A master’s degree is an excellent way to build upon the skills and knowledge you’ve already gained while completing your bachelor’s degree and working in your field. Although earning one requires lots of time and sacrifice – especially if you plan to maintain full-time employment – it can help separate you from some of your peers. The reward is often better pay and a more fulfilling career.

Much like in undergraduate studies, students who are pursuing their master’s degrees get to interact with some of the most distinguished and educated people in their disciplines on a daily basis. Not only are they learning from experts who have already studied and achieved respected careers in their fields of choice, but they’re constantly networking with people who have established connections with many of their peers – some with whom you may interact while working in the department, researching and attending conferences. If you cultivate mutually beneficial relationships, they could provide leads to employment down the road.

Some programs may require you to earn credit through an internship, which is an excellent way to get your foot in the door. It could end up being your job after graduation, or your employer could be your first reference for your next job. Also, some of the friendships you naturally form with your classmates could prove beneficial. If you feel the need to expand your social circle, many programs offer social clubs and organizations.






How Long Is a Master’s Degree Program?

Earning a master's degree takes a commitment in time. After four to five years of undergraduate coursework and more than a decade and a half of schooling altogether, it should only be pursued by individuals who place high value on education.

There are several different types of master's degrees; the Master of Science (MS), Master of Arts (MA) and Master of Business Administration (MBA) are the most common. More specialized degrees also exist, like the Master of Education and Master of Public Health. These degrees, along with the MS, MA and many MBA programs, take two years to complete. However, there are some accelerated one-year MBA programs that require a higher volume of courses, while others are part-time – often taken by busy professionals –and usually last more than three years. In many cases, MBA programs require previous work experience as an admissions requirement. Students who wish to attain management-level jobs must first be familiar with how businesses operate.

A professional degree, like an MBA, is supposed to supplements a student's firsthand experience, whereas an academic degree, like a Master of Arts, focuses on intellectual growth.

Ultimately, the time it takes to complete a master's degree program depends on the subject area, school, whether it's full-time or part-time and the ability of the student to learn the information.