Each university degree level varies in length, requirements and results. Each university degree aligns with students' different personal interests and professional goals. A master's degree is a graduate degree that can be earned after earning a bachelor's degree, such as a bachelor's degree. It is generally understood that people who have obtained a master's degree have solid knowledge of their area of study or professional practice.
A master's degree is an advanced degree earned after a person has completed their bachelor's degree. The college or university normally requires that the bachelor's degree be in a related field. For example, a person with a degree in English literature is likely to need to take some science courses before they can enter a master's program in chemistry. Master's degree programs are highly specialized depending on the work the student is interested in obtaining upon graduation.
Programs may vary, but they last from one to four years depending on the field of study and the number of classes a student takes per year. Often, master's students attend classes while working full time. Some jobs, such as that of lawyer or doctor, require such complicated training that they will require higher education beyond a master's degree called a doctorate. Career success can often be achieved as easily with a professional certification as with a traditional university degree, especially in highly technical fields where employers care more about your skills than your university credential.
To view recent college graduates and the degrees they hold, see this information from the Office of Labor and Statistics. As the following graph shows, college graduates earn more than workers without degrees and have lower unemployment rates. While many students stop doing so after earning a bachelor's degree, other graduates motivated by job requirements or simply an inquisitive mind choose to return to university to advance in the subject of their choice.