5 Tips for Choosing the Right Master’s Degree Program
A Master’s degree is naturally the next step for many aspiring, educated individuals. Whether to earn specialized skills to land yourself the dream job or deep dive into subjects you are wholly passionate about; a Master’s degree can do wonders for you.
However, in the heat of trying something new, we often choose a Master’s degree, which is unsuitable for us and which we don’t know about. This eventually makes us hate it, and we plunge ourselves into stress. Disinterested and demotivated, we start feeling like the degree has become a blight on our career plans.
This is why it is important to consider some key factors before choosing the right Master’s degree. It’s not just money being invested, but your valuable time and effort. And for the new generation workforce today, losing the latter two proves much more irredeemable.
To make you more clear-headed about the decision, this article tackles 5 tips to keep in mind when choosing a Master’s degree program.
1. Duration of the program
As we previously said, a Master’s degree is a crucial investment of your time, so you must choose wisely. A Master’s degree can range from anywhere between 6 months to a 2-year program; hence it is important to decide beforehand how much time you are willing to set aside for your further education and if it will be lucrative to your career plans.
Employed people looking to enhance their prospects on the side can opt for an online degree as well, with masters in administration, sociology, and nursing being some top-rated and easily doable degrees this way.
Note that it is not always necessary that a short program is best. It may seem tempting if you want to get done and dusted with your Master’s as soon as possible, but it is not always worth one’s salt. First of all, it may not be globally recognized or accredited, causing you to face employment issues in some sectors. On the other hand, if you wish to learn about a subject at a surface level before bagging a job, this will be a great decision.
2. University that offers it
A reputable University is equally important as any other criteria when deciding on your Master’s. A prestigious, well-recognized University with excellent faculty is necessary to ensure you get the best out of your education.
It may be daunting to sift through hundreds of options available when it comes to picking the right Major; therefore, it is much easier to select some good universities where you have a fair chance of getting admitted and then see which good Master’s programs they have to offer. In this way, you can also go through its unique course outline and contact alumni or faculty members to better understand how the course is taught there.
The University must be within your budget and where you can commute to and fro easily to reach your classes on time and not miss any of them. An online degree also works, as you can manage it with other work and social commitments and take these classes at your convenient time and space.
3. Do you plan on studying further?
Perhaps you want to pursue more Master’s degrees or a Ph.D. down the line. Well, you need to be mindful of credit hours that can be transferred from one program to another and research whether your Master’s degree is necessary to enroll in a similar Ph.D. program. Many Universities allow students to skip a Master’s degree entirely if they wish to earn a Ph.D., although it is not advised.
A Master’s degree prepares you extensively with the skills, knowledge, and qualifications you will require for further education; that is why many opt for it before stepping foot into a Doctorate. If you are confident in your undergraduate studies and feel that it has prepared you in advance for one, a Master’s degree shouldn’t be on your radar. On the safer, more stable side, a Master’s degree is always a good stepping stone before going into anything more intricate.
4. Are there any prerequisites?
Many Master’s degrees are highly specialized courses that cannot be taken without a prior understanding of the subject. Certain prerequisites include undergraduate courses, diplomas, or skills that must be learned before being allowed to enroll in the Master’s program.
For those looking to obtain a Master’s abroad, you will need to apply for a visa and fulfill any language requirements of the country. You need to be aware of these at least a year before the application deadline, so it’s better to take your time doing them instead of rushing them at the last minute.
Some universities even offer exclusive scholarships as an early-bird discount if you apply sooner, so you should make a list of those, too, to ease the financial burden of further education.
5. An accredited course offering the skills you are looking for
Courses must be accredited; for example, a sociology degree would require CSWE accreditation, while a nursing degree would require approval from CCNE or ACEN. See if the relevant authority accredits the course you want to pursue. In addition, the course must also be internationally recognized and praised.
The list of skills you can earn via a Master’s degree is expansive, and while all are good to learn, they might not be necessary at the moment. Check to see if the skillset a program offers fits the one needed for the job you wish to secure. These skills are usually mentioned in the hiring criteria of any company, whether government or private, so reading up a little on job posts online and in newspapers will be immensely helpful in picking the right Master’s degree.
We hope this list was helpful to you in narrowing down the things to tick off when choosing the right Master’s degree program. The subject is not the only thing you should be concerned about; the university, time duration, prerequisites, and proper accreditation are all factors you must consider.