's say you're not a kid anymore. Let's also say you're married, with a mortgage, with two kids. You have responsibilities. Obligations. Quitting your job to go back to school full time for one, two or more years is not an option.

Not to worry -- where there's a will for a master's degree, there's a distance learning way.

This article will answer the following questions:

-What kind of programs are out there for learning that will allow me to earn a master's degree or take leadership classes while still working full time?

-What do I need to consider as I decide whether or not to pursue an learning program?

Adult Education Programs, Thy Name is Flexibility

If you want to earn a master's degree in business in less than two years, professionals in higher education at colleges and universities nationwide have created education programs that will fit your needs. Whether the idea of going to class after a long day at work makes you cringe, or whether you can't wait to sit in a lecture hall after hours or on weekends, there is sure to be an education program to suit you.

Looking to complete your degree quickly? Check out the many accelerated masters' degrees out there. These programs usually meet once a week for a month or a few weeks while you study one course at a time, often on an accelerated schedule. You often can complete your master's degree -- whether you're studying in leadership classes or you're working toward a master's in information technology -- in two years or less.

Wanting to stay out of a classroom all together? Many institutions across the country now offer online learning programs, also know

as distance learning programs, where you attend lectures and participate in class discussions via your computer in the comfort of your own home. Some colleges even offer the best of both those options in a hybrid accelerated degree program comprised of distance and online learning.

You Make it Sound So Easy. Sign Me Up!

Hold on. Wait a minute. Take a deep, cleansing breath. Yes, the methods of learning and the schedules in these learning programs are flexible. But easy? Effortless? Not by a long shot. With books to read, research to study and papers to write, pursuing a master's degree will take you a minimum of 15-20 hours a week outside the classroom. Are you ready for that? Are you ready to cut down on your hobbies? Is your family on board to allow you the quiet time needed to study? Your free time will decrease substantially. With the exception of time you spend at your job, you'll spend more time pursuing education than you will spend doing anything else.

You will be making big sacrifices in time and money. But if you understand that going in, your pursuit of a master's degree will improve your life dramatically once you have that diploma in hand.

Duquesne University's School of Leadership and Professional Advancement offers online masters degree programs for learners, including the Masters of Leadership and Liberal Studies degree, the Masters in Leadership and Business Ethics degree, and the Masters in Leadership and Information Technology. For more information, or to enroll in an distance learning degree program, visit


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