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Five Affordable Masters Degrees to Increase Your Income

Five Affordable Masters Degrees to Increase Your Income

Wading into a graduate education program isn't a casual decision on either side: students make sacrifices to do it and schools have standards for eligibility. But there are tens of thousands of us stuck in the under-employed rut who may find that upgrading educational credentials opens new doors for employment opportunities or provides qualification for an advanced position. Most master's degree programs require a relevant undergraduate degree, although that is not always the case. Academic prerequisites for graduate degrees vary from school to school, program to program. In some cases such as accounting, you'll need a solid math background but not necessarily an undergraduate degree in the field.

It takes two elements to make this concept work: you need to have a new or enhanced career track in mind, and you need to be able to match your experience and education to the application requirements set forth by the school you choose. That said here are five suggestions for degrees that align with a lot of job openings and that are available to people without a highly focused undergraduate degree. These degrees are affordable because they can be completed in one year or less, and because they are common enough that you can shop them as well as pursue an online option in order to keep working.

  1. Accounting is an interesting option because most master's programs in the field are tied to state licensure requirements for status as a Certified Public Accountant. Most states require a total of 150 credit hours in the classroom, which nets out to one more year of study than a bachelor's degree requires. Not all schools offer this degree, but the Master of Accounting (MAcc) is a one year program that doesn't require an undergraduate degree in accounting, nor in many cases does it require work experience. There will be some math prerequisites for enrollment, and of course you still have to pass the CPA exam. Search masters in accounting schools
  2. Homeland Security obviously is a degree that has been created since 9/11. A good program in the field will require 30-36 credit hours which can be completed in one year of full time study; some credits may be transferrable, especially if you have had military training. The degree usually offers areas of specialization: one accredited online program offers emphasis in Information Security, Geospatial Security, Agricultural Security, and Public Health Security. All have different academic prerequisites which make this field an option for people with a variety of backgrounds. Search masters in homeland security schools
  3. Forensic Science is a field with multiple career opportunities in criminalistics and consulting. You'll need an undergraduate degree in one of the biological sciences, chemistry, or a related field. How far "related" stretches depends on the school. Most programs are thirty to thirty six credit requirements, manageable in one year. It's a field that requires new expertise because of all the new technology being introduced for criminal investigation. Search masters in forensic schools
  4. Management is the graduate degree that will provide you with an embellished resume for jobs in the corporate sector without going through all of the MBA craziness. The Masters in Management is a mainstream degree today, respected in the workplace and offered by many schools with several areas of specialization, similar to MBA programs. There are plenty of one year MOM programs out there, many of them offered as accredited online options. Search masters in management schools
  5. Teaching is an option today for people who have a bachelor's degree in some other field but no background in education. The Master of Arts in Teaching is designed for career changers who would like to take advantage of the teacher shortage and work in the classroom. This program will take more than twelve months to complete for new teachers, but depending on the state, within a year you may be working with a provisional teaching license. There are lots of online programs for various teaching options - elementary school, high school, special education. Search masters in teaching schools
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            5 Program(s) Found
            • Full Sail’s curriculum combines elements of creativity, art, business and life skills, technical prowess, and academic achievement.
            • Full Sail offers accelerated programs, so a degree that would normally take four years takes 24 months on average.
            • Students work with industry-standard tools and technologies, allowing them to gain practical knowledge and real-world experience.
            • Join us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram to interact with our community, read about grad success, and see campus images.
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            1 Program(s) Found
            • Ranked 33rd among the Best Grad Schools for Social Work in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • Founded in 1904 as the nation’s first institute of higher learning to offer training for clinical social workers.
            • Provides a rigorous education, including a nationally accredited Master of Social Work (MSW) Program and PhD in Social Work.  
            • Offers inventive programs with hands-on experience.  
            • Incorporates social justice values and multicultural perspectives into curriculum. 
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            1 Program(s) Found
            • Master of Science in Communications offered online through Syracuse University’s world-renowned Newhouse School of Public Communications.
            • Ranked among the Best Global Universities in 2016 by U.S. News & World Report.
            • Specializations include Advertising, Public Relations, and Journalism Innovation.
            • Coursework provides students with communication strategies for today’s changing media landscape.
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            2 Program(s) Found
            • Ranked among the Best National Universities in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • Ranked 8th among the Best Online Graduate Education Programs in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • A private, co-ed college founded in 1821 and located in downtown Washington, D.C.
            • Its student-faculty ratio is 13:1, and 55.1% of classes have fewer than 20 students.
            • Has distinguished alumni including Senator Harry Reid, former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, and actress Courtney Cox.
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            • Communications@Simmons prepares students to become leaders who achieve their organizational, professional, and personal goals through a strategic integration of communications theory and practice.
            • The rigorous, practice-based curriculum ensures that students develop the key skills and competencies necessary to successfully navigate the shifting landscape of the digital world.
            • Simmons’ faculties are scholars and practitioners who provide individualized attention to students, guiding their professional and personal development through hands-on engagement.
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            2 Program(s) Found

            Nursing@Simmons, the innovative, online nursing degree program from Simmons School of Nursing and Health Sciences prepares Registered Nurses for the next stage of their careers.

            You need to have a Bachelor’s degree and RN license to be qualified for this school.

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            • Ranked #12 in the 2015 Best Graduate Schools in Social Work by U.S. News & World Report.
            • Offers more specialization opportunities than any other social work program, with 10 concentrations and sub-concentrations and 8 dual-degree programs.
            • The first elite researching university to offer a Master of Social Work degree online.
            • Has 4,000 field internship opportunities that give students real-world experience.
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            5 Program(s) Found
            • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor's Programs in 2014 by U.S. News & World Report.
            • Implements a one-to-one teaching model, partnering one student with one faculty member in each course.
            • 100% of faculty members hold doctoral degrees.
            • No physical residency requirements, allowing students to pursue their degree online.
            • Committed to innovation, diversity, excellence, and accountability since its founding in 1996.
            • Offers several programs in business, education, psychology, and more.
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            • A private, Christian, liberal arts university founded in 1905 and open to students of any faith.
            • Has an average class size of 20 students.
            • 97% of students receive financial aid, with the average freshman receiving $10,000.
            • Offers over 25 undergraduate degree programs.
            • Has approximately 5,000 students; 60% female and 40% male.
            • Accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
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            • Ranked among top Regional Universities in the South by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
            • Ranked 37th among the Best Colleges for Veterans by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
            • Stands as the largest private, nonprofit university in the nation with 100,000+ students.
            • Offers over 230 programs online, from the certificate to the doctoral level.
            • Has a student-faculty ratio of 25:1, and 42.3% of its classes have fewer than 20 students.
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            • Accredited
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