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
Full Sail University - Online

Push Your Creativity To The Next Level

Colorado Technical University Online

A degree from CTU connects you to what matters most: powerful professional network, real-world professional faculty and innovative technology. Once you earn your degree you hit the ground running.

Regent University

Regent University prepares students with the knowledge to excel and the faith to live with purpose.

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.


University of Arizona

Located in the breathtaking Sonoran desert of southern Arizona and within an international border region, The University of Arizona is consistently ranked as a top public research university, offering graduate degrees in more than one hundred fields and is widely recognized for its cutting-edge research and innovation.


Liberty University

100% Online & No Standardized Testing


Concordia College - New York

Concordia College-New York M.S. Degree Programs Online

Concordia College-New York offers accredited, innovative graduate degrees online to help you advance your career and become a transformative leader.


Northcentral University

Earn your graduate degree online with Northcentral University.


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.


Simmons College School of Social Work

SocialWork@Simmons is an innovative, online Master of Social Work program offered through the Simmons School of SocialWork, the nation’s oldest school of social work. Complete your MSW in as little as 15 months with this CSWE-accredited program. No GRE required.


Matching School Ads