In short, it’s a way to graduate faster. An online graduate degree program is considered accelerated if it offers year-round admission, course flexibility, set-your-own-pace options, and shorter than average semesters — usually between five and 10 weeks. Be ready, though — learning new skills and absorbing new knowledge in a shorter amount of time requires dedication and focus.
How do employers view fast online graduate business degrees?
Online and on-campus programs are of equal quality — even the diplomas read the same. The more important question for you to consider is not how you earn your degree, but where. Employers will be looking at the accreditation of the university you choose and how reputable the program is.
Details to carefully consider
You’ll want to start with reflecting on what skills are needed for the position you’re looking for. If you need assistance, our Recommendation Engine is a helpful resource to quickly determine where your gaps are and what programs can help bridge the path to your desired career. Once you know what you need to learn, here are some questions to help determine which fast-track degree to pursue:
How much time can be saved? Compare the program to a traditional 16-week-semester-based degree.
How soon can you start? Fast-track programs typically have year-round admission, and many allow students to set their own schedules.
What is the credit transfer policy? If you already have some college credits, you may be able to transfer them to a new program to shorten your time to graduation.
Is it cost-effective? Compare tuition costs between traditional in-person learning, full-length online programs, and fast-track programs.
Is the coursework relevant to your goals? Browse through the program’s course list to get a better understanding of how the program may benefit your career.
Pros and cons
Enrolling in a fast online business degree can provide you with many benefits:
Time savings: It’ll help speed up the time it takes to get to your goals.
Financial savings: Online programs in general tend to be more affordable because you don’t need to travel to and from a physical campus. Plus, you’re able to get back into the job market faster.
High-quality programs: No matter where you are, you can attend programs at prestigious universities across the country.
Widely accepted credibility: Fast online graduate degrees offer the same quality of education as traditionally paced programs.
Experienced faculty: Fast online degrees give you the opportunity to connect with faculty who are experts in their fields.
There can also be drawbacks:
An intense time commitment: Someone with other major responsibilities may lack the time and focus to commit to an accelerated program.
Fewer opportunities for one-on-one time with professors: Shorter semesters means less time is available to review materials with faculty.
Necessary sacrifices to social commitments: Fast-track programs require students to spend a significant number of hours per day on their studies.
A quick glance at important factors
Once you’ve created a list of programs to decide between, perhaps by using our intelligent comparison tool, consider the following:
Rankings: Review rankings from trusted sources such as U.S. News & World Report, The Princeton Review, Forbes, or Kiplinger
Accreditation: Credits from regionally accredited colleges are more likely to transfer to other institutions than credits from nationally accredited schools. Regional accreditation agencies include:
Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)
Southern Association of Colleges and School Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
New England Commission on Higher Education (NECHE)
Admission rates: Check out program admission rates to get a sense of what to expect from the application process
Well-known faculty: See if professors have established themselves outside of the classroom and hold prominent positions at top companies
Courses and skill development: Read the course catalog to ensure the program provides the knowledge and skills needed to further your career trajectory
Networking opportunities: Research what type of collaborative experiences are available; you may also want to look into what past graduates have gone on to do professionally
Accelerate your path
The high-energy, quickly paced schedule of a fast online graduate degree isn’t for the faint of heart. You must be ready for the intense commitment and be able to learn under pressure. You will increase your career scope in a shorter amount of time, but be sure this short period will benefit you in the long run.