Masters degree versus graduate certificate

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Do you want to advance at your job, earn more money or even switch careers? Getting a master’s degree or graduate certificate may be the key to success. I’m Clark Palmer with your Personal Finance Minute.

A master’s degree is usually a two-year, full-time commitment beyond a bachelor’s degree in a field of study. Meanwhile, a graduate certificate is only a short program of study in a particular subject.

Graduate certificates can enhance skills to further a career or to find another job and allow you to meet state or national licensing requirements.

One of the big advantages to certificates is the cost. The average cost for a UCLA Extension certificate in business administration takes one year of part-time study and costs $5 thousand dollars. An MBA degree from UCLA costs about $90 thousand dollars.

However, a graduate certificate won’t give you recognition in fields like law and medicine. Master’s degrees may be expensive, but the investment pays for itself in fields like engineering, math and the sciences. And a degree gives you greater flexibility in your career.

For more career management tips, visit I’m Clark Palmer.