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How Long Does it Take to Get a Masters Degree: Surprising Facts

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Earning your master’s degree is by no means an easy task, but it is a rewarding and worthwhile experience for many people. While some question, “How long does it take to get a master’s degree?” others will ask, “Is it worthwhile?”

 

The fact of the matter is that it depends on your career goals and personal endeavors; however, there is no doubt that having a master’s degree will open up more career opportunities and offer the potential to land jobs with higher salaries than those with a bachelor’s degree.

 

But, it’s not just about the money! A master’s degree provides an extensive amount of benefits, which we will take a look at along with the program requirements, length of study and institution types.

 

 

Source: Unsplash

 

 

What is a Master’s Degree?

A master’s degree is a graduate degree that provides coursework in a specific area of expertise. It is the first level of graduate study and typically follows the undergraduate level of obtaining a bachelor’s degree. To earn a master’s degree, the average amount of course units that must be completed are 36 to 54 semester credits, which equates to 12 to 18 college classes.

 

If you’re wondering how to choose a master’s degree that’s right for you, the first step would be to assess your career goals. Then you can follow an academic path that best aligns with being able to achieve such goals.

 

 

How Long Does it Take to Get a Master’s Degree?

Master’s degrees range in length of time. Depending on your enrollment status, as well as the institution, the amount of time it takes to earn your degree will vary. However, they typically require 12 to 18 college courses. As such, a safe estimate is about one and a half years to two years.

 

You can enroll in most programs as either full-time or part-time. Often, people pursuing their master’s choose to do part-time because they are balancing a job while studying. The style of learning in a master’s degree is more flexible than that of a bachelor’s degree because it is higher education and more laser targeted to the subject you choose to study. As such, master’s candidates must remain highly motivated and interested in their field of study.

 

 

Is a Master’s Worth It?

There are many considerations to flesh out before enrolling in a master’s program. However, there are also many reasons why a master’s degree is a good idea. These include:

 

 

Practical application:

 

A lot of careers require a graduate degree before practicing. During a master’s program, you build on the theoretical knowledge of a bachelor’s program to learn the practical application of subject matter.

 

 

The love of the subject:

 

A huge reason why people continue to pursue education in a specific field is for the genuine love of a subject. When you are passionate about something, you are more likely to want to keep learning, and the academic and rigorous setting that comes with a master’s degree offers an unparalleled path to mastering a subject, no pun intended!

 

 

Better job opportunities:

 

With more education comes more opportunity. Employers receive a ton of applications, and when they see you have a master’s degree, it provides a signal of your dedication, perseverance and ability to manage your time well. It also sets you apart from the sea of applicants who do not have a master’s degree.

 

 

Increased credibility:

 

Tied to the better job opportunities comes the fact that a master’s degree increases your credibility. Not only does it mean you are determined and a hard worker, but it also means that you have increased knowledge on a subject matter and can offer insight to individuals and businesses that can benefit from your expertise.

 

 

Research opportunities:

 

While undergraduate coursework may offer the chance to perform research, most master’s programs include research as cornerstone content. This is especially true of science-based master’s programs that often require lab work and research as part of the curriculum. Research opportunities allow you to further explore your field of interest, create findings that may have otherwise never been discovered, offer you the chance to get published, and overall, challenge your thinking and current understanding of subject matter.

 

 

Master’s Degree Requirements

While all programs have variations in their requirements, there are general and common requirements for most institutions.

 

A lot of programs will require some hands-on practical experience before applying. These degrees range from a Master’s of Education to those in the medical and technological field. As such, it’s not just your grades that matter, but also your work experience and internship hours.

 

Additionally, some institutions will require good marks on standardized exams, like:

  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
  • Law School Admission Test (LSAT)
  • Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)

On the other hand, there are online programs and tuition-free universities like University of the People that believe in education as a right, and as such, have less stringent application requirements. For example, you can earn your Master’s in Education (M.Ed) at the online, accredited university with nothing more than proof of English proficiency and a bachelor’s degree. For the Master’s in Business Administration (MBA), you have to have the aforementioned requirements along with just two years of work experience and a reference from an employer or professor.

 

 

Source: Unsplash

 

 

Your Learning Style: Online or Traditional?

Depending on your preferred method of study, you can earn your master’s degree online or at a traditional on-campus university. However, there are many benefits to earning your higher degree online, which include: affordability, accessibility and flexibility. Additionally, the quality of education is just as high as on-campus programs, so you will not be sacrificing your educational goals.

 

To exemplify, University of the People is tuition-free, which means that you will only have to pay an application fee and course assessment fees to attend. What’s more is that being entirely online means you can choose to study whenever and wherever you choose to do so. In fact, students from over 200 countries and territories have been in attendance and the model of education is democratizing the accessibility around the world.

 

However, online universities won’t work for everything because oftentimes, practical experience is needed for a profession. For example, those who attend medical school need to complete practicums which require in-person experience. However, if you like the idea of an online program, you can always research hybrid curriculums that allow for both distance study and in-person experiences.

 

 

The Bottom Line

Master’s degrees offer something different for everyone. Depending on what you want to do in life, it could be the next right educational step to pursue after completing your bachelor’s degree. However, before applying for a program, conduct research and ask yourself if you’d prefer to learn online or in-person. After assessing the pros and cons of each, as well as the costs and program requirements, you can rest assured knowing that your master’s degree will open up many doors and offer you a higher salary potential than those without a graduate degree.

 

 

 

 

Earning your master’s degree is by no means an easy task, but it is a rewarding and worthwhile experience for many people. While some question, “How long does it take to get a master’s degree?” others will ask, “Is it worthwhile?”

 

The fact of the matter is that it depends on your career goals and personal endeavors; however, there is no doubt that having a master’s degree will open up more career opportunities and offer the potential to land jobs with higher salaries than those with a bachelor’s degree.

 

But, it’s not just about the money! A master’s degree provides an extensive amount of benefits, which we will take a look at along with the program requirements, length of study and institution types.

 

 

Source: Unsplash

 

 

What is a Master’s Degree?

A master’s degree is a graduate degree that provides coursework in a specific area of expertise. It is the first level of graduate study and typically follows the undergraduate level of obtaining a bachelor’s degree. To earn a master’s degree, the average amount of course units that must be completed are 36 to 54 semester credits, which equates to 12 to 18 college classes.

 

If you’re wondering how to choose a master’s degree that’s right for you, the first step would be to assess your career goals. Then you can follow an academic path that best aligns with being able to achieve such goals.

 

 

How Long Does it Take to Get a Master’s Degree?

Master’s degrees range in length of time. Depending on your enrollment status, as well as the institution, the amount of time it takes to earn your degree will vary. However, they typically require 12 to 18 college courses. As such, a safe estimate is about one and a half years to two years.

 

You can enroll in most programs as either full-time or part-time. Often, people pursuing their master’s choose to do part-time because they are balancing a job while studying. The style of learning in a master’s degree is more flexible than that of a bachelor’s degree because it is higher education and more laser targeted to the subject you choose to study. As such, master’s candidates must remain highly motivated and interested in their field of study.

 

 

Is a Master’s Worth It?

There are many considerations to flesh out before enrolling in a master’s program. However, there are also many reasons why a master’s degree is a good idea. These include:

 

 

Practical application:

 

A lot of careers require a graduate degree before practicing. During a master’s program, you build on the theoretical knowledge of a bachelor’s program to learn the practical application of subject matter.

 

 

The love of the subject:

 

A huge reason why people continue to pursue education in a specific field is for the genuine love of a subject. When you are passionate about something, you are more likely to want to keep learning, and the academic and rigorous setting that comes with a master’s degree offers an unparalleled path to mastering a subject, no pun intended!

 

 

Better job opportunities:

 

With more education comes more opportunity. Employers receive a ton of applications, and when they see you have a master’s degree, it provides a signal of your dedication, perseverance and ability to manage your time well. It also sets you apart from the sea of applicants who do not have a master’s degree.

 

 

Increased credibility:

 

Tied to the better job opportunities comes the fact that a master’s degree increases your credibility. Not only does it mean you are determined and a hard worker, but it also means that you have increased knowledge on a subject matter and can offer insight to individuals and businesses that can benefit from your expertise.

 

 

Research opportunities:

 

While undergraduate coursework may offer the chance to perform research, most master’s programs include research as cornerstone content. This is especially true of science-based master’s programs that often require lab work and research as part of the curriculum. Research opportunities allow you to further explore your field of interest, create findings that may have otherwise never been discovered, offer you the chance to get published, and overall, challenge your thinking and current understanding of subject matter.

 

 

Master’s Degree Requirements

While all programs have variations in their requirements, there are general and common requirements for most institutions.

 

A lot of programs will require some hands-on practical experience before applying. These degrees range from a Master’s of Education to those in the medical and technological field. As such, it’s not just your grades that matter, but also your work experience and internship hours.

 

Additionally, some institutions will require good marks on standardized exams, like:

  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
  • Law School Admission Test (LSAT)
  • Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)

On the other hand, there are online programs and tuition-free universities like University of the People that believe in education as a right, and as such, have less stringent application requirements. For example, you can earn your Master’s in Education (M.Ed) at the online, accredited university with nothing more than proof of English proficiency and a bachelor’s degree. For the Master’s in Business Administration (MBA), you have to have the aforementioned requirements along with just two years of work experience and a reference from an employer or professor.

 

 

Source: Unsplash

 

 

Your Learning Style: Online or Traditional?

Depending on your preferred method of study, you can earn your master’s degree online or at a traditional on-campus university. However, there are many benefits to earning your higher degree online, which include: affordability, accessibility and flexibility. Additionally, the quality of education is just as high as on-campus programs, so you will not be sacrificing your educational goals.

 

To exemplify, University of the People is tuition-free, which means that you will only have to pay an application fee and course assessment fees to attend. What’s more is that being entirely online means you can choose to study whenever and wherever you choose to do so. In fact, students from over 200 countries and territories have been in attendance and the model of education is democratizing the accessibility around the world.

 

However, online universities won’t work for everything because oftentimes, practical experience is needed for a profession. For example, those who attend medical school need to complete practicums which require in-person experience. However, if you like the idea of an online program, you can always research hybrid curriculums that allow for both distance study and in-person experiences.

 

 

The Bottom Line

Master’s degrees offer something different for everyone. Depending on what you want to do in life, it could be the next right educational step to pursue after completing your bachelor’s degree. However, before applying for a program, conduct research and ask yourself if you’d prefer to learn online or in-person. After assessing the pros and cons of each, as well as the costs and program requirements, you can rest assured knowing that your master’s degree will open up many doors and offer you a higher salary potential than those without a graduate degree.