What is a Master’s Degree?
A Master’s Degree is an advanced credential that allows individuals who have already completed a Bachelor’s to study a particular subject in depth. Usually these programs take about two years to complete.
Some people decide to earn Master’s Degrees to increase their salaries. However, others want to gain specialized knowledge in their fields in order to be better equipped for their current positions or become qualified for a new job.
What types of Master’s Degrees can students earn?
The two main types of graduate degrees are a Master’s of Arts (MA) and a Master’s of Science (MS). Typically, an individual who studies the humanities or liberal arts earns an MA while someone who majors in science, technology and engineering pursues an MS. However, some schools offer both an MS and an MA in the same subject. Typically, the difference between these two programs is that there are slightly more requirements for an MS degree.
Overall, the difference between an MA and an MS depends on the institution. However, employers typically do not weigh the two degrees differently.
Students can also earn specialized graduate degrees. This may include a Master’s of Public Administration (MPA), Master’s of Social Work (MSW), Master’s of Fine Arts (MFA) or Master’s of Business Administration (MBA).
Where can people earn this degree?
Currently, many institutions of higher education, including graduate schools, offer a variety of Master’s Degree programs, both online and on campus. However, some courses of study may require individuals to attend a specialized facility, such as a law or a business school.
What kinds of jobs require a Master’s Degree?
A 2011 report by the Commission on the Future of Graduate Education in the U.S. shows that by 2018, about 2.5 million jobs will require a Master’s Degree.
Currently, this credential is required for many positions. For example, top executives – including chief executive officers, company presidents, mayors, school superintendents and county administrators – may need to have a Master’s in Business Administration or a specialized subject, the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2010-2011 Occupational Handbook (BLS) states. These professionals perform a variety of tasks, but overall they create policies and direct the operations of a business, institution or organization. They are typically the highest paid workers.
Additionally, many athletic trainers hold a Master’s Degree and have studied subjects such as biomechanics, nutrition, human anatomy and physiology. According to the BLS, these individuals prevent and heal injuries. They specialize in diagnosis, prevention, assessment, treatment and rehabilitation of bone and muscle injuries.
In order to become a licensed counselor, students generally need to complete a Master’s Degree, the BLS reports. For this credential, people typically major in education, marriage and family therapy, clinical mental health counseling, career counseling or rehabilitation counseling. Professionals in this field provide advice, rehabilitation and support services to a variety of patients in many different settings.
Other positions that may require a Master’s Degree include clinical social worker, occupational therapist, audiologist, geoscientist, financial analyst, market researcher and teacher, according to the BLS.
Can this degree increase salaries?
On average, students who complete Master’s Degrees have higher salaries than individuals with Associate’s or Bachelor’s degrees, according to the BLS’ 2010 Current Population Survey. While individuals who have an Associate’s can earn about $39,884 per year, Bachelor’s Degree holders can make approximately $53,976 annually. A Master’s Degree may boost this salary to about $66,144 per year. This is equal to $505 more per week than someone who has an Associate’s and $234 more weekly than a Bachelor’s Degree holder.
*Source Reference: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. http://www.bls.gov