dcsimg

Academic and Professional Master's Degrees: What's the Difference?

By Joe Aguilar

The National Center for Education Statistics reports that in 2005, almost 13 million Americans held master's degrees. If you want to join the ranks of people with graduate-level educations, you first need to make key decisions such as selecting your degree type. There are two main styles of master's degrees: professional and academic. Try to pick the option that best suits your career goals.

Joining the Workforce: Professional Master's Degrees

Professional master's degrees are sometimes "terminal," which means that they give the highest certification level in their field. An example of professional master's degrees include the Master of Fine Arts (MFA), the Master of Business Administration (MBA), and the Master of Education (MEd). Because professional master's degrees teach career-oriented skills, people who earn professional degrees usually enter the workforce right after graduation.

PhD Preparation: Academic Master's Degrees

While professional master's degrees focus on building job skills, academic master's degree programs are centered around research. You might study for your Master of Arts (MA) or Master of Sciences (MS) degree in the humanities, sciences, or fine arts. During your program, you may gather field research, take courses in your specialty, and prepare an original thesis. Academic master's degrees are especially handy for people who want PhD degrees. Whether you want to earn your doctorate in English, mathematics, or foreign languages, your master's studies can prepare you for a stellar career in academia.

If you currently work a full-time job, you should think about online master's degree programs. Online master's degrees allow you attend school during your free time, and you can complete coursework from any computer with an Internet connection.

Source

National Center for Education Statistics, Number of Persons Age 18 and Over, by Highest Level of Education Attained, Age, Sex, and Race/Ethnicity: 2005

 


Schools Offering Related Degree Programs

Campus Type :
Zip :

Matching School Ads
Argosy University

Argosy University offers doctoral, master's, and bachelor's degree programs to students through its eight colleges.

Rutgers University

Founded in 1766, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, is a leading national public research university and the state’s preeminent, comprehensive public institution of higher learning.


Full Sail University - Online

Learning at Full Sail University has always centered around interaction and the exchange of ideas. Our online curriculum fully embraces this philosophy.

Columbia International University

For nearly a century, Columbia International University has educated people from a biblical worldview to impact the nations with the message of Christ. 


Sacred Heart University - Online

Sacred Heart University Online 


The University of Scranton

Since 1888, The University of Scranton has grounded its education in Catholic and Jesuit principles based on intellectual growth and integrity, all of which shape the online master’s and certificate programs.


Utica College

What They’re Known For

Founded in 1946 and located in the heart of central New York, Utica College is a regionally accredited, independent, private institution that features many of the advantages of a large university — such as undergraduate and graduate degree options, excellent academics, and outstanding faculty — with the intimacy and high degree of personal attention more closely associated with smaller private institutions.


Saint Joseph's University

Founded by the Society of Jesus in 1851, Saint Joseph's University (SJU) has been developing the minds and abilities of men and women in a challenging academic environment steeped in the enriching Jesuit tradition of cura personalis (care of the entire person).


Liberty University

100% Online & No Standardized Testing


Jacksonville University

The University

With over 80 years of academic achievements, Jacksonville University is a traditional, longstanding institution consistently ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of America's best colleges.


Matching School Ads