Master’s Degree Q & A

Can I earn a master’s degree for less than $5000

Most master degree programs are going to cost more than $5000. However you may be in to get some scholarships that will help keep costs down. In addition the scholarships you may be able to get some type of educational loan that can keep costs down as well.

There are some smaller state schools where you may be able to get a masters degree for under $5000. Some of these are actually pretty good schools. You’ll want to look in areas where the cost of living is fairly low because that is an important part of determining how much you have to pay for your degree. Also you’ll want to look in states where you can claim residency. Most state schools offer a lower tuition cost to state residents because they are reimbursed by the state government. So if you’re looking at attending a college that is out of state you might want to see what you have to do to establish residency there before enrolling in the program.

Can you apply to master’s degree programs at two different universities?

Yes you can. In fact it is quite common. You may not get into your top choice graduate school. So it’s always good to apply some other places just to make sure you are accepted somewhere. In some schools this is less of an issue. You might talk to the admissions department and find out what your chances are of being accepted. In some smaller schools they can probably just tell you if it looks like you’ll be accepted or not. If you are going to be accepted to your first choice school in may make sense to forgo any additional applications simply because the amount of time and effort involved. If it is questionable and you really want to start graduate school in the upcoming semester, it’s probably not a bad idea to apply to more than one place.

Can you get a job with a Capella University master’s degree?

It is possible to get a job without having a Masters degree.  A degree from Coppell University will probably not hurt your chances as compared to not having a Masters degree at all. However you will be at a disadvantage if you are competing with people from long-established traditional universities that have a very good reputation.

That’s not to say that a degree from Coppell University is not valuable. In many cases it can be valuable, but it may not have the same job market advantage as a degree from Harvard or Yale.

However, in many jobs your pay will be tied to your educational experience. Often every Masters degree gets the same consideration regardless of where it’s from. From a return on investment standpoint, Capella might not give you the best return on investment because it is often more expensive than the options you’ll have from the state school. Still if you don’t live anywhere near a state university it can be a good option in order to get some type of degree.

Can you earn two master’s degrees?

Yes you can earn multiple masters degrees. In general a PhD is the pursuit of doing original research in an area that has not been studied thoroughly. So people looking to further their education by using existing research and not necessarily create new research of their own will often pursue multiple masters degrees.

The downside is that if you ever want to teach at a university a PhD is going to be much more advantageous than multiple masters degrees–at least in most fields of study.

How much can I make with a master’s degree?

It’s hard to say. Your skills and your job market are probably a better indicator of your earning potential than your degree. That said having a Masters degree can significantly increase your income if it is in an area that is sought after. If you get a masters degree in underwater basket weaving it probably isn’t  going to significantly enhance your earning potential. However if you get a degree in a hot area like genomics or bio informatics you may get a significant return on your investment.

Can I get a master’s degree while working a job?

Yes you can get a Masters degree what working a job. Many of the newer programs offered by universities and in particular for-profit universities are targeting people who already have jobs and not recent graduates with a bachelor’s degree. These type of programs are often very flexible in their scheduling and often offer some type of online class with the weekend face-to-face meetings.

One of the advantages of pursuing a Masters jury while you are working a regular job is that your real life experience can come into play. Your classes may give you new ways of looking at your current problems, and your current work experience may give you the ability to more quickly understand what is being taught in class.

How hard is it to get a master’s degree?

This is a tough question to answer because it can vary so much from person to person and from degree to degree. If you are getting a degree in an area with which you have an extremely large body of experience you may find the degree to be very easy. If you’re getting a degree in an area with which you do not have very much experience then you may find at least some of the classes to be very difficult and challenging.

One significant difference between getting a bachelors degree in getting a Masters degree is the amount of focus on topics you are interested in. A bachelors degree includes a large amount of work that is just general education. Masters degrees include very little of this type of work in nearly every class you take will be tightly focused on the subject matter you’re wishing to study. You may have some courses that aren’t as interesting to you but they will still be related to your topic. There may be some equivalent of Gen. Ed classes basically dealing with how to do research. However in most cases even these classes will be tightly focused on your subject area showing you how to do research the proper way to receive academic recognition for the topic you are studying.

Is it a bad thing to get an online master’s degree?

There have always been diploma mills. There have always been quasi-accredited institutions of dubious academic quality selling degrees for life experience or very little actual work. The growth of the Internet has not changed this. Many of the diploma Mills is simply moved to doing things online. You have to make sure that you are getting a degree from a reputable university. This is true whether you are getting the degree using a traditional distance education program where things are done through the mail, a traditional degree where you attend classes in person, or taking classes online.

One thing you should keep in mind though is that many employers want to make sure you have the social skills necessary to succeed at your job. It probably is not a good idea to get a bachelors degree online simply because so much of the college experience is learning how to act in social settings. If you forgo the social experiences and get your bachelors degree online you may be at a disadvantage when it comes to working in the real world. However, for a Masters degree this is less of an issue because the fact you’re pursuing a Masters degree means that you’ve already achieved a bachelor’s degree.

One downside of pursuing an online Masters degree is that you’ll probably have fewer interactions with other students and teachers. You may want to consider how important the networking opportunities that usually come in graduate school will be to your future career. If your goal is simply to get a masters degree because the bumps you up a pay grade, the networking opportunities might not be that big a deal. However, if your goal is to get a better education so you can find a better job the networking opportunities may be just as valuable as any of the stuff you learn in the classes themselves.

One thing to keep in mind is that you’re going to have to sell yourself regardless of what school you go to. If you take online classes from a well-known University while pursuing a full-time job and raising a family, you can bring this up in the interview process to help show how good you are at juggling multiple priorities and multitasking. In some ways the students who are able to quit their jobs and go back to school full-time have it much easier than what you may have it getting a degree online.

What type of school is University of Phoenix?

The University of Phoenix is a for-profit accredited educational institution. It offers a number of different degrees. The key difference between University of Phoenix and many of the other universities is the fact that it is run with the profit motive. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. One advantage is the profit motive may help University of Phoenix adapt more rapidly than its nonprofit counterparts. The University of Phoenix is going to be able to invest money quickly in order to take advantage of changes in the job market. More traditional universities may react more slowly. The slow reaction time helps bring stability to nonprofit universities but it also means that you may not have the exact skills employers are looking for in a recent college graduate. Typically this is a problem because your degree gives you a foundation to build whatever skills that you need within your chosen profession. Still in some cases there are advantages in having a degree that’s rapidly readjusted to that market conditions.

Unfortunately the University of Phoenix does not always have the best academic reputation. Some of this is probably baseless and simply founded on the idea that people are still a bit wary of degrees that come from for-profit institutions and online study processes. Some of it may be well founded in that there have been cases of students pursuing degrees without fully understanding the quality of education or opportunities that may be offered to them and getting a great deal of that without having a marketable skill upon graduation.

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