1. Education

Video:Types of Advanced Degrees

with Jen D'Amor

Want to learn about the different types of advanced degrees? Here, see facts about advanced degrees and what kinds are available.See Transcript

  • All Videos
  • All Education Videos
  • Graduate School Videos

Transcript:Types of Advanced Degrees

Hi I'm Jen D'Amore for About.com, and this video is all about the difference between advanced degrees.

Basics About Types of Advanced Degrees

So you've earned your Bachelors, and would like to continue your higher education, but what degree is right for you? Though it depends greatly on your particular field of study and career interest, the most popular options are Master's, and Doctoral degrees.

Advanced Degree: Masters

Traditionally a Master's degree would be earned before a Doctorate, but it is possible to apply for admission directly into a Doctoral Program following a Bachelors. Maseter of Arts, MA, and Master of science, MS, are the most common titles of masters degrees, but departments often offer even more specific titles, like MFA, MC, MM, and MBA.

Master's degree programs usual take 2 to 3 years to complete.Some newer master's programs are even shorter, designed to fast track professionals. Some schools even offer distance learning, or on-line masters programs. Most programs consist of advanced course work and exams, and usually either a written thesis or a comprehensive exam.

Advanced Degree: PhD

A doctoral degree, or "PhD" is a more advanced degree and takes longer, even 4-8 years to complete. In addition to course work, and exams, Phd candidates usually must present and defend a thesis or dissertation consisting of original research that is suitable for publication. On-line completion of a PhD is less common than a Masters, as Universities prefer to have direct contact with their doctoral students.

Some departments give the option of starting in the Master's program, and as a student nears completion of the Masters, they can be recommended or apply to continue studying in the same field in pursuit of a PhD.

Most grad students will be on their own for financing their Master's education, while PhD students are more likely to be given financial aid in the form of scholarships and loans. The value and need of these degrees varies greatly by field and profession, and may or may not give you advantage in the workplace. It is best to research specifically how valuable an advanced degree may be in your particular field before pursuing. An alternative is to earn a professional certificate in your particular field, a pursuit that can take as little as a year, but demonstrates competence or mastery of a particular skill.

Thanks for watching, to learn more visit us on the web at About.com.

About videos are made available on an "as is" basis, subject to the User Agreement.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.