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More Masters Degree Opportunities, but for Whom?

While our lead article this week discusses the question asked by many
undergrads, "Should I Do a Ph.D.?", many bachelors-degree grads
are already jumping at the chance to do a masters degree. The New York Times this week delves into dual explosions
in masters degrees, both in the numbers of students enrolled in masters programs
and the institutions offering the degrees. The Times says the number of students
earning masters degrees has nearly doubled since 1980. And since 1970, the
growth rate has reached 150%, more than twice the rate of bachelors or doctorate
degrees.

The highest rates of growth in enrollees between
academic years 1980-81 and 2004-05, according to statistics cited in the article
from the National Center for Education Statistics, are in education (124%) and
business (114%). However, science and technology disciplines are not too far
behind: Science masters have increased 92% since 1980 and social science and
engineering have each gained 81%

The article explains how masters degrees apparently
are a sweet deal for both students and institutions. For students, a masters
degree opens up more employment opportunities as well as advancement potential
in their current jobs. For institutions, new masters programs can provide a
large shot of income: Graduate tuition is often significantly higher than for
undergrad degrees, with less overhead than new doctoral programs. For example,
schools can use the same labs and professors for many masters courses as they do
for existing doctoral offerings, which means much of the income from masters
students goes right to their bottom lines.

For masters students, however, gratification is
delayed until after the degree’s completion. The article says masters candidates
at private institutions need to borrow as much as $50,000 for each year of
school. Public institutions may not be that pricey, but a 2-year masters degree
from University at Minnesota required a recent hire at 3M to take out $35,000 in
loans. Doctoral students typically find more financial support, from research
stipends and other grants, than masters candidates.

2 comments on “More Masters Degree Opportunities, but for Whom?”

  1. To get master degree is much easier than PhD, this is my first point.
    And the second, $50,000 – is to much for one year of study.
    http://www.alpha-school.com

  2. alan says:

    Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
    The PhD is an advanced academic degree and applies to a wide variety of disciplines in the sciences and humanities. The PhD is usually a requirement for a career in research or as a university lecturer. A Master’s degree is typically a requirement for admission to a PhD program although some countries enter students immediately after a Bachelor’s degree.
    Doctoral Degrees

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