It takes about 2-3 additional years of study after completing an undergraduate degree to earn a master’s degree. Most students earning master’s degrees in American universities are either enrolled in a master’s of science or arts degree. Earning a master’s degree can be a great investment since the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has reported that workers possessing master’s degrees were paid, on average, $200 more each week than their colleagues holding bachelor’s degrees.
Students wanting to earn a master’s degree must select a specific subject to study for a period of 1-3 years. Earning a master’s degree can improve one’s chances of being promoted and obtaining a high paying entry-level job. It’s also a great achievement since under 5 percent of people living in the United States ever acquire a master’s degree.
The curriculum in a master’s degree program is usually more difficult than a bachelor’s program. Graduate school is often very competitive since students earning master’s and doctorate degrees are usually very driven. Undisciplined students often struggle in graduate school. Aside from obtaining more skills and knowledge, students earning master’s degrees usually have excellent networking opportunities while they complete their graduate study. These opportunities are also available to students earning master’s degrees online.
Many students earning master’s degrees are required to conduct original research and present their findings in a thesis. Depending on the program, there are usually numerous internship opportunities available for graduate students.
Many people immediately qualify for jobs after graduating from a master’s program. However, depending on the profession, some graduates are required to complete additional schooling, pass a test, or complete an internship. For example, a person graduating with an M.A. in Sociology is often required to earn a PhD before he or she can teach at a university.
Degrees where no further education or training is required to practice professionally are known as terminal degrees. For example, graduates of master’s of fine arts (MFA) programs do not need to earn additional degrees or certificates to work as writers or artists.
Traditional master’s programs where students attend classes on a campus are usually 30 credits long. Depending on how quickly a student wants to graduate, this can take between 3-4 semesters. Certain programs, especially ones preparing students to enter their selected professions immediately after graduation, are 60 credits long.
About 30 percent of people pursuing master’s degrees are enrolled in non-education programs. The remainder of master’s students are enrolled in the following types of programs:
- Business (MBA; M.S. in Business)
About 20 percent of students enrolled in master’s programs are working towards master’s of business administration degrees (MBA). Students have the option of earning a general MBA or specializing in such fields as e-commerce, international business, and finance. Many of these MBA specialization programs can be completed online. This is especially advantageous for people currently working in related industries since many working professionals earn MBAs after gaining some work experience. Those interested in conducting research usually earn M.S. in business degrees.
- Education (MEd; MAT; MSEd)
Nearly 30 percent of people enrolled in master’s programs earn education related degrees. Those enrolled in master’s of education programs will receive a broad education. However, there are many programs offering specializations. For example, programs are available where students can specialize in e-learning or company training. Individuals interested in teaching at various levels can earn a master’s of arts in teaching (MAT) degree. Students earning MATs are often required to complete student teaching assignments or other teaching internships. Those interested in being employed as school administrators should earn the MSEd degree. Many people who’ve taught for years earn this degree.
- Other Master’s Degrees (MSW; MLS; MPH)
About 25 percent of master’s students are enrolled in library science (MLS) or social work (MSW) programs. Those interested in working in the public health sector can enhance their earning potential and job opportunities by obtaining a master’s of public health (MPH) degree. Those wanting to contribute to the development of public health policy often earn MPHs.
Online Graduate School: Some Advantages
Those pursuing technology careers can greatly benefit from earning a master’s degree online. This is especially true for people interested in jobs where technology is used to conduct a large proportion of commerce and train employees.
In addition to the computer skills developed through online study, students can complete classes anywhere and anytime, and they do not have to wait for a new semester to begin a program. Online study is especially appealing to individuals with family and work responsibilities. However, those considering obtaining a degree online should be aware that many programs are designed to be completed in a short amount of time.
Online Masters Degrees Available
To learn more about specific masters degree program select a degree category below.
Featured Schools that Offer Master Degrees
|Grand Canyon University (GCU) With a spotlight on intellectual creativity and innovation for the 21stcentury, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at GCU provides a job focused education. It blends the study of traditional humanities in a modern context. Through academic inquiry and beyond the box thinking, the college advances our society and its accomplishments. Learn More >|
|Kaplan University Kaplan University's campus locations provide the facilities, faculty, staff and career programs to help you achieve your personal goals. You can learn from professionals specializing in identifying career opportunities and preparing students for a brighter future. Learn More >|
|University of the Rockies University of the Rockies provides high-quality, accessible learning opportunities globally for diverse groups of individuals seeking preparation for life goals, professional practice, service, and distinguished leadership. Learn More >|
|Northcentral University Northcentral University (NCU) was founded to provide accessible, high-quality, online graduate degrees to working professionals. As a regionally accredited, online university, NCU serves students worldwide, focusing on Doctoral and Master's degree programs in the Schools of Business and Technology Management, Education, Psychology, and Marriage and Family Sciences. Learn More >|
|Colorado Technical University (CTU) A degree from Colorado Technical University can connect you to what matters most - a powerful professional network, real-world faculty and accessible, innovative technology. So once you earn your degree, you can hit the ground sprinting. Learn More >|