Many people are surprised to learn that my master’s program is online, not because an online program seems odd, but because I live less than 5 minutes from the beautiful Purdue University campus and its award-winning communications program.
So why not take courses on campus? Well, going back to school was a big decision for me, and my decision to take online classes was two-fold.
Why the Online Program Made Sense for Me
I wanted to further my education, but quitting my job wasn’t an option. My husband was already working towards a PhD, and financially it was unrealistic for both of us to physically be in school at the same time.
2. Professional Development
I had no desire to write a thesis, or continue onto a PhD program. I wanted to enhance my skills in the field of communication and immediately apply my education into my daily business practices. That is exactly what the online program is designed to do.
While the format of an online education versus that of a campus program fit my situation perfectly, I had never taken an online course. If I’m being honest, I didn’t know if I would excel in an online environment. However, I did know that I would be working with high-quality Purdue faculty and that I wanted to strengthen and diversify my skills. I took a leap of faith and, ultimately, I love the convenient flexibility that online courses offer. I’m on my own timeline. I do things when my schedule allows. With a busy life, this is the optimal choice to advance my career and gain my MS in Communications Degree. There’s no better way.
Jamie Ingersoll is a student in Purdue’s online Master of Science in Communication degree program. The program can be completed in just 20 months and covers numerous topics critical for advancement in the communication industry, including crisis communication, social media engagement, focus group planning and implementation, survey design and survey analysis, public relations theory, professional writing, and communication ethics.
About the Author
Jamie Ingersoll graduated from the University of Utah in 2012 with a BA in Communications, with an emphasis in Strategic Communications. Throughout her time at the University of Utah, she learned about the non-profit sector through an internship at the Huntsman Cancer Foundation. Upon graduation she continued to work in non-profit as a Fundraising Coordinator, and eventually the Executive Director, for the Muscular Dystrophy Association of Utah. Shortly after relocating to Indiana and beginning a Masters in Communication at Purdue University, Jamie began working for Purdue’s Division of Summer Session as a Communication Specialist. After graduation with her master’s, Jamie hopes to work in higher education event management and donor relations.
*The views and opinions expressed are of the author and do not represent the Brian Lamb School of Communication.