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The role of online degree programmes

Online Manipal Editorial Team | June 06, 2022

An online degree programme is beneficial even for students from different backgrounds and those unable to attend in-person classes. Students get the flexibility to balance their workload with studying and complete these programmes at their own pace. In India, online degree programmes provide multiple pathways for specialisations and access to specialised courses that may not be available through regular institutions. The online education market is forecasted to be worth USD 312 billion in 2026. These numbers are expected to increase as online degree programmes are available to everyone and more people sign up for the courses.

What is an online degree?

An online degree is an academic qualification with classes held online and accredited by a university or educational institution. Their entire study material is available online, and they hold online proctored exams for their students. Therefore, as the name suggests, these courses are entirely online from enrollment to graduation. 

Though these courses started focusing on working professionals who wanted to take up higher education without resigning from their jobs, they are now available for everyone. The best part is it makes education accessible to everyone, and students can study at their own pace. There is a huge cost-savings advantage, and students can advance their careers or get promoted to new job roles without needing to compromise on their priorities for putting in study time. 

The Government of India did not allow online degree programmes before, but the rules and regulations have changed recently. All these degree programmes are now entitled  by the University Grants Commission (UGC), with the rank requirement being A by the NAAC. Only high-quality and recognised institutes can offer these programmes, and the key reason for these programmes is to avail opportunity to more students and thus improve the abysmal gross enrolment ratio (GER) in higher education in India.

Online degrees are valid in India, and the UGC determines the standards, regulations, and examinations of all these courses throughout the nation. UGC approval is automatically granted to universities who are in top-100 in the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) for two consecutive years.

Online learning in India in numbers

India has an internet user base of over 825 million, and the online education market is expected to grow to USD 400 billion by 2026. Advancements in AI, automation, and Machine Learning are leading to growing adoption rates. And curricula are moving from standardised to more personalised approaches. Artificial Intelligence and Augmented Reality work together to gamify content, thus providing new-age learning experiences. Learners can immerse themselves in virtual worlds, attend online classes, and get hands-on experience.

Is an online degree programme right for you?

Online degrees mean studying courses online and taking classes through a virtual platform. Students meet up with their professors through video conferences, live-sessions and record lectures for future reference. One of the top reasons students do better with online degrees is that they can choose to study at their convenience. It fits their schedules, and the flexibility is a great advantage.

Learners who are self-driven and motivated do well with these programmes as well. It takes discipline to finish the coursework, and many universities make it challenging to complete them. Whether or not an online degree is right for you depends on your personality and learning goals. If you have strong time management skills and are ready for commitment, it is one of the best career choices. Online degrees make education more affordable for students and bridge learning gaps. 

When the COVID-19 pandemic started, it became impossible for students to attend universities in person and many educational institutions shut down. Today, many universities offer international education through online degrees, and the syllabus for these programmes provides practical solutions for gaining the required work experience. Thanks to the universities’ affiliations and accreditations for these programmes, there are also networking opportunities like never before.

Benefits of pursuing online degree programmes

Benefits of pursuing online degree programmes

Following are the benefits of pursuing online degree programmes:

  • Advance your career – You can enjoy many networking opportunities that will help you advance your career. Online degrees aid professionals in upskilling, reskilling, and getting promoted in their jobs. It is also ideal for professionals who want a smooth career change without sacrificing their existing responsibilities.
  • Broader range of courses –  Students who study on local campuses are limited by options, and those pursuing online degrees enjoy a broader range of courses. Many universities are offering online classes, and the best part is that professionals can meet mentors worldwide without leaving their homes.
  • Gain work experience indirectly – One of the benefits of doing an online degree is working on hands-on projects. This indirectly gives you the necessary work experience, so you have no trouble adapting when you land a job. According to an Emeritus 2021 Global Career Impact Survey, over 78% of applicants said their coursework was directly applicable to their current employment.
  • Enjoy free time – Attending classes on campus requires following a fixed schedule, and this is where an online degree differs. You can study at your own pace and time, and if you’re a quick learner, you get more free time! There is no meeting up with peers offline or spending time waiting for teachers to show up. You do the coursework, attend online lectures, pass exams, and that’s it!
  • Global accreditation – Online degrees are nationally accredited and recognised by international employers and universities. Getting professionally certified helps aspirants land their dream jobs, and these programmes are constantly updating coursework to match the latest industry trends.

What are the online programmes available in India?

Online degree courses in India pave the path to success for students, and there are tons of ways they engage and keep them interested. Technological innovation has made the process much easier, and students can search for specialised programmes or work with an education counsellor.

Some of the most popular online degree programmes available in India are:

  • Online MBA (Master of Business Administration) – A Master of Business Administration degree is a 24-month degree that imparts learners a high-quality business education. It has four semesters, and learners can appear for the proctored online exams from the comfort of their homes. Students can choose their specialisation with an Online MBA since institutions are offering several elective courses and specialisations. 
  • Online MCA (Master of Computer Applications) – A Master of Computer Application degree imbues technical skills in students and prepares them for innovative careers in the field of Computer Science. Learners get well-versed in designing computer applications and software programmes and work with operating systems. The typical duration of this course is two years, and it is accredited by various bodies such as the University Grants Commission (UGC), All India Council for Technical Education, etc. 
  • Online BBA (Bachelor of Business Administration) – A Bachelor of Business Administration is an undergraduate degree course open to students who have cleared Class 12. It provides them with a proper understanding of management, leadership skills, and entrepreneurship concepts. 
  • Online B.Com (Bachelor of Commerce) – A Bachelor of Commerce is a three-year undergraduate degree course accredited by the Universities Grants Commission (UGC). It is one of the most popular courses in India, and students get to pick their electives in some semesters. Some of the subjects included in the curriculum are financial accounting, economics, business laws, taxation, auditing, and more. Students who graduate with a B.com degree can pursue careers in advertising, marketing, banking, insurance, and finance. 
  • Online BCA (Bachelor’s in Computer Applications) – A Bachelor’s in Computer Applications is a full-time undergraduate degree programme. It runs for 36 months, and learners get acquainted with various topics such as  JAVA Programming, Computer Networks, Database Management Systems, C Programming, Operating Systems, etc. BCA students also learn foundational mathematics, hardware labs, multimedia application systems, user-interface design, and client-server computing.
  • Online M.Com (Master of Commerce) – A Master of Commerce has various subjects such as accounting for managers, corporate tax planning, e-commerce, financial management, and the economics of global trade. It prepares students for managerial positions in companies and teaches them how to work in business environments. Job opportunities after an M.Com degree include being able to work in finance sectors, consulting jobs, Indian Statistical Services, customs departments, and more. The duration of the M.Com degree at Online Manipal is 24 months.
  • Online M.Sc (Master of Science) – A Master of Science is a postgraduate degree that focuses on different fields of specialisation such as physical science, mathematics, social/behavioural sciences, medicine, and nursing. M.Sc. degrees are specialised and range from Physics, Chemistry, and Biology to Business Analytics, Artificial Intelligence, and Data Science. Most MSc programmes have a capstone research project and require students to study business functions such as marketing, finance, and human resource management. To get admission into these degrees, a candidate must hold a bachelor’s from an accredited college or university and pass common entrance exams such as the GRE or GMAT.

New-age degree courses

New online degree programmes adapt to the latest industry trends and give learners practical and theoretical experience in their chosen subjects. It expands on their job opportunities, giving them the flexibility to dictate their learning schedules and pursue the best learning experiences.

Some online degree programmes that are new age and trending all over the globe are:

  • Data Science

Data Science programmes feature a bachelor’s or master’s degree, where learners study computer science and mathematics and tackle problems related to unstructured data, analytics, and other multi-faceted data-driven issues. There are many exciting career opportunities, and data scientists get equipped with in-demand skill sets such as deep learning, Artificial Intelligence (AI), neural nets, machine learning, and predictive analytics. 

  • Risk Management

Online master’s degree programmes in risk management prepare students for every stage of risk assessment and mitigation and teach them how to manage risk for clients. Risk management degrees help students transition into careers related to insurance, banking, financial analytics, healthcare, and other technology-oriented industry verticals. Every company faces cyber or business threats and needs to have a strong risk management policy. These professionals work on that and enjoy solving various real-world case scenarios.

  • Information Security

An information security degree covers cyber forensics, security architecture models and analysis, computer network defence, network security engineering, and vulnerability assessments. Students who want to enter the field of cybersecurity can study information security in universities, build strong portfolios, and accumulate the required project experience.

  • Business Analytics

Business analytics combines business science, management, and computer applications to make practical and data-driven business decisions for companies. It uses applied statistics to extract insights from big data and draw conclusions by answering various questions related to different situations. Business analytics programmes, such as MBA in Analytics & Data Science, are also considered some of the best online degree programmes because of the lucrative career opportunities.

  • Digital Marketing

A digital marketing degree like an MBA in Marketing prepares students for creative careers in digital marketing, graphic design, interactive visual arts, and e-commerce. Digital marketing graduates are responsible for helping brands scale up their online presence, enhance customer acquisition, and build consumer loyalty. They design interactive user experiences online and help generate more leads to funnel conversions, thus leading to more sales.

  • IT & FinTech

IT & FinTech degrees prepare students to work through disciplines such as financial services, business delivery channels, product and service development, etc. These degrees are diverse and cater to different industries, often integrating multiple forms of technology and business practices. Some examples of IT & FinTech degrees are MSc in Computer Science, MCA, Masters in FinTech and Business Analytics, MBA in IT & FinTech, and MSc in Finance.

How will I attend online classes?

Online classes feature a mix of web recordings and live lectures. Students have to attend the live sessions and work through their coursework material. The structure of an online classroom will differ depending on the degree you apply to, and students have to log in to the learning management system (LMS), which is a platform where these classes are conducted. Most online classes have self-paced sessions, but students will be informed about upcoming schedules for the live lectures. There are deadlines, weekly accountability meetings, and career consultation sessions for students. Team building activities are included with capstone projects, and learners will have to attend networking opportunities online along with any career guidance or counselling sessions.

Available resources for online learning

Manipal University Jaipur (MUJ) and Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE), through Online Manipal, provide a holistic learning experience where students can engage, interact, and study online by engaging in more meaningful learning experiences. They provide access to interactive e-tutorial videos and cutting-edge personalised training, and students get access to an extensive library that offers multiple educational resources. There is a discussion forum where they can talk about concepts, create informational threads, and the helpdesk is open 24/7 to answer any questions.

Students also get immersive industry exposure through the Industry Expert Connect programme and can attend online events to broaden their perspective on real-world scenarios. There are also webinars, bite-sized quizzes, reading materials, and exclusive Coursera material provided to students as part of additional learning resources.

How do you assess my learning progress?

Online Manipal assesses students’ learning progress by conducting regular quizzes, career counselling, and providing outcome-oriented learning. There are semester-wise proctored online exams which students need to give to clear modules. Mentors give one-on-one coaching online, which helps figure out students’ weaker areas and addresses them accordingly. 

Join Online Manipal for in-demand online degree courses

Online Manipal is currently hosting online degree courses from the Institute Eminence Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE) and the prestigious Manipal University Jaipur (MUJ). Both institutions are globally acclaimed and has accreditations and recognitions from various national and international bodies. Currently, MAHE offers online M.Sc. in Business Analytics and M.Sc. in Data Science through Online Manipal. Soon it is going to offer more courses. A NAAC A+ accredited institution, MUJ provides cutting-edge online degree programmes in Business Administrations, Commerce, Computer Applications, and Journalism and Mass Communications. Students get an empowered education, and there are many additional benefits to studying with us online such as an integrated LMS, industry webinars, Google Cloud Computing Foundations, and access to exclusive Coursera content for free.

Conclusion

The role of online degree programmes cannot be understated, as more learners are beginning to apply for jobs with these online degrees. An online degree gives a significant advantage over regular degrees because of the flexibility and versatility, apart from the other benefits listed above. If you aim to land the best jobs in the industry, whatever your niche, Online Manipal  can help. Browse through the different offerings available and apply to the programme of your choice today.

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