Getting a Masters degree after finishing you undergraduate studies is the best thing one could do for their career growth. This not only helps you achieve a higher pay grade but also entitles you to a promotion in your field given how a Masters degree means a greater and better command on your chosen field. This also opens doors for further career opportunities and sets your resume apart from your peers where it portrays expertise as opposed to a bachelor’s degree that only shows how proficient you are in your field.
When it comes to options for an international one or two year Masters degree abroad, there’s an infinite pool of options available all around the world. They are all differentiated by the type of interest and career aspirations that one might have and most people choose their Masters programs based on these two criteria. Sometimes however, students are not sure which route to take when it comes to their post-graduate plans and the confusion is usually between whether to undertake a one or a two year Masters degree.
Here we discuss the benefits and scope of curriculum/study of both these options in order to make it easier for you to choose the best Masters program for you, however there is no clear-cut criteria for choosing which path would be better and easier for you and that is something that each person must decide based on their own capacities and preferences.
1 Year Master’s Degree Program
As mentioned before, having a Masters degree on your resume signals expertise in your field to your prospective employers and it is usually believed that such expertise cannot be achieved without having spent at least 2 years in your Masters program. This is why 1 year Masters Degree program is so intensive and back-breaking since they are trying to instill all the skills but in a much shorter span of time. A 1 year degree for your Masters Program is, however, the quickest path in order to reach your career goals and has many benefits such as:
- If you are someone who has joined the work force in your respective field right after your undergraduate studies then a 1 year Masters degree is best for you since they are more employment friendly and you won’t have to go through the trouble of having to take 2 years off in order to finish your Masters program. You have an equal opportunity to further your career while not having to miss out on your job. This is also good for those who need to earn and support their families along with their higher education.
- They are usually not expensive like many other forms of Masters Degrees that are notorious for not being budget friendly. This is great for those who cannot afford one of the more expensive programs and get the full benefit of having availed a Master’s degree while not having to compromise on your budget.
- As mentioned above, a Masters degree on your resume is quite dazzling if you are looking to impress your prospective employers. This sets you apart from your peers not only on paper but also skill wise. You gain more experience and expertise in your field and that means better job prospects as well.
- A 1 year Masters Degree abroad will usually have a blended curriculum and not a traditional teaching environment. Since they have to complete the same course as a 2 years program but in a shorter time they go through an extensive training in most cases where their time is divided between classrooms and then online where activities related to the program, some taped lectures and discussion are carried out.
Now that we have talked about the benefits that come with a 1 year Master’s Degree, it’s important to note that there are some barriers that you need to overcome when choosing this path. Such as:
- We have already mentioned that a Masters degree is a means of gaining more expert level skill within your field. This however is cut short in a 1 year Masters Degree abroad since all these skills and knowledge would have to be taught to the students in a much shorter span of time. This fast paced education might be good and preferable for some but most students like a slow burn of knowledge into their heads and this might be an inconvenience to them. It is more demanding on your mental capacities and daily routine and might just lead to more stress.
- It is important that any networking you do in your university life and even during your post-graduate studies will help you down the line when you are looking to work in your field. A 1 year Master’s Degree Program might not give you the same time to network as thoroughly as you might be able to do in a much more relaxed and slow paced 2 Years Masters Degree Program. This might also entail that your educators are not as familiar with you and your work (for job reference purposes) and this might affect your job prospects ahead.
2 Years Master’s Degree Program
This essentially covers all the same academic and professional education that a 1 Year Masters Program teaches, however this does it at a slower and relaxed pace and at a long period of time. This makes a lot of people wonder why go for the extended version of the same thing and that’s why a discussion pertaining to the benefits of a 2 Years Masters Degree abroad is relevant here. The top benefits of choosing this path are:
- There are always ups and down when it comes to the job market in the recent years. The increasing inflation and downsizing meets the increasing competition and influx of workers that makes the job market a complicated place to maneuver through. Undertaking a 2 Years Masters Degree Program offers you a unique opportunity to make your resume better and the fact that you had to forego employment in order to attain this degree won’t even matter since now you are ahead of your competitors in both added detailed skill and comprehensive education hence better employment opportunities can come your way.
- For students who are truly dedicated to their area of study and would like to expand upon their knowledge and skill regarding their field, a 2 Years Masters Program is the best thing that can happen for them. All the cramming that you might have to do in a 1 Year program will not afford you the opportunity to thoroughly learn and apply your skills, this is mitigated by the slow pace of a 2 years program and provides a better opportunity to learn while maximizing learning. The main difference between a one or a two year Masters degree is that in the latter program you get to go through basic core essentials and also cover all the advance bits that are there in your field. You can avail elective studies, internships etc as well during this course of time.
- Just like the above mentioned kind of student you are willing to explore your field to the end and not just looking for better employment, it is understood that at some point you would also like to enter a PhD program. This will become easier for you since students who have gone through a 2 Years Masters program are more readily accepted into PhD programs. This is not just because you portray subpar expertise but also because a certain commitment and dedication to your field can also be ascertained from having dedicated such a long time to a post-graduate degree.
- They help you network better and build relationships with your peers and professors that might just come handy down the line when you are looking for employment or even letters of recommendations from your educators.
However, while opting for a two year graduate degree program some students face the following hurdles:
- The cost of tuition and accommodation gets automatically higher when you extend your postgraduate degree from 1 year to 2 and becomes a substantial financial burden on students and their families. Also, having to step away from for force for masters can also be challenging to some students especially for those who wish to go for full time masters and not a weekend or part-time masters program.
- Not only is it more expensive as mentioned above this also means that since you won’t be working full time during your graduate degree program you won’t be earning anything for 2 whole years and after having spent that much amount on your degree you sometimes aren’t guaranteed to have the cost reimbursed instantly by your next employment opportunity and that can be a bit frustrating. Nonetheless, investing in higher education is an asset and no one can deny the comprehensive academic structure that comes with a two year masters, which not only shapes you personally but also promises excellent professional prospects.
In the end it depends upon the kind of career trajectory and academic background you want for yourself to make a choice and go for the best Masters program for you. Neither program can be considered better or worse and opting for one simply means that you’ve made your choice keeping in mind your intended course outline, finances, your country of study, career goals etc.
For example, if you are someone for whom financial costs are not really an issue and wish to go for a program that’s more detailed academically (more educational courses, group projects etc) then a 2 Years Master’s will be great for you. Similarly if you are someone who wouldn’t like to take a longer break from working and wants to go for something that can be done at a faster yet efficient pace then a 1 Year Masters Degree abroad will be your top option for an international one or two year Masters degree abroad.