Obtaining a master’s degree may be your next step in career advancement. A master’s degree enables students to take their studies even further, while enhancing their professional image. Many elite jobs require applicants to possess a master’s degree to even be considered for the position. Returning to school for the additional one to six years that it generally takes to complete the 30-45 hours of required coursework is no easy task. Students often discover that online education affords them the opportunity to continue their studies while maintaining employment and meeting other obligations.
What is a Master’s Degree?
Master degree programs are subject-intensive and designed to prepare students for positions of leadership and management. Graduate programs are rigorous and target students with particular skills. Some programs require students to have a few years of experience in their field before applying. What’s unique about graduate study is its focus on both academic and professional development. Students explore their subject on a deeper level and learn how to apply that knowledge in the workplace.
How to Obtain a Master’s Degree
The process of applying to a master’s program is typically more rigorous and requires specific application materials. In addition to a bachelor’s diploma, both online and traditional schools typically request the following materials:
- Application and application fee
- Admissions essay or personal statement
- GRE or GMAT scores
- One to two years of work experience in the designated field
- Personal interview
The graduate program admissions department considers many different factors before deciding to accept a candidate. Schools look for students who are well matched to the areas emphasized in each program. Before applying, make sure to carefully review the application checklist as not all schools requirements are the same. The application process for most schools is time consuming so be sure to submit all materials prior to the specified deadline.
Types of Master’s Degrees
The most common master’s degrees include:
- Master of Arts (M.A.): This degree covers a wide variety of programs including English, history, and many other liberal arts disciplines.
- Master of Science (M.S.): Students interested in pursuing this degree typically focus their studies in engineering, psychology, and medical-related fields.
- Master of Business Administration (MBA): The most popular graduate program, this degree is often a prerequisite for a career in the business world.
Why Pursue an Online Master’s Degree?
Once you have decided to pursue a graduate degree and have determined which specific program fits your needs and goals, more options for career growth are just around the corner. Possessing a master’s degree increases earning potential by 30 to 50%. Online master’s programs have increased substantially in recent years due to an increase in demand for more educated professionals. Distance learning programs have seen considerable growth recently as students look for ways to save money and time.