What is a Master’s degree?
A Master’s degree is a degree of higher education that a student can earn after completing at least 30 semester hours of graduate credit. If you are on a graduate degree search, you will need to decide if you are interested in a Master of Arts or a Master of Science degree.
A Master of Arts usually concentrates on the humanities or social sciences, and the Master of Science is within a mathematic or scientific field. Within these two basic categories, there are a number of subfields that may pertain to professional or academic study. Often, earning a Master’s degree includes detailed research and an original essay that proposes an argument dependent on this research, called a thesis.
Why should I earn a Master’s degree?
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, people with a Master's degree will earn an average of $2.5 million over the course of a career, while Bachelor’s degree holders average $2.1 million. This means that in 1998, the average worker with a Bachelor's degree earned $40,478, while a worker with a Master's degree earned an average of $51,183.
While a Master’s degree is rarely required for entry-level positions, many employers require an advanced degree eventually in order to keep their employees’ training and skills current.
How can I earn a Master’s degree?
Admission to a Master's degree program is generally contingent upon first earning a Bachelor's degree. A Master’s degree typically takes one to three years to complete and is comprised of a much less strict academic schedule than a Bachelor’s degree.
Because Master’s degree candidates have already earned Bachelor's degrees, they have proven themselves capable of a rigorous academic schedule and have covered most of the basic courses in their fields of study. Because of this, graduate students are given more freedom when it comes to choosing courses and planning their studies. This means that often the general Master’s thesis is more important to earning the degree than more specific schoolwork.
What can I do with a Master’s degree?
Master's degrees can be used professionally or academically. Professional degrees, like the Master of Business Administration (MBA), are designed for opportunity or advancement within a given field. Academic degrees, like the Master of Science, are designed for intellectual growth and may be a prerequisite for Doctoral degree work within a given field.