Top Master’s Degree Programs in 2022
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If you wish to broaden your knowledge in a specific topic, pursue other interests after earning your undergraduate degree, or advance your job, a master’s degree program may be a good alternative. Prospective students must be ready for an intense learning experience that includes their undergraduate academics and/or their expertise earned through jobs due to the nature of master’s degree programs.
The fact that there are so many online master’s degree program options makes it possible to focus on all kinds of specific interests, and therefore, the potential to find a job you’re passionate about is greater than ever. Nevertheless, what exactly is a master’s degree, and is it the best option for you? Read along as we talk about master’s degree programs and the top online master’s degree programs you can get in 2022.
What’s a Master’s Degree Program?
A master’s degree is a postgraduate academic credential awarded to those who have completed coursework and shown a high level of knowledge in a particular field of study or area of professional activity. The advanced knowledge of a specialized body of theoretical and applied topics, the high level of skills and techniques associated with their chosen subject area, and a variety of transferable and professional skills acquired through independent and highly focused learning and research are expected of students who graduate with a master’s degree.
When studying full- or part-time, master’s degrees normally take one to three years to finish. The time varies based on your chosen master’s degree type, the nation in which you study, and the topic you are studying. While a master’s degree in the UK requires 180 credits to finish, and 36 to 54-semester credits in the US, the standardized European system of higher education mandates that students must have 90 to 120 European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) credits.
Why Get a Master’s Degree?
There are several reasons why you might choose to get a master’s degree. If you’re looking for an advanced degree, it can help advance your career, or it can be used as an opportunity for personal growth and development. For example:
- To further advance your career by pursuing new positions within your field of interest or specialization.
- To get a better job because employers value experience and knowledge over time spent in school (especially when applying for jobs that require higher-level skills).
- To make more money by taking on increased responsibilities while continuing to work at the same company as before.
Some people want more flexibility with their career paths after completing their undergraduate studies—they may want to stay where they are but take on different roles within the company/field that appeals most strongly right now instead of going out into the unknown world completely unprepared like some young graduates tend to do these days.
Here are a few of the typical justifications for choosing to pursue a master’s degree:
- Subject Interest: You developed a strong interest in your chosen topic of study while earning your bachelor’s degree (or via independent study outside of formal schooling) and want to learn more about it or pursue a specialty. You could choose to do an in-depth study on the topic, work as an academic in the field, or instruct others. You can also be getting ready for PhD-level study.
- Industry Standard: Master’s degrees are highly valued in the career you have chosen. Each area has a different value for a master’s degree. While some fields require a master’s degree as a prerequisite for employment or advancement, others do not, and in some cases, a master’s degree can lead to career advancement on par with a doctoral degree (for instance, in social work, the pay gap between doctoral degree holders and master’s degree holders is relatively small).
- Love of Learning: You want to spend as much time as you can in college because you like it or because you need more time to think over your options since you don’t know what you want to do after graduation. By participating in research at a university department, you may continue working professionally in academia if you so want. If that’s your objective, it could be beneficial to begin looking into potential careers while you’re still in school so you’ll be more prepared for life after graduation.
- Professional Networking and Specialization: You want to develop useful relationships inside the business and obtain a greater understanding of your current sector or an industry you want to join. Numerous master’s degree programs provide students the ability to routinely network with important business figures and provide possibilities for job experience.
- Change of Course: You want to switch from your undergraduate degree, considering your master’s degree program as a “conversion course,” so you may more thoroughly investigate a new topic, industry, or sector.
- Career Advancement: To pursue a specific job, develop in your current career, or even change careers entirely, you need a master’s degree. It also helps you to get more information, credentials, or abilities. Before applying, it is important to confirm with professional organizations or potential employers that the course you want to take is legitimately recognized or certified. Legal professionals, medical professionals, educators, librarians, and physicists may all need postgraduate degrees.
- Academic Difficulty: You possess the drive, perseverance, and resolve required to take on the task of serious, ongoing study for a higher degree of knowledge. Between a first degree (such as an associate’s or bachelor’s degree) and a master’s degree, there is, in fact, a steep learning curve. A greater workload, much more difficult and sophisticated work, more extensive and independently generated research, tighter interaction with your course professor, high professionalism, and superb time management are all requirements for a master’s degree. And unlike first-year students, master’s degree applicants should, before applying, have a firm understanding of their academic interests and a focused love for their field.
- Employability: You think a second degree will set you apart from first-degree grads and win you favor with potential employers. Your knowledge, professional and personal abilities, as well as your confidence, may all be improved with a master’s degree, which will ultimately raise your employability. Additionally, a master’s degree might help you get financing for your Ph.D. studies.
How Much Do Master’s Degree Programs Cost?
The cost of a master’s degree depends on several factors, including the school you choose and the program you enroll in. The average cost for an online master’s program is $40,000 per year—but that number can vary depending on your school choice and location.
If you’re interested in living in a big city like New York or Los Angeles, spending more on rent may seem like an unnecessary expense (and it probably will be). But if you’re looking for more affordable housing options closer to campus so that it’s easier to attend class regularly and get involved at local organizations during off hours, then having an additional source of income could be helpful.
Available Online Master’s Degree Programs
The core knowledge of the sector is built upon by students pursuing an online master’s degree. Candidates for degrees examine theory and research in addition to practical applications. Students get the ability to critically analyze and base their conclusions on the best practices. Research projects and lecture-based coursework are common in master’s degrees. Students also finish a thesis.
Graduate students may obtain a master’s degree to meet their job aspirations because of the variety of alternatives available. The list that follows highlights a few standout choices. Students should investigate their desired college for further information since program availability differs by school.
A master of education or a master of arts in teaching are both options available to those working in the area of education. In the latter, theory and research are highlighted. Students consider the situation of education seriously. Practice is emphasized in a master of arts in teaching. Students may choose to concentrate on math or English.
The BLS predicts a 10% rise in employment for educators between 2020 and 2030. Graduates with a master’s in education may work as high-paying teachers, administrators, and college professors.
To become nurse practitioners, registered nurses might earn a master’s degree. In addition to prescribing medications, nurse practitioners diagnose and treat illnesses. Pharmacology and medical ethics are among the subjects covered in the program.
New applications of the technology are explored in an information technology master’s program. Aspirants to degrees learn how computers work and develop their problem-solving abilities. Graduates often go on to become computer and information research scientists, who, according to the BLS, have an annual median pay of $126,830.
Top Master Degree Colleges
Online master’s degree programs are the same as on-campus master’s degree programs. The only difference is that they’re done online, so you don’t have to move or pay rent to get an education. Here are some of the best colleges that provide the best master’s degree programs for students.
#1 – Southern New Hampshire University
Programs: Accounting, applied economics, business analytics, communication, cybersecurity, data analytics, English, nursing, finance, history, higher education administration, healthcare, information technology, marketing, psychology, and sports management are among the concentrations available.
Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU), established in 1963, has more than 135,000 students enrolled and provides more than 250 majors. Over 100 master’s degrees in subjects including accounting, communication, and cybersecurity are available for students to pursue. Students have ten months to obtain their degrees.
SNHU bills $627 for each credit. 36 credits are typically needed for online master’s degrees. Up to 12 graduate credits may be transferred by students. SNHU provides five start dates each year. The GMAT or GRE are not required by the institution.
#2 – Liberty University
There are a variety of concentrations available, including those in accounting, aviation, counseling, biomedical sciences, Bible, business administration, communication, criminal justice, cybersecurity, divinity, education, engineering, history, homeland security and disaster management, human biology, human performance, information systems and technology, legal studies, marketing, music, nursing, political science, psychology, public administration, public health, and public policy.
Liberty University, a Christian university in Lynchburg, Virginia, offers almost 300 online master’s degrees in a variety of subject areas. Since 1985, Liberty has offered possibilities for distant learning. Students may pursue master’s degrees in subjects including political science, nursing, and education. Normally, students sign up for eight-week blocks of instruction. The majority of programs take 1.5 to 2 years to finish.
For eligible members of the armed forces, first responders, missionaries, and Southern Baptists from certain states, Liberty provides tuition reductions. By degree, admission criteria change.
#3 – Florida International University
There are a variety of concentrations available, including accounting, African and African diaspora studies, computer engineering, construction management, criminal justice, curriculum and instruction, engineering management, finance, global affairs, healthcare, health informatics and analytics, health services administration, hospitality management, human resource management, international business, international real estate, logistics and supply chain management, logistics engineering, marketing, mass communication, and international relations.
With over 54,000 students enrolled, Florida International University (FIU) has one of the top 10 biggest student bodies in the country. The university offers hundreds of programs, including 50 graduate degrees in various areas offered entirely online. Engineering, education, and economics are a few alternatives.
FIU also provides various programs in a hybrid or executive setting. Professional certification or licensure may be the result of some curricula. The same professors that lecture on-campus courses also teach online courses. The online learning environment at FIU enables flexible and engaging learning.
#4 – Ohio State University
Programs: Plant health management, art education, bioethics, nursing, dental hygiene, engineering management, engineering leadership, healthcare innovation, learning technologies, public administration and leadership, public health, agricultural communication, education, and leadership, translational pharmacology, welding engineering, health-system pharmacy administration, social work, translational data analytics, business administration, and business analysis are all available concentrations.
With more than 500,000 alumni spread out around the globe, The Ohio State University maintains one of the biggest alumni networks in the world. The same professors who instruct on campus are available to students who want to pursue their master’s degrees online.
Master’s degrees are offered at Ohio State in a variety of disciplines, including art, business, and education. The admissions process is the same for both on-campus and online candidates. By program, requirements might differ. Once registered, online education students have access to student services including technical help.
#5 – Skysong Campus of Arizona State University
Concentrations include engineering and technology, entrepreneurship, business, computers and math, education and teaching, humanities, interdisciplinary studies, law, social and behavioral sciences, sustainability, and STEM. Other concentrations include architecture and construction.
Over 100 online master’s degrees are available from Arizona State University-Skysong (ASU) in a range of subject areas. Forensic psychology, project management, and engineering are a few alternatives. ASU provides many enrollment choices all year round.
Current undergraduate students at ASU have several chances to further their studies. In several professions, students may begin their master’s degree coursework while still pursuing their bachelor’s. Each program has its specific deadlines, specifications, and admittance standards. Typically, candidates require a bachelor’s degree and a minimum 60-credit GPA of 3.0.
If you’re looking for a way to get your master’s degree online, then look no further. There are many options out there and we’ve narrowed them down for you on this list. So whether you want to get a doctorate in business administration or education, one of these programs will be perfect for you.