How to Choose the Right Master’s Degree in 12 Simple Steps Marketing and Communications | October 3, 2023 Making the decision to continue your education and pursue a master’s degree is a big one. With so many options out there, it can be challenging to determine which program is right for you. By considering your goals, career aspirations, and budget, you can narrow down your options and find the perfect graduate program for you. In this post, we’ll outline some factors you should consider when making your choice. How Do I Know What Master’s Degree to Get? Deciding which master’s degree to pursue can be a daunting task. There are many factors to consider, such as your career goals, area of expertise, and the cost of tuition. However, with a bit of research and soul-searching, you can find a program that’s right for you. How to Decide What Master’s Degree to Get Because going to graduate school is such a significant commitment, you want to make sure you’re making the right choice. You’re probably wondering, “how do I decide what master’s degree to get?” To help you figure it out, we’ve shared 12 steps you can take to help you figure out which master’s degree is best for you. Step 1: Ask Yourself Why You Want to Get a Master’s Degree Before you commit to a program, it’s essential to ask yourself why you want to get a master’s degree. Are you looking to change careers? Advance in your current field? Or are you simply interested in learning more about your profession? Answering these questions can help you determine which master’s degree is the right decision for you. No matter what your reasons, be sure to carefully consider them before choosing a master’s program. Step 2: Consider What Type of Environment/Style You Like to Learn When considering whether to apply to a master’s program, you must consider the type of environment and learning style you prefer. Do you thrive in a traditional classroom setting, or do you prefer a more independent learning approach? Are you looking for an intimate program with small class sizes, or are you open to a larger university? Taking the time to consider these preferences will help you choose a program that is the best fit for you. Step 3: Do Research When you’re ready to take the next step in your education and apply to a master’s degree program, it’s essential to do your research. Not all programs are created equal, and you want to make sure you choose one that will meet your needs and help you reach your goals. Once you’ve narrowed down your options, take the time to read up on each of the programs you’re considering. What are their requirements? What kind of experience do they require from applicants? What is the student-to-teacher ratio? By doing your research before applying, you can be sure you’re making the best decision for your future. Step 4: Ask Yourself if You Want to Pursue Your Master’s Degree Online or in Person Do you prefer face-to-face interaction, or are you more comfortable with independent study? If you learn best in a traditional classroom setting, then an in-person program may be the best choice for you. On the other hand, if you’re more self-motivated and can keep on track with your studies without regular reminders from instructors, then an online program may suit you better. Additionally, consider your personal and professional commitments. Do you have a full-time job or family responsibilities that would make attending classes on campus difficult? If so, an online program may be more convenient for you. But if you feel like you would benefit from the social aspects of campus life, then an in-person program may be a better fit. Ultimately, the decision of whether to pursue your master’s degree online or in person is one that depends on your individual needs and preferences. Step 5: Make a List of Programs You’re Considering There are a variety of different types of master’s degrees, each with its own unique benefits. For example, a Master of Science (MS) can be ideal for those interested in pursuing a career in research or academia. Alternatively, a Master of Business Administration (MBA) can be helpful for those looking to advance their career in business or management. And for individuals interested in working in the public sector, a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree may be the best option. Of course, many other types of master’s degrees are available as well, so be sure to explore your options before making a decision. Step 6: Make a List of Schools You’re Considering Choosing the right school is one of the most important decisions you will make in your educational career. You want to find a school that has a good reputation and offers the courses and programs that fit your interests and needs. You also want to ensure that the school is affordable and within your budget. To help you narrow down your options, it is helpful to make a list of schools you are considering. Once you have a list, you can start researching each school in more detail. Look at their website, read through any brochures or materials, and talk to people who have attended the school. This research will help you decide if a school is a good fit for you. Step 7: Speak to Program Supervisors If you’re considering pursuing a master’s degree, getting in touch with potential supervisors for the program you’re interested in is crucial. Supervisors can provide valuable insights into the program, the workload, and what kinds of career opportunities may be available to you after graduation. They can also answer any questions you have about the admissions process. Speaking with a supervisor is a great way to better understand whether a particular master’s program is right for you. It’s also an opportunity to build relationships with faculty members who may eventually serve on your thesis committee. If you’re interested in pursuing a master’s degree, reach out to potential supervisors at your top choice schools. Step 8: Consider the Financial Cost For many adults, returning to school to earn a master’s degree is a significant financial investment. The cost of tuition, fees, and other expenses can add up quickly. In addition to tuition, students also need to factor in the cost of books and materials, room and board, and transportation. For many adults who are already working full-time, earning a master’s degree also means forgoing income during the period of study. As a result, it is essential to consider the financial implications of pursuing a graduate degree before enrolling in a program. Step 9: Consider How Long It’ll Take to Complete Earning the Degree Before committing to a graduate program, it’s important to consider how long it will take to earn your degree. The length of time required to complete a master’s program varies depending on the field of study and the type of degree you’re pursuing. Full-time students can typically earn a master’s degree in two to three years, while part-time students may take four or more years to complete their studies. If you’re planning on working while you earn your degree, it’s important to factor in the additional time required to balance your coursework with your job responsibilities. Step 10: Check the Requirements When you’re considering applying to a master’s program, it’s essential to make sure you meet all the requirements. While each program may have slightly different requirements, there are some general things to keep in mind. First, most programs will require that you have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. You’ll also need to submit transcripts from all your previous college coursework, and most programs will require you to take the GRE or GMAT exams. Some programs may also require letters of recommendation and a personal essay. Be sure to check with the specific program you’re interested in to get all the details on their requirements so you can ensure you have everything you need to apply to the program of your choice. Step 11: Check the Details of the Programs You’re Considering When considering master’s programs, it’s important to do your research and make sure that the program is a good fit for you. Start by looking at the program’s curriculum and course offerings. What subjects will you be studying? Does the curriculum seem engaging and relevant to your interests? You should also consider the program’s length and delivery format. How long will it take you to complete the program? Will you be attending classes on campus or online? Make sure to also look into the admissions requirements. What kind of undergraduate degree do you need to be eligible for the program? Are there any prerequisites that you need to complete first? By taking the time to research the details of the programs you’re considering, you can be sure that you’re making the right choice. Step 12: Choose the Program That Will Make You Happy When considering a master’s program, choosing the one that will make you happy is vital. That may sound like an obvious statement, but too often students choose a program based on prestige or salary potential rather than personal fulfillment. While those factors are undoubtedly important, they should not be your only considerations. Instead, think about what you are passionate about and what will make you happy both during and after the program. If you love the subject matter, you are more likely to excel in your classes and land a job that you love after graduation. So, take the time to explore your options and choose the program most likely to make you happy. Picking a Master’s Degree Program We hope this blog post has helped you better understand the process of finding a master’s degree program and given you some tools to start your search. Remember, it’s important to find a program that fits both your needs and interests. Do your research, ask lots of questions, and reach out to universities for more information. And most importantly, don’t be afraid to explore! There are many great programs out there and we’re sure you’ll find the perfect one for you. Earn your Master’s Degree, Today If you are looking for a quality master’s degree program, Carson Newman University is the perfect place to find it. With programs in education, nursing, and more, we may have a graduate program that meets your needs and interests. Plus, our faculty are experts in their fields and are dedicated to helping students reach their full potential. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Our admissions counselors are happy to help and can answer any of your questions about our programs.