Resources › For Students and Parents Should I Earn a Master's Degree? Share Flipboard Email Print David Madison / Contributor /Moment Mobile / Getty Images For Students and Parents Business School MBA Programs & Rankings Business Specializations Business Degree Options Choosing A Business School Business School Admissions Business Careers and Internships Student Resources Homework Help Private School Test Prep College Admissions College Life Graduate School Law School Distance Learning View More By Karen Schweitzer Business Education Expert Karen Schweitzer is a business school admissions consultant, curriculum developer, and education writer. She has been advising MBA applicants since 2005. our editorial process Karen Schweitzer Updated December 01, 2017 A master's degree is awarded to students who have completed a graduate-level degree program with a focus on a particular topic, such as business, finance, economics, etc. Before you can enroll in a master's degree program, you must first earn a bachelor's degree. Most master's degree programs take at least two full years of study to complete. However, there are accelerated degree programs that can be completed in as little as one year. Students who attend a master's degree program part-time often take between three and six years to earn their degree. What Will I Study in a Master's Degree Program? Studies will vary depending on the program and your specialization. Students who specialize in a business field often take seminar-style classes that involve a great deal of discussion in addition to case study analysis. Some of the master's degrees that a business student can earn include: Master of AccountancyMaster of Arts in ManagementMaster of Business AdministrationMaster of Business, Entrepreneurship and TechnologyMaster of Business StudiesMaster of Business and EngineeringMaster of Business InformaticsMaster of City PlanningMaster of CommerceMaster of Computational FinanceMaster of Construction ManagementMaster of EnterpriseMaster of FinanceMaster of Financial EconomicsMaster of Financial EngineeringMaster of Health AdministrationMaster of Human RelationsMaster of Industrial and Labor RelationsMaster of International BusinessMaster of Information TechnologyMaster of ManagementMaster of Public AdministrationMaster of Public HealthMaster of Public PolicyMaster of Real Estate DevelopmentMaster of Science in ManagementMaster of Science in Project ManagementMaster of Science in Taxation Master's Degrees vs. MBA Degrees Many business students have a hard time choosing between a specialized master's degree program and an MBA (master's in business administration) degree program. The choice is a personal one and should be based on your individual background and future career plans. For example, if you want to work as a finance manager and already have a great deal of management training, you may be better off with a traditional master's program with a focus on finance. If, on the other hand, you haven't had any management training prior to attending graduate school, an MBA program with a focus on finance may be the right choice for you. Reasons to Earn a Master's Degree There are many different reasons to consider earning a master's degree in a business specialization. To start, this education track can open the door to better jobs and more earning potential. Individuals who hold a master's degree are eligible for different and more advanced employment opportunities than individuals with a bachelor's degree. They also tend to earn more on an annual basis. Earning a master's degree also allows you to immerse yourself in the study of a topic that interests you. Master's degree programs encourage research and hands-on experience so that students are prepared to apply newly acquired knowledge in the field. Where to Earn a Master's Degree Master's degrees are awarded by many different colleges and universities. The degree can typically be earned online or through an on-campus program. The number of classes or credit hours required to earn a master's degree can vary depending on the program of study. Choosing a Master's Degree Program Finding the right master's degree program can be a difficult. There are hundreds of schools and degree programs to choose from in the U.S. alone. Some of the things that should be considered when choosing a master's degree program include: Accreditation: Is the school accredited. If so, by whom?Career services/career placement: Does the school help you get an internship while you are in school or a job after graduation. Does the school offer on-campus recruiting events?Cost and/or financial aid packages: How much is tuition? How much financial aid can you get from the school (if any)?Curriculum: What will you learn? How will it prepare you to achieve your academic and career goals?Faculty reputation: Who teaches the classes? Are they leaders in their field?Program reputation: What do employers and recruiters think of this school Is it a respected institution?Selectivity: How many students are accepted each year? Do you meet the admissions requirements? What are your chances of getting accepted?