Masters Degree

Master's degrees are advanced academic degrees that indicate an individual has a mastery of a specific area of study or professional practice. A master's degree may not only increase your level of education, it can also potentially better your career prospects.

Find Masters Degree

Masters Degree
Degree Level
2 years
Bachelor's Degree
School Type
4 year College

Going back to school can be a challenge for many of those who are already in the work force. However, an online master's degree program might prove ideal for students who must work full time.

Master's degree programs typically take two or three years to complete and can require anywhere from 30 to 70 credits, depending on the school and program you select.

The average salary of an individual with a master's degree depends greatly on the industry. For example, someone with a master's degree in early education will start at around $48,900. While someone with a master's in computer science will start around $80,400. Regardless, those with master's degrees earn more than their bachelor's degree earning counterparts? 30% and 29.2% more, respectively.*

Did You Know?

Master's degrees were once far less common than they are today. Since the 1970s, it's estimated that the number of master's degrees being awarded in the United States has doubled. There are a number of reasons for this, but primarily, it's due to the increasing competitiveness of today's career market.

Types of Master's Degrees

Master's degrees are available in a wide variety of subjects and areas of study. The most commonly earned master's degree is the MBA, or Master of Business Administration. People interested in working in the business field typically pursue MBAs. Other types of master's degrees include Master of Arts, Master of Science, Master of Education, and Master of Public Health.

Apart from the MBA, the Master of Arts and Master of Science degrees are the next most popular. Masters of Arts degrees are typically awarded to those who study fields related to English, history, geography, philosophy, social sciences, fine arts, or humanities. Master of Science degrees, on the other hand, are awarded to those who study fields like computers, mathematics, applied sciences, and information technology to name a few.

What's Next? Beyond the Master's Degree

In order to qualify for a master's degree program, you must already possess a bachelor's degree. Once you've got a master's, the next step would be to go after a PhD. Also known as doctoral degrees, PhD's are very highly regarded and can be necessary if you wish to pursue a career that involves an advanced level of learning, such as medicine or science.

Pursuing a PhD may not only potentially increase your marketability and earning power, it can also be very fulfilling for students who wish to take their level of learning to the highest possible level.

*"Payoff for Master's Degree Evident in Starting Salaries," The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), September 25, 2012.

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