A master's degree is often considered the next step after earning a bachelor's degree. While some programs offer specialized training in certain fields, other degrees prepare students for careers in academia or research.
Master's degrees are designed to provide advanced instruction in specific areas of study.
A master's degree is an graduate degree designed around an advanced subject. While an undergraduate degree might be more broad in course requirements and content, a master's degree is for students looking to specialize and grow their knowledge in a particular field. Anyone with the prerequisites can benefit from a master's degree to advance their skills and open new career paths and job prospects. On Coursera, all master's degrees are issued directly by the university offering them, and are 100 percent online at accessible pricing.
In most cases yes, though there are some exceptions. Some programs also allow you to begin your master’s coursework while still earning your bachelor’s degree.
Yes. Many master’s programs accept degrees from other fields so long as they’re from an accredited school.
For students that go through online degree programs on Coursera that are accredited by our university partners, all of the content is created by university faculty members who are subject matter experts. Your degree will be conferred and accredited by the universities themselves.
In general, master’s degree coursework is more challenging than that of a bachelor’s degree. But it also builds upon your previous academic and career experience.
Master’s programs tend to be career-oriented, while PhDs tend to be more research based. Some PhD programs require you to have a master’s degree.
This is a personal decision, but having previous professional experience might enhance the value of your learning.
Application requirements vary by program, but generally you will need to have earned a bachelor’s degree before beginning a master's program.
As you're researching graduate degrees, you'll find that there are multiple options to pursue.
A Master of public Health, or MPH, is an interdisciplinary graduate degree focused on the science and practical application of building good community health by learning to work designing good community education, working within the legal and political system to promote public health initiatives and policies. Master's in Public Health degrees can focus students looking to make the world a healthier place in many areas, including epidemiology, health education, environmental health, population science, biostatistics, and health services administration.
A data science master's degree is relatively new an graduate program that combines core concepts from mathematics, computer science, statistics, and information science to leverage insights and help data scientists improve operational and business processes. A data science master's is best positioned for someone who is interested in furthering their data science career, or interested in building or expanding skills in machine learning, cluster analysis, databases, data visualization, statistics, data mining and more.
A master's degree in computer science is a graduate degree focused on advanced computer programming, generally to prepare the student for a variety of professional technical challenges. A computer science master's degree is a good fit for someone with a computer science undergraduate degree or a strong foundation in computer science looking to formalize their experience.
No, the postbacc program is not the same as or a substitute for a master’s degree. It is not considered grad school, though it can help prepare students who have earned a bachelor’s degree for a research or professional degree program.
Any degree you are seeking will require some level of investment, whether that’s measured in money, time, or energy. On the other end of that investment should be a payoff—increased earning potential, new skills, or movement toward your career goals, to name a few.
From certified public accounts to physician assistants, many careers require you to have a master's degree before you can work in the field. Some of those include physical therapists, audiologists, architects, nurse practitioners, postsecondary educators, genetic counselors, school administrators, social workers, librarians, marriage counselors, clinical psychologists, and archeologists.
Graduate degrees are necessary for certain careers. Becoming a nurse practitioner, physician’s assistant, or high school guidance counselor, for example, all typically require a master’s degree. Becoming a lawyer will require a law degree, and you'll need to go to medical school to be a doctor. Going to grad school can also lead to salary increases, and open doors to a new career.
You might not want to go to graduate school if you think you can learn the skills needed to make a career switch on your own. Switching into a new career like UX design, IT, or data analysis, for example, is generally possible so long as you have the skill set required. Enrolling in online courses, or getting a professional certificate, might make more sense for you.
Graduate school has its rewards. Graduates of master's programs earned a median of $80, 340 a year in the US, compared to graduates of bachelor’s programs, who earned a median of $67,860 a year, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics .
Earning a master's degree can make you a more desirable job candidate when applying for a job, especially in a competitive field, but the opportunities don't end there. Earning your master's can help you switch to a new career path, work your way up in your current field or company, earn a promotion, improve your job security, and provide you with the credentials to ask for a bigger salary. It can also help you meet the requirements for specific jobs.
This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.