How Long Does it Take to Receive a Master’s Degree?

How Long Does it Take to Receive a Master’s Degree?

Master’s degrees open the door to unprecedented opportunity, wealth, and success. They give you better job options, better pay, and give you a substantial amount of reputation in your subject of interest, meaning your words now carry weight.

Of course, these benefits don’t come all at once. You need the degree first, and that takes a significant amount of time, energy, and money. So how long does it take to receive a Master’s degree?

On average, most Master’s degree programs take between 1.5 to 2 years to receive. Some (often in Science and Technology) take a little longer at around 2.5 years, and some (usually in Arts or Education), take just 1.

The difference is due to whether or not the degree has a practical laboratory component — these skills often take significantly longer to learn and internalize, which usually extends the degree at least another year. However, the increased time and energy required in a laboratory means that Master’s degrees in Science and Technology often carry with them a much more substantial pay bump than their Arts counterparts.

As the demand for shorter, cheaper degrees increases, programs will likely become successively smaller. This is a byproduct of both economic uncertainty and the recent explosion in distance learning. The ability for everyone to work at their own pace combined with remote education will provide many options for compressed timetables, and let some people finish Master’s degrees in just a handful of months. Don’t be surprised if, at some point in the future, compressed 6 month Master’s degrees is the norm!

This means that, altogether, the average Master’s degree graduate has spent between 5 to 7 years in post-secondary education. That’s over half a decade of cumulative knowledge and research in their chosen area of study — not bad for someone just entering the workforce!

Now that you know how long it takes to receive a Master’s degree, how about cost? Because of all of the benefits of receiving a Master’s degree, it isn’t cheap. Colleges and Universities know that they’re providing a significant improvement in quality of life, and they charge for it appropriately.

Fortunately, many studies and compilations have been done on this very topic. It varies based on where you are in the world, but, on average, a Master’s degree will run you anywhere from $30,000 to $120,000, with the bulk in the $40,000-$50,000 range.

Most prospective Masters require small lines of credit or loans to foot the bill, with the expectation being that the increased wage the degree can provide will help pay it off in a few years. A small number of Masters are able to make by on grants and funding alone, but this takes exceptional work ethic, strong studying techniques, and an excellent Undergraduate track record during applications.

Congratulations! You know how long it takes to receive a Master’s degree, as well as what the average cost of a Master’s degree is.

Use this newfound knowledge to… well… go out and get a Master’s degree! Then use your improved salary to buy me a round of beer. Good luck!