Your Master’s degree: Useful tips for choosing a program

master's degree
Masters Degree

Your Master’s degree: Useful tips for choosing a program

When deciding to study a master’s degree, it may be overwhelming and confusing to make the decision on which program to study and at which institution you should study at. You might be asking yourself which subject area you want to pursue, which institution you want to study at or how long the program will take you to complete. You might also be curious about how much it will cost you and if the benefits are worth these costs. Choosing the right master’s degree for you can be a challenge. Read on to learn some tips and tricks that will make it simple to choose the perfect master’s degree program for you. 

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Useful tips for choosing a program 

From selecting your dream master’s degree program to choosing a suitable university, there are some simple steps you should follow when picking the ideal degree program for you. Following the next few tricks when carrying out your degree program search can help remove the stress from the process and make it a breeze! 

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Select the right subject

The first thing you need to think of when choosing your master’s degree program is selecting the subject specialisation that you are passionate about studying. The specialisation that you select might be the most crucial decision you make. Thinking about your passions and what subjects make your heart race with excitement might help you make the right choice. Think about if you want to study a master’s in product marketing, or if you’d rather pursue a law master’s degree and become like Harvey Specter? Having passion when it comes to your subject is crucial because master’s degree courses can be challenging and stressful so your love for your topic can help push you through the process and excel.  

Besides a subject you are passionate about, you should also think about future work opportunities and the career path you intend to follow. If a specific master’s specialisation will give you the tools for career advancement or you want to make a career shift to a new industry, picking this specialisation as a master’s subject can be the best choice for you. If you’re going to have a transfer semester abroad, you can also consider programs with optional international exchange semesters.

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Pick a suitable institution 

Another decision you have to make when picking a program is to select a suitable institution. A master’s degree is an additional degree that is expensive so you should choose an excellent institution to give you the connections you need to the industry you will pursue a career in. This will provide you with a significant added value to your CV. It’s also worth checking if the school offers any internships or student jobs linked to the master’s degree program so that you can get a leg in to your industry before graduation. 

Look into the university well to see what current and alumni students are saying about it. Make sure the program graduates are able to work in the field of your dreams and are following the career path you intend to take after graduation. Look up the degree professors to make sure they are qualified and have a good reputation, as well as expertise in their fields. All of this information will ensure you are making a sound and informed decision about your master’s program. 

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Consider information pertaining to the master’s program 

After selecting a potential degree, you should deeply research the program details, from how long it will take to complete to the eligibility requirements to how much the program will cost you. Considering all this information will help you see if it’s worth the investment of your time, money and energy and if you fulfil the requirements to join. This section explains what you should look for when researching. 

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Master’s degree duration to completion

 Another critical factor to look into is program duration. Some master’s degrees can be finished in a mere six months, while other courses that are more intense will need up to 2 years to be completed. How long the course duration is depends on factors like the intensity of your study, the course you have chosen and the university you want to study at. Keep in mind that if you need to hand in a dissertation at the end of the program, the degree will take you a minimum of a year to complete. Make sure that the degree program you have chosen is suitable for the amount of time you are willing to invest when completing your degree. 

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Eligibility requirements

Some degrees also have eligibility requirements like specific courses that you need to have taken beforehand. You might also need to have study a bachelor’s degree in a particular subject to even be considered for the program. If you are somehow admitted to the program without this bachelor’s, they may request for you to take a foundation course to make sure you are knowledgeable about the subject area, which might add extra time to your program duration. 

Other eligibility requirements may be language proficiency requirements, depending on the language of the course you are studying. You might also need to have some work experience in the field, whether as a full-time employee or an intern to qualify for the degree. Either way, be sure to look up the requirements for the program before applying so that you don’t waste time and energy applying if your application will be rejected cause you don’t fulfil the needed requirements.  

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Program cost

Another important factor, if not the most critical one for many students, especially those who finance their own degrees, is the program cost. There’s a wide range out there, from low costing to average to incredibly high price when it comes to fees. Research various programs in the subject you want to choose to find one suitable for your own budget. If you will study for your master’s degree in another country, you should also think about the costs of living of pursuing your degree like accommodation, utilities, food and transportation. These can also add major bucks to your program cost, if not the same amount as the tuition fees.  

If you still can’t afford any programs that you wish to pursue, or you want to save money, you can look into funding options. Most universities have scholarships for postgraduate students at their institutions. Some government bodies or private entities also offer scholarships. Eligibility requirements for scholarships or grants may be high grades, leadership potential, subject area studied or other skills. They might also be demographic factors like gender, nationality or country of origin. If you feel like you might fulfil the criteria for a scholarship, go ahead and apply! You can also send to the university directly to ask about financial aid or funding options. You have nothing to lose! 

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Consider intended career path after graduation 

You should also consider the career path you want to follow after graduation. In some fields, a master’s degree can really give you a boost in your CV when being considered for a position. You should research the field you want to join and see if they need a master’s degree and if it can set you apart. If you want to make a complete career shift, it may be necessary to choose a master’s degree and making the selection is simple as you’ll simply pick a program related to your new field of study. 

You can also contact the employer you want to work for after your degree if you know which one you want to work for. See if they want graduates of a specific master’s specialization or if they have a preference for a certain university. For example, if they’re a law firm that only hires from Harvard, make sure you know this so that you don’t waste your time studying anywhere else! I’m looking at you, Pearson-Hardman from Suits. 

Consider Flexible master’s study

A final step is to consider flexible master’s study opportunities. This is useful if you have a job or prior commitments and want to keep them going whilst you pursue your degree. If this is the case for you, look up online master’s degree programs or distance learning ones and see if they are a good fit. 

Looking up these programs in advance and their curriculums and curriculum structures can help you plan your schedule and know how you’ll manage your time. See which lectures and seminars are mandatory to be attended and check any project deadlines that you’ll need to submit if they are listed. If you can reach any, ask any previous students how long they invest in the program per week and if they have any free time. These factors could affect your decision when choosing a course. 

Read more: Why should I study an Online master’s degree?

Another option to pursue a flexible study option is to go for a part-time degree. However, you should be aware that this will mean you’ll take a longer time to earn your degree. 

In conclusion, choosing your master’s degree is an important choice when it comes to the course of your work career. You need to pick a program that has a subject you love, at a good institution and that falls within the range of your own personal preferences, from cost to course duration and more. You could also choose to study for an online or part-time degree if that is more suited to you and your current life circumstances. If you still don’t know what degree you want to study, no worries, Uniapp has your back! 

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