Explore Masters Degrees in Popular Fields
in spite of the 21st century unemployment problems, there are jobs to be had in America. In fact many employers complain that they are unable to locate "qualified" help. For many unemployed individuals, qualification is the key. With thousands of manufacturing now closed in America, people can no longer assume put in an application at the nearest factory. The job market today often requires specialization and particular skills, skills often not acquired without a graduate degree.
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Specific programs that always see large numbers of graduates with bachelor degrees include psychology, social work, history, nursing, and counseling. People who are not mathematically or musically inclined, who don't see themselves as business starters, and who don't want a career in education often choose these degree fields. However, after graduates come down from the euphoria of posing for pictures in caps and gowns proudly holding the framed diploma, they quickly find out that landing a job without experience is difficult, and that even if they find a job, those with advanced degrees are generally qualified for better jobs and promotions. If this discovery has been a part of your experience, you may be happy to learn that you can continue your job while working toward an online masters' degree in psychology, an online master's degree in social work, or any of numerous other master's degrees—such as criminal justice, accounting or business management—that will help you acquire that coveted edge.
How a Master's Degree is Different
Understanding the importance of a Master's degree involves understanding the purposes of the undergraduate degrees. Generally, degrees range from the simple certificate—a certification that you are adept in a single skill such as welding or electronics—the associate, the bachelor degree and then the graduate degrees which can involve further certificates as well as the full fledged masters and doctoral degrees. An associate degree allows you to focus immediately on a specific career field such as nursing, cosmetology, electrical work, heating and air conditioning, etc. It is designed for a person who wants to skip as much "core" as possible, such as English, science courses, history or economics. While certain core courses will still be required—usually courses in communication and technology at the very least, you can accumulate specific skills and apply for a job in the field more quickly.
A bachelor degree could be your goal from the beginning of your college enrollment, or you could complete an associate, find a job in you field, and then take advantage of employer benefits to complete the more comprehensive bachelor degree. Whether taken as part of the bachelor's degree or associate degree, many of the courses will be the same.
A Master's degree assumes that you have already selected your career field and that, ideally, you have acquired some experience. The course will be focused on advanced concepts and skills that you did not have time to acquire during your undergraduate study. Part of the study will also involve research into current developments in your field. Rather than simply taking a list of courses as they are handed to you, you will select the courses you want based on the direction you want your career to go. In some cases, you can even create your own course if you want to delve into a topic for which no standard course exists. A good example of this is the MBA, or Master of Business Administration. An accountant who wants to make a larger contribution to the business would find that a Masters degree—which can be tailored for the specific business—would make him or her a much more valuable employee.
Since you will already have an undergraduate degree, you will discover that schools offering graduate degrees are very flexible. You have already proven that you have the discipline to study, so you can count on being treated like an adult with professors that will value your insights and contributions to the courses you take.
Financial aid for graduate programs is sometimes difficult to locate. The federal government's programs are often available only for people working on their first degree. Graduate aid is in the form of loans, research assistance grants, fellowships, and employer benefits. The latter is particularly attractive to those who already have a job and simply want to expand their education. If your employer can see how the advanced education will be an asset on the job, they will often refund you for the cost of your tuition on a semester by semester basis.