Accelerated Degree Programs Could Help Earn an Advanced Degree in Less Time Than You May Think

Pursue an accelerated path to an online master's or online doctoral degree with CTUWondered what doors might open if you continued your education? While many people are interested in pursuing a master's or doctoral degree the idea of earning an advanced degree can be an intimidating prospect, especially if worried it might take years to work toward while working a full time job and raising a family.

Accelerated degree programs or combined degree programs could be an answer to your dilemma. These types of programs can cut down on the time and investment needed to earn an advanced degree. Quality, accredited programs, such as those offered by CTU, may be accelerated or combined degree programs that offer work and life experience credits as well as the chance to earn college credit for knowledge of key course objectives.1

What's the difference between a master's degree and a doctoral degree?

A master's degree can be a standard credential for professionals seeking to gain more knowledge and managerial acumen related to their field. Because of that, there are a wide variety of fields in which you can pursue a master's degree. CTU offers more than 35 quality campus-based or online master's degrees and concentrations that aim to help students acquire the knowledge they need to help them work towards greater professional knowledge and competency.

A doctoral degree is the highest level of an academic degree, and a step above the master's degree. A doctoral degree indicates that the recipient may possess the expertise such that some may consider them to be a leader in their field. CTU's executive-format doctoral degrees are a collaborative effort between students and the CTU community based upon mentor relationships and rigorous academic coursework.

Why should you consider a master's degree?

Occupations that typically require a master's degree for entry were projected to grow the fastest of other occupation categories between 2012 and 2022 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.2 The average growth for all occupations was projected to be 10.8 percent in that time period, while the Bureau of Labor Statistics expected jobs that require master's degrees to grow an 18.4 percent.3

A master's degree could be considered for advancement in many types of industries. Some professions in which a master's degree may be helpful include accounting, human resources, information technology, and criminal justice.4

Lastly, the unemployment rate was significantly lower for those with a master's degree in 2013. In 2013, 2.4 percent of people with a master's degree were unemployed, as compared to national average of 6.1 percent, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics.5

Why should you consider a doctorate?

If you want to get a doctorate, you need to have earned your master's degree first. But do you need a doctorate? It depends on several factors. First, you should study whether the profession you are interested in requires a doctorate. Some examples of professions where a doctorate can be beneficial may include higher education teaching and learning, executive leadership, and big data analytics.6

Another reason to consider a doctorate can be the prestige of the title. It's recognized throughout the professional world that someone with a doctorate is highly knowledgeable in the field. The median annual wage of someone with a doctorate was $96,420 in 2012, according to numbers compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.7 In comparison, the median wage of someone with a master's degree was $63,400 in 2012, according to the same Bureau of Labor Statistics report, while the median wage for all occupations was $34,750.8

Learn more about how to receive credit for prior experience: Download our Experiential Learning Portfolio.

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2Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor (retrieved 2/08/2015)
3Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor (retrieved 2/08/2015)
4Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor (retrieved 2/08/2015)
5Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor (retrieved 2/08/2015)
6Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor
7Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor
8Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor