The job market is getting more and more competitive these days and higher educational qualification is usually a great idea to step up your career pursuits. Getting a graduate degree in a field not only makes you a specialist in a particular work area, but offers various other benefits too.
Benefits of Postgraduate Degrees
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has found out that higher education is both well-paying and offers promising job prospects. Along that line, getting a master’s degree can help increase any bachelor’s degree holder’s weekly earning potential by $210 to $1,263. At the same time, it also improves employability, with the unemployment rate for postgraduates standing at a mere 3.6 percent relative to 4.9 percent for bachelor’s and 6.8 for associate’s degrees. So be it a traditional university program or an online master’s degree, you stand to benefit from acquiring a higher qualification.
Considerations Before Applying To A Graduate Program
Besides evaluating your own preferences and interests for your preferred area of study, you will also need to explore your options in terms of the institutions you can attend and whether you’d like to take up an online program to be able to continue your job. Further, you’ll need to check out admission requirements for various schools, and prepare yourself accordingly to apply to a particular program.
Typical Admission Requirements
Usually, applicants for grad schools are assessed based on the following, which are requisites for applications in most institutions:
- A bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution
- Standardized test scores, such as GRE
- Letters of Recommendation from personal, academic or professional references
- Personal Statement or essay
These requirements vary depending on the school one is applying to and the degree program opted for. Often, applicants to postgraduate degree programs are also required to have some work experience varying between 1-5 years.
Types of Master’s Degrees
There are various types of master’s degrees offered by universities as well as online schools today. Examples include:
- M.A. or Master of Arts: Usually offered in humanities and Social Science
- M.S. or Master of Science: Offered for science-related subjects (may be research-based)
- M.F.A. or Master of Fine Arts: Offered for visual, creative or performing art subjects
- M.Eng. or Master of Engineering: Professional engineering degree
- MBA or Master of Business Administration: Graduate degree for business-related disciplines
Fields of Study
Students going for postgraduate studies can opt for various disciplines. From arts, life sciences, computers and information technology, education and engineering, to healthcare, humanities, nursing, criminal justice and social sciences, there are various programs offered by accredited online colleges as well as traditional universities.
Going to grad school doesn’t necessarily mean a strain on your wallet. You can go for federal student loans or private loans to pay for education expenses. Many universities may also offer scholarship and grant programs to deserving students, about which you should ask your institution of choice.