Advanced Degrees: The Breakdown

Seeing that ignorance is the curse of God, education is the wing wherewith we fly to heaven.” William Shakespeare

Education is the great engine of personal development.” Nelson Mandela

Just what is an advanced degree? And what are the many different ways in which a person with an undergraduate degree (bachelor’s) can obtain one?

Rolling out has listed many of the most recognizable advanced degrees that you can receive:

Master’s: A master’s degreeis an academic degree granted to individuals who have undergone study demonstrating a mastery or high-order overview of a specific field of study or area of professional practice.

In most countries, a bachelor’s degree is a prerequisite to pursuing a master’s degree. In some cases the student’s bachelor’s degree must be in the same subject as the intended master’s degree (ex., a master of economics typicallyrequire a bachelor’s with a major in economics), or a degree that is in proximity discipline-wise (ex., applied mathematics degrees may accept graduates in physics, mathematics or computer science).

Advanced Degrees:

MBA: There are many different types of master’s degree programs available in the United States. An MBA therefore is the pursuit and acquisition of a master’s of business administration.

M.A. The two most common titles of master’s degrees are the Master of Arts (M.A.) and Master of Science (M.S.) these may be course-based, research-based, or a mixture of the two.

Law Degree: Juris doctor, or doctor of jurisprudence, commonly abbreviated J.D., is the degree commonly conferred by law schools. It is a prerequisite in all states except California (which includes an option called law office study) to gain admission to the Bar. Gaining admission to the Bar means obtaining a license to practice law in a particular state or in federal court.

Interestingly enough, until the 1930s and 1940s, many states did not require a person to have a law school degree in order to obtain a license to practice law. Most lawyers qualified for a license by working as an apprentice for an established attorney for a specified period. However, by the 1950s most states required a law school degree to practice law. State legislatures established this requirement to raise the standards of practicing attorneys and to restrict the number of attorneys.

Doctor of Philosophy: A Doctor of Philosophy degree, abbreviated as Ph.D., is the highest academic degree one can earn. A Ph.D. is the de facto “union card” for an academic position. Although it is possible to obtain an academic position without a Ph.D., the chances are low. Major universities (and most colleges) require each member of their faculty to hold a Ph.D. and to engage in research activities to ensure that he or sheh as sufficient expertise to teach advanced courses.

Doctor of Education: The Ed.D. is recognized by the National Science Foundation as a research degree, and is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as being equivalent to a Ph.D.At most colleges and universities in the United States that offer doctorates in education, the college or university chooses to offer the Ed.D. (doctor of education), the Ph.D. (doctor of philosophy) in education, or both.

Terry Shropshire
Terry Shropshire

I'm a lover of words, pictures, people and The Ohio State Buckeyes. A true journalist from the soul.


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