The toughest decision many individuals face in their life is deciding whether or not to attend college after finishing high school. Numerous reports and studies have shown that an advanced diploma makes it much easier for an individual to not only find better jobs but make more money over the course of their working life. Individuals who attend a typical four year university or college will earn a Bachelor’s degree upon graduation. This type of degree is considered an undergraduate degree and while there are degrees that have a specific focus on one area of study, in order to make more money and hold more important jobs an individual will need a graduate’s degree.
A graduate’s degree consists of more focused studies that are completed after an undergraduate’s degree is earned. There are two generally accepted forms of graduate degrees, a Master’s degree and a Doctorate or Ph.D. Most Master’s degree programs confer upon their students one of the two following degrees:
- Master of Arts
- Master of Science
In order to earn one of these two degrees an individual must complete anywhere from one to three years of coursework that generally includes class work, research, or a mixture of the two styles of education. To earn a degree, students must show that they possess an advanced knowledge of the subject matter they are studying as well as an ability to analyze, evaluate, and apply what they’ve learned to professional settings. The average class at the Master’s level is conducted differently compared to undergraduate classes with professors expecting more analysis from students as well as a heavy dose of discussion. Some degrees at the Master’s level will require a thesis paper in order to graduate, though not all programs have this requirement. While most Master’s level graduate degrees are awarded in the above two categories, more specialized degrees can be awarded to students including:
- Master of Accountancy
- Master of Business Administration
- Master of Chemistry
- Master of Education
- Master of History
A Doctorate is the next step on the educational ladder for those in search of a graduate’s degree. The Doctorate degree has controversial history in the United States. Yale University was the first higher learning institution in the U.S. to confer a Doctorate upon a graduate in 1861 and even as late as the 1950s the degree has been met with skepticism. Many believe that a Doctorate is an unnecessary extra educational title that was imported from a different educational system (Germany) than that which was already place in the U.S.