Online was the only way these grads could get their master’s degrees

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Rohit Anand and Stephanie Paluda believed the best way for them to advance their careers was to get a master’s degree. They both have demanding full-time jobs, which precluded them from going to graduate school through a traditional, in-residence program.

Instead, Anand and Paluda chose to get their graduate education online, through Penn State World Campus.

On Saturday, Aug. 12, they will realize their goal when they graduate during the University’s summer commencement ceremony. Anand and Paluda are among the more than 900 Penn State World Campus students who will graduate.

“I believe that continuing your education is the only way to remain relevant in your career,” said Anand. “Studying online gave me that flexibility.”

Anand and Paluda also will have the opportunity to share their stories, as they were selected to speak at the Penn State World Campus graduation celebration, which will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 11. Their speeches will be streamed live on Facebook for those who cannot attend the event.

When Anand enrolled in the master of professional studies in enterprise architecture in 2014, he traveled frequently for his job working in IT for a national tech company. He said an online degree program was the most convenient for him, as he said he often completed his assignments in hotels and in airports. Now a systems analyst in the IT division of a Minnesota-based health care company, he does not travel for his job, but the flexibility of an online program still is important because he sometimes works 10- or 12-hour days.

Anand chose the field of enterprise architecture to help bridge his background in software engineering with his desire to know more about the operational side of the business.

He enjoyed the experience so much that he’s going to do it all again. After he graduates on Saturday, he will start working toward another master’s degree through Penn State World Campus, in business administration, on Monday, Aug. 14, with a one-week residency at the University Park campus.

Paluda has spent the past two years completing the master of business administration online while working in corporate communications and government affairs for a natural gas company in the Pittsburgh area. She said going to school online was the only option for her, because she sometimes has to work nights and weekends.

The coursework was rigorous and pushed her outside her comfort zone, she said, but it motivated her to continue.

“The program has reinforced my resilience, reminding me constantly to keep going,” she said. “It gave me the hard skills I needed to advance and feel comfortable and confident working and excelling in a large firm.”

Visit the Penn State World Campus website for more information about learning online.

Media Contacts: 

Mike Dawson

Work Phone: 
814-865-5818

408 The 329 Building, University Park, PA 16802

Last Updated September 05, 2017