For those with a Bachelor’s degree looking to get more education online, the next step is frequently to work on an online Master’s degree. Depending on your field of specialty, there are several types of Master’s degrees available. If you are a teacher, you can earn a MAT or MIT degree which indicates you have become a specialist in teaching, or you can earn an M.Ed., which is frequently the degree teachers obtain when they wish to progress to higher administrative positions. Social workers can earn an MSW, those in the field of business often get an MBA, and those studying the fine arts can get an MFA. Of course, other fields offer Master’s of Science (M.S.) or Master’s of Arts (M.A.) similar to how Bachelor’s degrees are conferred.
A typical Master’s program takes about two years to complete, but with online programs, that time can be shortened. Depending on how much time you can devote to the course of study, some programs take only 12 to 18 months to complete. Many online programs offer the benefit of having start dates each month rather than at the beginning of each semester, so you can begin working at a time convenient for you. The coursework for a Master’s degree is considerably more in depth than that of a Bachelor’s degree. You will typically focus only on your area of specialty and spend much more time doing research and writing. Most Master’s degrees require a thesis or an internship at the end of the coursework. A thesis is a sizable scholarly paper based on your unique idea and supported by your own research. If your degree requires an internship, you can expect to be doing hands-on work with little to no pay. The benefits of earning a Master’s degree, despite the hard work, is gaining a deep understanding and knowledge-base of your particular specialty.
Having a Master’s degree will also help with employment prospects. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, only 9.4% of the U.S. population has a graduate degree. By joining this pool of the highly educated, employers will be willing to pay more for the specialized knowledge gained during your studies. While some careers require a Master’s degree to perform the job, such as is the case with licensed therapists, other careers are enhanced by earning a Master’s degree, such as teaching. Either way, obtaining an online graduate degree at the Master’s level will ensure that you have a better chance at a successful career than having only a Bachelor’s degree.