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Reasons to Consider a Master’s Degree

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Are you debating whether or not to earn a master’s degree? In 2008-2009, the National Center for Education Statistics recorded 656,000 new Master’s degree recipients. The most popular field of study for U.S. master’s students was education, with about 179,000 graduates earning an M.Ed. or similar degree. The second most popular field was business.

Whatever field of study you choose, a master's degree will usually involve about two years of intense study and research though program length may vary. In fact, some online master's degree programs can take as few as 12 months. While earning a master's degree could make you more attractive to some employers as a job candidate, it represents a major commitment of time, effort, and financial investment. Here are a few reasons you should consider taking the master’s degree plunge.

You Love What You Do

If you’re passionate about your current line of work and want to improve your knowledge and skills, earning a master's degree could help you move to a new level of performance. A master’s program that emphasizes practical instruction and is industry-current can revitalize the way you work.

Enrolling in a master's program also gives you the opportunity to meet new people who are similarly committed to the field, whether they’re your instructors or your classmates. You can develop new perspectives and swap ideas.

You Want To Change Directions

A master’s degree program can also be a good option for people who want to change what they do. If you have work experience in one area, earning a master’s degree in a different field can help you branch out in your current role or possibly pursue career opportunities in a new field.

In addition to giving you an intense, in-depth introduction to the industry you study, a master’s degree also provides potential networking opportunities for you as you strike out in a new direction.

Your Industry Has Changed

Even the most dedicated professionals can fall behind on new developments in their industry. Sometimes the pace of innovation is so unrelenting or so sudden that you can’t assimilate the new realities on your own.

In a career-focused master’s degree program, you have the opportunity to learn industry-relevant thinking in your field presented to you in a way you can use.

It’s More Flexible Than Ever

Pursuing a master’s degree doesn’t have to come at the expense of your working or private life anymore. Many master’s programs are designed to integrate into the busy lives of working professionals through flexible class schedules, such as night courses or online learning, which is rapidly becoming a normal part of education rather than a novelty.

More than 6 million students were enrolled in one online course during the fall of 2010, according to a Sloan Consortium survey. A master’s degree program that combines online and on-campus instruction, or a completely online program, can help you pursue your goals with less disruption to your career and family life.

This article is presented by American InterContinental University, a provider of career-focused degree programs at campuses across the U.S. and in London. Students can also study on our Virtual Campus at AIU Online. Find out more at