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
Ashford University

You've found Ashford University, where school comes to you. Earn your bachelor's or master's degree online.

Argosy University

Welcome to Argosy University

Argosy University offers doctoral, master's, and bachelor's degree programs to students through its eight colleges:  College of Behavioral Sciences, Graduate School of Business and Management, College of Education,  College of Health Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Creative Arts and Design, College of Clinical Psychology and Western State College of Law at Argosy University as well as certificate programs in many areas.


University of Saint Mary

Grow Your Career with the University of Saint Mary


American University

Change the World with American University

Be a part of something bigger than yourself.


Rutgers Business School

A Rutgers business education prepares students for success – not just in their chosen fields but also in their lives.


Logan University

Logan is a non-profit university founded in 1935. Logan University has remained grounded in chiropractic education, while continuously enriching academic options with degree offerings in health sciences since 2012.


Purdue University

Purdue University offers a strong foundation of tradition and history.


Johns Hopkins Carey Business School

Johns Hopkins University Carey Business School has brought the philosophy of business with humanity in mind to a part time format.


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.


Ohio Christian University

Pursue your education at Ohio Christian University.

Matching School Ads