How do I get a Master's in Higher Education?
A master's in higher education can help students prepare for careers as college or university officials. Most professionals that obtain a master's in higher education do so on the path to become a college administrator or policy official that works for a government education program. Getting a master's in higher education can be done at traditional, online, or distance learning schools.
In order to get a master's in higher education, it is usually required that a candidate achieve a bachelor's degree. Though this degree need not be in an education-related field, many people find it beneficial to get a bachelor's in education, administration, communications, or public policy before moving on to a master's in higher education. Without a bachelor's degree, candidates may be able to get into a master's program, but will usually be awarded a certificate of completion upon successfully finishing the program, rather than a master's degree. For some positions, this may not make a big difference, but others will require a fully accredited master's in higher education.
After achieving a bachelor's degree or while in the last semester of undergraduate work, look for graduate programs that offer a master's degree in higher education. Some issues to consider when looking for a graduate school include the length of the program, tuition costs, location of the school, and job-training opportunities. If planning to go to an online or distance learning graduate school, it is important to find out if the school is accredited by an overseeing body. Most of the time, a school needs accreditation to hand out master's degrees in any field.
Master's programs in higher education will vary considerably depending on the school chosen. Most last between one and two years, and many offer special areas of emphasis. It is possible to get a master's of higher education with an emphasis on counseling, community college administration, leadership, or institutional management. Some programs also focus on public policy and educational reform. In addition to course work, many master's programs will require internships or some practical training.
While working toward a degree, it may be important to obtain as much real-world experience as possible. This can help jump-start a post-school career in the world of higher education. Look for jobs at local universities or community colleges that emphasize administration tasks. These jobs may even be able to fulfill internship or practical requirements of a master's program.
Upon finishing all required coursework, a person may be awarded a master's degree. This may open the door to new jobs on a better pay scale than an undergraduate degree allows. With this degree, it is possible to find jobs as a university administrator, student affairs coordinator, dean or president of a school, or in a public policy organization.
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