Seven Types of Masters Programs in the U.S.

Seven Types of Masters Programs in the U.S.

If you think you can only enroll in a master’s program that matches your undergraduate major, think again!

Education in the U.S is more flexible than that. There are multiple types of master’s degrees, and they all have something unique to offer. We suggest you weigh your options before taking the plunge.

In this article, we present seven of the most in-demand master’s degrees you can pursue in the U.S as an international scholar.

1. M.Eng. – Masters of Engineering

If you have an undergraduate degree in engineering and wish to pursue this field further, an M.Eng. is just what you need. M.Eng. is a specialized and advanced engineering degree for those who wish to become chartered engineers.

This degree focuses on coursework. It hones students to work in the professional field by enriching them with technical experience, as opposed to research or academia. You can complete an M.Eng in any specialized branch of engineering. This is a terminal degree that prepares you to work in the private sector.

As of this writing, petroleum engineering is the most in-demand trade in the U.S., with an average salary of more than $118,000 per year.

Duration: 2 Years

Eligibility: Bachelors in engineering or a related science and technology subject

Average Fees: $47,000

Median Salary: $79,123 (per year)

Career Scope: Senior systems engineer, software developer, senior electrical engineer, structural engineer, design engineer, product engineer, senior chemical engineer, chemical process engineer, construction project manager, senior mechanical engineer, petroleum engineer, etc.

2. MBA – Masters in Business Administration

“Money makes the world go round.” If this statement fires you up, an MBA is the degree for you!

With this master’s, you can handle every aspect of a business. You can work in investment and banking, or even establish your own corporation and venture on the path of entrepreneurship.

Leadership and management are two skills you’ll master with this degree. Within a year or two of finishing this degree, you will likely be earning a six-figure salary.

Greed shouldn’t be your motive, though. The course and the path thereafter are riddled with challenges. You should be interested in understanding money itself.

MBA programs typically target advanced professionals looking for a professional boost. So, get a taste of the professional life before you go for an MBA.

Duration: 2 years

Eligibility: 3-year/4-year bachelor’s degree + minimum of 2 – 3 years of work experience

Average Fees: Over $60,000

Starting Salary: $91,372 (per year)

Career Scope: Financial advisor, management analyst, IT manager, marketing manager, HR manager, business consultant, medical director, chief marketing director, chief technology officer, chief executive officer, chief operating officer, chief financial officer, chief administrative officer, sales director, investment banker, finance manager, compensation and benefits manager, public relations director, portfolio manager, etc.

3. MCA – Masters in Computer Applications

If you are a computer geek, this is just the course for you. You’ll get a chance to learn the latest computer programming languages and tools.

With that knowledge, you can develop, program, and analyze any advanced computer application. You’ll be considered equivalent to a software engineer in the U.S., which is a valuable asset to any company.

Research suggests that the U.S computer applications and software industry is worth 2 trillion dollars. After you finish this degree, you can easily enter the IT industry with a lucrative pay package and tremendous career scope.

Duration: 2 years

Eligibility: Bachelor’s degree in computer applications (BCA) or equivalent

Average Fees: $38,953

Salary Range: $27,300 – $81,103 (per year)

Career Scope: Software engineer, hardware engineer, programmer, network designer, system analyzer, computer and information scientist, software developer, computer system analyst, IT specialist, database administrator, software consultant, systems architect, data science specialist, mobile application developer, web designer/web developer, senior technical consultant, project manager, ethical hacker, machine learning engineer, and assistant professor, etc.

4. MS – Masters of Science

Students with a scientific temperament are ideal for this degree. You can do an MS in any field of science and technology. Although it is an academic degree, an MS doesn’t limit you to academia. You can pursue research, or work as a professional; it’s up to you.

This degree will deepen your knowledge in your chosen discipline (computer science, game design and development, information technology, artificial intelligence, embedded systems, life sciences, pharmacy, etc.). With each major, hundreds of career opportunities can open for you.

Duration: 1-2 years

Eligibility: Bachelor’s degree in science or relevant field

Average Fees: $62,300

Starting Salary: $52,300 – $73,900 (per year)

Career Scope: Depends on your discipline of choice

5. LLM – Masters of Laws

The logical continuation of legal studies after a bachelor’s program in law, is an LLM.

A bachelor’s degree is sufficient for practicing law. So, a master’s degree is an advanced academic degree for specialization in a certain subject area (like, tax law). It extends your credentials as a lawyer on an international level.

LLM has a more theoretical approach that requires a thesis to obtain the degree. It is recommended to get some real-world experience instead of enrolling in this course straight after your bachelor’s.

Fun fact: LLM stands for Legum Magister where “LL” is the Latin abbreviation for laws.

Duration: 1 year

Eligibility: JD (Juris Doctor) or a first law degree (LLB or the equivalent) from an accredited law school

Average Fees: $12,000 – $70,000

Median Salary: $112,630 (per year)

Career Scope: Judge, litigator, prosecutor, private banker, law firm partner, chief executive officer, legal representative, politician, law professor, etc.

6. M.Ed. – Masters of Education

Students who have a calling for teaching and shaping the future generation can opt for an M.Ed.

There will be some compulsory courses on classroom management, leadership and development, and curriculum and planning. But, apart from that, students have the freedom to choose their area of focus.

You will get hands-on practice and guided teaching help. The doors to becoming a college professor can also open up if you have adequate qualifications.

It is a rewarding career path that allows you to work as an educator at secondary and post-secondary levels. You can also venture into the private sector if you so desire.

Duration: 2 years

Eligibility: Bachelors in education (B.Ed.) or any relevant graduation course

Average Fees: $55,200

Median Salary:  $31,500 – $86,500 (per year)

Career Scope: Principal, administrator, teacher, school/career counselor, educational coordinator, director at museum/aquarium/zoo, corporate trainer, education consultant, curriculum/instruction specialist, content developer, academic advisor, standardized test developer, professor, etc.

7. MA – Masters of Arts

If you want to expand your knowledge base in the humanities, an MA will fit the bill. This course is highly accessible since it is open to anyone who holds a bachelor’s degree, irrespective of your major.

You will be exposed to an interdisciplinary style of teaching. Choose among an array of interesting specializations—philosophy, art history, literature, political science, visual arts, sociology, media design, anthropology, linguistics, and more.

Pursuing an MA degree is more about intellectually challenging yourself and developing transferable skills than pursuing a specific career path. Art majors care more about creativity, innovation, and social change.

That’s not to say that your career options will be limited in any way. In fact, there are too many career options to list for each discipline of arts.

Duration: 2 years

Eligibility: Bachelors in arts (BA) or any relevant graduation course

Average Fees: $72,800

Salary Range: $49,324 – $126,043 (per year)

Career Scope: Depends on your discipline of choice

Please note that all numbers we have provided above are only a rough estimate. Fees will vary depending on your major and the university you enroll in. Salary depends on your job title and company. The outcome of your education ultimately depends on your hard work. Keep hustling!

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