Five Benefits of Completing Your MSA Online

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The practice of data analytics is one of the most significant contemporary trends in the world of business. A corollary of the digital age, analytics involves using various platforms to collect and then interpret business data to identify trends, make predictions, and develop tangible plans for growth, improvement and change. For instance, a marketing agency may collect customer data pertaining to purchasing habits and use the information to improve a new advertising strategy, or a bank may examine data revealing the demographics of first-time homebuyers.

If you are considering pursuing a career in data analytics, returning to school to pursue a Master of Science in Analytics could expand the number of career opportunities available to you. At Villanova University, the online MSA program will teach you a wide range of analytical practices, and allow you to become adept with some of the latest platforms used to scrutinize large amounts of data. The online course is taught by an interdisciplinary team of professors, with backgrounds in areas such as mathematics, information technology, business and statistics.

While you may be eager to return to school to study for an MSA, you may have other life commitments that also need to be balanced—a career, family, friends and so on. Given the flexibility of the online MSA program at Villanova University, achieving a healthy work-life-study balance is now easier than ever before. Still not sure if an online MSA degree program is the right move for you? Read on to learn more about the benefits of completing your master’s degree online.

1. More flexibility
Perhaps the most significant benefit of earning your MSA online is the flexibility the program affords. Once enrolled in the program, you will be expected to take one or two courses per term. Each semester is comprised of two terms. With a manageable workload and routine of your own choosing—there are no set seminars or lectures—you will find that you have the time and flexibility to create your own academic schedule. For example, if you work weekdays from nine to five, you can choose to study in the evenings and on weekends. If you are a busy parent, you will be able to fit your academic commitments around those important school recitals and parent-teacher meetings.

Furthermore, given that the classroom comes to you, you will find yourself saving valuable time. No spending hours stuck in traffic getting to campus or waiting for delayed public transportation. The time you save can be spent studying for that important test or adding last minute edits to a term paper.

2. Cost-effective
Many students find that studying online is a more cost-effective alternative to completing a degree at a physical campus. While you will still be responsible for tuition fees, you will likely save money in other ways, as the Open Education Database detailed. For example, you will not be faced with commuting expenses. The primary costs that you will be liable for are books and, of course, a reliable internet connection.

3. Improved written communication
Given that the vast majority of your communication as an online student will be conducted from a keyboard, you will likely observe a marked improvement in your written communication skills over the course of your study. This is because, as U.S. News & World Report explained, in discussion forums and email exchanges you will need to convey your arguments as clearly as possible while striking the appropriate tone. Given that in today’s digital world business communication is increasingly conducted online, this is an important and marketable skill to have.

4. An online community
One reservation you may have about enrolling in an online program is the lack of in-person interaction. While online students at Villanova University are welcome to attend important meetings and events on campus, you will likely spend the majority of your studies communicating with your peers and professors virtually. There are many benefits to a strong online community. For example, through an online discussion board, you will be able to post responses that are well thought-out and considerably more detailed. On the other hand, in-person class discussions can be brief, and the risk of tangents and interruptions is usually higher, precluding the possibility of articulating more nuanced ideas.

The exchange of detailed posts with your peers will strengthen your academic relationships and provide you with greater insight into your fellow students’ outlooks and interests. Furthermore, as U.S. News & World Report noted, if you are typically more reserved in a social setting and dislike speaking in group discussions, online forums will provide you an easier medium through which to make your voice heard.

5. Greater access to information
As an undergraduate, you may have attended lectures where you struggled to keep up, scribbling down notes and then forgetting crucial information later on. Studying for a degree online removes this barrier, as many lectures and tutorials are delivered through pre-recorded videos. As U.S. News & World Report noted, you will also have increased access to multimedia products such as webinars, infographics and other online content, all of which, the source elaborated, have been shown to improve memory and knowledge retention.

For more information about the online MSA program at Villanova University, review our admissions page.