Focusing on Job Skills with a Master’s Degree

The professional science master's degree, also known as the PSM, began in 1997. It provided a way quickly equip students with the skills that they would need in science, technology, engineering, and math fields. Now there are nearly 300 PSM programs that are offered by KGI and 128 institutions. The degree combines the intensive study necessary in science and math with some courses in law, policy, and management while emphasizing writing, project management and other important skills. There are some capstone projects and internships which are also guided by mentors within the industry to ensure that students get all of the key points of the curriculum which is provided. The tuition can be between $10,000 and $40,00 annually. Those who graduate from the course are able to earn salaries which are equivalent to what a master's in science would be able to provide.

The rise in the use of PSM degree shows the reality that there are many students who are being more careful about the options that they pick in consideration of the economy and the recession. They are checking the offers and calculating their debt in comparison to how much debt they may have if they were to proceed with certain master's degree programs. Many of them weigh the costs of these elements with some of the general earnings that are associated as well. The issue, according to Georgetown University's Center on Education and Workforce, is that there is a disconnection between the next generation of academics, what graduate schools are offering, and the elements that employers are seeking throughout this duration of time. In example, some of the engineering programs that are available at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and University of Cincinnati are offering students with the opportunity for co-op and experimental learning experiences. Those who are short of getting their two-year MBA are instead opting to earn a master's of entrepreneurship which would be more focused on providing the skills needed for launching a startup and producing product and business plans.

There are also many schools that are launching programs that are similar to what is offered in the PSM. However, they are for all different types of disciplines. This means that there would be an emphasis on internships, capstone projects, and professionals being used at some faculty. Many of the internships would be paid as well, which would help students with their costs. These options would be shorter than some of the traditional program options, meaning that they would usually cost less instead as well. In example, a professional master's degree in journalism, technology management, real estate, public relations, and many other disciplines would provide a price tag of around $27,000 – which is only slightly over half of the price that is associated with earning the traditional master's degree. Students considering advanced graduate degree programs along with current workforce situations may find that studying the length of time it would require to finish a degree is vital to their financial and career stability.