What is the difference between a bachelor’s and a master’s?
While a master’s degree and a bachelor’s degree both take a lot of work to achieve, they differ in important ways. If you have achieved a bachelor’s degree, this can help you know what you’re getting into when you earn your graduate degree.
Compared to an undergraduate degree, a master’s degree has a much sharper focus. Instead of broadly introducing students to an academic subject, a master’s degree program has students learn more-specific skills that have practical applications in specific industries.
Time and cost
Master’s degree programs tend to take less time to complete than a bachelor’s degree program — about two to three years versus the four years generally associated with a bachelor’s degree.
Don’t let that shorter time fool you, however. That condensed time frame typically is packed with a rigorous workload that takes dedication to complete.
Why should I pursue a master’s degree?
There are several situations in which completing a master’s degree program can be helpful.
Changing career industries
Whether because of personal taste or economic headwinds, taking a new direction in your career might be the right choice for you. A master’s degree can help with that.
Jessica Roper, the director of Career Services at University of Phoenix, has this to say on the topic:
“In today’s world, career changes are very common and often a master’s degree can help broaden one’s knowledge in a different area or help compensate areas where one has a lack of experience.”
For someone with an undergraduate degree in one field, a master’s degree in a different field can help expand their skill set. In turn, this combination of skills may help them expand their options if they choose to change fields or industries.
New job opportunities
While it’s certainly not true across the board, some jobs require a master’s degree as a prerequisite. This is especially true when it comes to leadership roles within organizations.
This isn’t just about giving you more hoops to jump through. When it comes to the day-to-day responsibilities of administrating broad efforts, the skills learned in a bachelor’s degree program may not be enough.
For some, pursuing a master’s degree isn’t entirely about a career change or a job opportunity. Many students have a passionate interest in a particular subject. To satisfy their curiosity, some students pursue studies beyond the bachelor’s degree level.
Completing a master’s degree is a substantial achievement in its own right. For these students, that’s as good of a reason as any to earn one.