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reeeeeee01A Master’s degree represents a graduate-level education, typically requiring one to three years to complete after earning a Bachelor’s. There are different types of Master’s degrees, the most common including: Master’s of Science, Master’s of Arts, Master’s of Fine Arts, and Master’s of Business Administration.

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Berkeley Collegelearn-more-button1


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Baker Universitylearn-more-button1


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Argosy Universitylearn-more-button1


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Cardinal Stritch University learn-more-button1


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A Master’s degree is typically sought out by professionals who want to move further in their career by strengthening their skills and field-specific knowledge. In addition, a Master’s degree is an attractive option for those looking to change or expand upon their existing profession or line of work. While many students enroll in a Master’s degree program immediately after completing their undergraduate degree, others continue on to earn their Master’s years after obtaining their Bachelor’s.

Master’s degree programs generally include lectures, independent research, group seminars, and internships. With such a vast array of course components, an online Master’s degree program is a convenient option for those who may have difficulty completing their course requirements at a traditional school for any of several reasons. For such students, online learning is an excellent solution in that the degree involves considerably more opportunity for independent study, and can therefore be completed more easily from a distance.

The purpose of this guide is to aid those looking to earn a Master’s degree by detailing out the various program options, discussing how to use the degree, exploring how employers may analyze the degree’s value, and by explaining why a Master’s program could be an excellent decision for prospective students.

Master’s Degrees and Earnings Potential

Based on a 2014 survey conducted by the BLS, professionals in the fields of management, business, and financial dealings earned a median salary. For laborers in service and sales occupations, the average earned wages were approximately half of that of the management, business and financial professionals. The study revealed that workers 25 and over with no college education earned only around 60% of what was earned by those with a Bachelor’s degree, while those with a Master’s degree earned approximately 30% more than Bachelor degree holders.

Master’s Degree Basics

A Master’s degree is a graduate level of study usually requiring at least two years to complete, but can be done so in as little as one year through accelerated programs online. The most popular of the Master’s degree programs are those centered around Arts, Science, Business Administration, Education, and Social Work. Some Master’s degrees are designed as preparation for a Doctorate, while others are simply geared towards earning a deeper, more thorough education.

The curriculum of a Master’s degree program is more advanced and demanding than undergraduate level classes. It delves deeper into the coursework material. The table below will show the range of topics associated with Master’s degrees.

Course NameDescription
Topics in Social and Personal PsychologyStudents and faculty examine current research dealing with psychology both personal and social. Requires instructor’s consent.
Seminar in International FinanceDeals with international monetary systems, foreign trade, working capital, exchange rates, investments, and taxation management principles.
Advanced Topics in AnimationA look into the technology behind computer animation as far as kinematics, key framing, motion capture, etc. from theoretic and practical stand points. Laboratory component.
Air Pollution Suppression EngineeringEngineering studies of theory and design of pollution reduction technology as applied in fossil fuel power generation or industrial facilities.
Physical Therapy: Biomechanics of Abnormal MovementBiomechanics of Abnormal Movement: Examines the dynamics and concerns of abnormal joint movement with a look into creating ways of prevention. Laboratory/lecture.
Principles of Healthcare Human Resource ManagementAn in-depth study using software applications on theories of recruitment practices, employee retention, personal development, personal management, leadership, and productivity assessment.
Criminal Justice Seminar: Race, Gender, and Social ClassesRace, Gender, and Social Classes: A look into how matters of race, gender, class distinction, and so on, play a role in policy, law enforcement, and institutionalization.
Advanced Nursing: Neonatal ManagementAssesses, in a patient or family setting, the health risks of infants who are slightly to extremely ill.

When to Pursue a Master’s

While some choose to continue towards a Master’s degree immediately after completing their Bachelor’s degree, others enroll in a Master’s program after already having worked professionally. For the latter prospective students, the goal of earning a Master’s degree can be for any number of objectives, such as earning a promotion and/or a pay increase within their current line of work.

Another reason one may choose to obtain a Master’s degree is if they are looking for a change in career and want to gain the skills and knowledge to successfully do so. For example, a person working in management might want to hold the skills and training needed to transition into a business consultant.

Listed below are occupations and careers in which having a Master’s degree proves to be of significant advantage.

Education: Post-secondary teachers, principals, administrators, corporate trainers and researchers.

Business/Management: Administrator for human resources, financial managers, technology experts, entrepreneurs, personal investment consultants.

Healthcare: Nursing managers, healthcare administrators, physician assistants, physical therapists, audiologists, epidemiologists.

Communications: Public relations representatives, advertising and account executives, internal communications editors, market research specialists.

Social sciences: Family therapists and social workers, abuse counselors, occupational therapists.

Technology and engineering: System engineers, software developers, technical supporters, IT consultants, civil and petroleum engineers, computer architects, mobile application developers.

Online Programs at the Master’s Level

We live in a world where a student can obtain an academic degree without attending an in-person class. Many are encouraged to discover that accredited campus colleges and universities offer proper, top quality online Master’s degree programs. There are also schools conducted exclusively online that offer a variety of Master’s degree programs.

Having self-discipline is the primary way for a student taking classes online to remain efficient. Although most online learning is self-paced, there are still deadlines for certain assignments and exams. Setting a schedule that makes sense with regards to the student’s personal/professional life is the way to go in achieving success in virtual learning.

Sessions are conducted through the use of conference calls, chat rooms, real-time interactions, and other software related tools and methods. Assignments, notes, and other course material is archived so that the student can have around-the-clock access to them. In some cases, the online school will provide the student with a computer, if needed.

Master’s Degree Accreditation

Accreditation is a voluntary review done by agencies trained to assess the quality of a school’s educational services. These agencies, like The Council for Higher Education Accreditation, must be approved by the Department of Education. There are 19 agencies that deal with accreditation for entire schools. In addition, there are approximately 60 agencies that recognize individual programs for accreditation.

Before being granted accreditation, the quality of the school’s educational services is compared to the standard requirements. Those with a physical location then receive a campus visit from an agency, and accreditation is granted if the agency determines the school to be fit. Periodic assessments are also conducted on a regular basis to ensure that the school is maintaining their achieved status.

Potential employers oftentimes take into consideration a school’s accreditation, as they typically aim to hire those with a proper and thorough education. Only schools with appropriate credentials are offered financial assistance for students in need.

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