Here are the top 10 reasons why learning and development (L+D) professionals should earn a Master of Science in Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning (OPWL) or graduate certificates.
1. You learn from practitioner-oriented courses.
Our courses for learning and development professionals are application-oriented rather than just theory-focused, and you will be exposed to a variety of L+D topics including instructional design, human resource development, workforce development, consulting, e-learning, performance improvement and more.
2. You work with award-winning faculty and staff.
OPWL faculty and staff members have been recognized for their excellence in teaching, research and service with numerous awards and research grants — for example, Donald Winiecki’s Excellence in Inclusiveness Award, Lisa Giacumo’s Summer Fellowship at the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOMI) and Jo Ann Fenner’s David S Taylor Service to Students Award.
3. You develop your professional portfolio.
L+D professionals should have their own portfolio to demonstrate their competencies. During OPWL courses, you produce numerous real-world projects that you can present in your portfolio website.
Review samples of OPWL students’ portfolio websites and envision yourself having your own professional portfolio during your OPWL graduate study!
4. You can participate in a research and development lab.
The OPWL classroom is not the only place where you gain your professional knowledge and skills. OPWL faculty’s research and development labs allow you to work on research or client-based projects one-on-one with faculty or in a small team, often giving you an opportunity to make presentations in conferences or publications in journals.
5. You pay less than others.
With course fees of $530 per credit, you will earn your master’s degree in organizational performance and workplace learning at a total cost of $19,080.
Compare that to the average cost of a master’s degree that typically ranges between $30,000 and $120,000. In addition, L+D professionals with a master’s degree typically earn more and are better positioned for promotions.
6. You can apply for an assistantship or scholarship.
Each year, the OPWL program offers paid work opportunities that also provide professional development in areas of student interests. These opportunities include graduate assistantships, teaching or research assistantships as well as scholarships.
Meet our scholarship recipients.
7. You are exposed to job and internship opportunities.
Throughout the year, organizations reach out to us with job and internship opportunities that we share on our jobs board and work experience web pages. Individuals seeking to do a career pivot or to move up in an organization benefit greatly from these opportunities with many being hired before completing our master’s program or learning and development certificate courses.
8. You land a job or get promoted due to OPWL study.
We hear success stories from our students all the time. Even after just a couple of OPWL courses, students have landed jobs they were looking for. Some students successfully transitioned from other fields to the instructional design or learning and development fields.
9. You broaden your professional network.
Providing a community of practice is essential to an online program and that requires additional virtual spaces our students can participate in to stretch and grow. OPWL has an alumni club, a virtual professional organization chapter and a strong and active presence on LinkedIn where you can expand your professional network. Our graduates provide ground truth on their learning experience in these testimonials.
For insight into how our learning and development program helped these professionals accomplish their specific goals, see these testimonials of recent graduates.
10. You study in the College of Engineering.
OPWL’s program learning goals reflect our embrace and application of engineering principles to workplace learning, teamwork and organizational development. As a part of the College of Engineering, we are a culture that researches, builds and innovates in the learning and development space.