All You Need to Know
Making the Masters Work for You
Enrolling on a Masters degree could possibly be the best decision you will ever make. Why? Because a Masters can improve your job prospects no end. For employers, it is a sign of a strong level of commitment and expertise in a specific field.
More and more people are now graduating with a first degree, which means that there are more candidates qualified for the best paid, the most interesting or the highest status jobs. As a result, many companies now demand that applicants have a postgraduate qualification, either as a requirement for getting on the career ladder or a necessity for moving up the ladder later on. So, although it may be expensive, a Masters on your CV can give you the edge in a competitive job market
Most Masters graduates find employment within three months of leaving school. Furthermore, graduates either commence at a higher level than they would have, or are promoted sooner. Employers recognize, and studies show, that on average, professionals with a Masters degree perform better at work than their counterparts. Not surprisingly, demand is high, so schools can be selective. It is important to research your chosen course and complete application forms carefully.
For those interested in applying to Masters programmes, a good degree is usually expected, but no work experience is normally required. However, some highly specialized programs may require some work experience in their field.
Courses are increasingly flexible and it is now easier than ever before to find one that suits your needs in terms of location and time commitment. You can attend classes or choose to do your Master's degree online. This gives you the freedom and flexibility to study where and when you want. The Masters programme have the perfect blend of academic excellence and hands-on experience, combining theoretical coursework, case studies, group work and in-company placements.
General Description of a Masters degree
- Specialized graduate programme that focus on practical knowledge and vocational or technical expertise in a specific career field.
- Awarded upon completion of one to two years of advanced graduate study after completing a bachelor's degree, with the length depending on the field of study and the conferring institution.
- Recognizes heightened expertise in an academic discipline or professional field of study, gained through intensive course work and, in most cases, the preparation of a culminating project, scholarly paper, thesis, or a comprehensive examination.
Masters Degree Programme categories
There are two types of Masters programmes, which differ mainly in subject matter.
Master of Arts - MA
The Master of Arts degree is usually focused in social sciences or general studies of some nature. This degree sometimes also requires the completion of both research work and a thesis. It is more common in the US than in Europe.
Master of Science - MS or MSc
The Master of Science degree requires the completion of at least 30 graduate hours of credit in the sciences, or a professional focus. This degree usually requires the completion of both research work and a thesis.
The Meanings of Different Abbreviations
In the USA, a minimum of 12 + 4 years of basic education is required to enter a Master's degree course. In some instances, appropriate work experience can be substituted for a Bachelor's degree. Most universities take in students twice a year: in late August (autumn) and January (spring). Applications for the autumn intake begin in January and the spring intake starts recruiting in October of the previous year.
A Brief History of the Master's Degree
The first Master's degrees were awarded as early as the 12th century and were probably based on degrees given by Emperor Justinian to students at his academies in Rome and Constantinople in the 6th century. The Universities of Bologna, Paris, and Oxford, also know as the "original three" European universities, were the first institutions to offer Master's degrees in fields such as the arts, law, medicine and theology. At that time, a Master's degree from one university would not necessarily be recognized at another.
Masters by continent
A Masters in the USA
A minimum of 12 + 4 years of basic education is required to pursue a Masters programme. There are two major intakes for most universities, these being in September (fall) and in January (spring). The Applications for the fall intake start in January and the spring intake starts recruiting in October of the previous year. Most American universities require candidates to take the GMAT / GRE tests before starting the Masters degree.
A Masters in Europe
The Masters programme in European institutions starts in September. Some, but not all universities offer a mid-year intake in January/February. The big difference is that EU degrees do not require students to take the GMAT test for the Masters programmes. Application deadlines are more open and admissions are usually rolling.