Everything You Need to Know About Master’s Degree Programs
Once you’ve earned a bachelor’s degree, you might want to prove yourself as a true subject matter expert in your chosen field. The best way to do this is to earn a master’s degree. The first step in graduate studies and an increasingly common asset for working professionals, a master’s degree can help you earn a promotion and a higher salary.
A master’s degree program doesn’t have to be an extension of your undergraduate studies. Many programs simply require a bachelor’s degree in any subject. This is often true of Master of Business Administration, or MBA, programs. Having some foundational courses that align with any graduate program is a good idea, but it’s not always necessary.
One reason you might want to pursue a master’s degree is how much more common they’ve become in recent years. Even if your chosen career doesn’t require an advanced degree, you can give yourself a leg up on the job competition if you’ve proven your expertise in the field. Of course, there’s also the fact that those with master’s degrees earned a median salary of about $68,000 in 2017. The median salary for all professions stood at $37,690.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that jobs requiring a master’s degree will see growth of 17 percent between 2016 and 2026, which is more than twice the growth rate across all professions. There’s also been a huge increase in diversity of master’s degree programs, with over 500 distinct classifications as of 2017.
No matter what you choose to study, you can expect a master’s degree program to require somewhere between 36 and 54 credits. That shakes out to 12 to 18 courses, which typically take two to three years to complete. The timeline could be longer if you’re working full-time as you pursue your degree.
One of the best parts of the growing demand for master’s degrees is the fact that you’ll likely find an online option for your chosen subject. There’s been a related rise in the financial assistance available for advanced study as well. Special scholarships, state grants, and employer tuition assistance are all avenues you can explore.
When it comes to choosing the right master’s degree program, there are a few key things to consider. You need to decide if you can handle being a full-time student, or if a part-time program would be more your speed. Taking courses during the summer is another consideration, as doing so can help accelerate your degree timeline. You also need to ask yourself if an online program matches your needs or if you’ll function better in a traditional classroom setting.
Once you’ve answered these questions and found the right program to match your goals, a master’s degree will be in your sights. You’ll also be on your way to greater career heights.
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