One of the best ways to jumpstart a new career is through a master’s degree. It can also serve as a catalyst to bump up your knowledge in your current field. You will gain relevant skills and a more in-depth understanding of how a particular industry works. However, not everyone has the luxury to afford a master’s degree.
Getting into graduate school is already tough enough. Excelling in the aptitude exam will require intensive preparation from you. One way is to use prep books, many of which you can find more on this page. Enrolling in a graduate program also means spending a big amount of money on tuition fees. Not to mention that you should invest your time and effort while doing your study for a year or two. Juggling your full-time job and studying will potentially be hard to manage.
That is why many institutions introduced a more convenient route for people who already have too much on their hands, a mini master’s degree. They come in different names, with the more renowned program provider called MicroMasters. These, in particular, are online graduate-level courses offered by top universities through edX.
In short, they are fast-track courses derived from the original programs. Although mini master’s programs do not usually qualify as a degree, they will still earn you professional credentials. Here are more detailed reasons why a mini master’s course might be worth your time.
- Multi-Faceted Learning
A mini master’s program ensures a versatile set of skills and knowledge. You will pick up the fundamentals of your chosen area of study. For instance, design courses will offer updated visualization techniques and prototyping basics. Some courses will also push you to step up and hone your leadership skills. Management degrees teach ways to develop an effective relationship between the administration and its employees. This will come in handy if you are planning to start a company of your own or applying to a managerial position.
- Growth Over Less Time
The more known advantages of a mini master’s course are its flexibility and the short amount of time it takes. It will not require you to commit years of studying, compressing the fundamentals into approximately 40 hours of classes. It could span a few months or as short as a week or two of an accelerated program. It only teaches the basic foundation of the discipline. Hence it could work as a primer to individuals who are not ready or certain of committing just yet. Once you have decided to push through with an accredited master’s, this article details some tips on how to prepare for it.
- Cost-effective Alternative
As mentioned earlier, the cost of a full-fledged master’s degree is a big sum of money. In the US, the average annual expense of a two-year program is around $30,000. Executive and top-tier schools can even amount to more than $100,000 a year. While rates differ from one school to another, generally, mini-courses cost significantly less. Rates start around $1,000, and you can expect it not to go over $6,000 for the entire program. Hence, this can also be an ideal choice for students who want to beef up their CV but cannot afford a full-time course.
- Networking Opportunities
A mini master’s course credit on your resume will surely boost your chances of acquiring a position or promotion. While it’s still not equivalent to a full-time degree, it can still appeal to employers, showing them you have the initiative to advance your skills. Being in a class, you are also surrounded by different peers and mentored by an established faculty. Hence, it is a potential avenue for more connections and networks in the future.
- Forming Fresh Ideas
Jumping off from the last point, being around other people means you will be exposed to other ideas as well. They can be sources of inspiration and new strategies for your future ventures. The class can also be an avenue to test your ideas and get feedback from your peers. Another aspect you will learn from a mini master’s course is the current tide of the industry. You will be introduced to the trends and how to adapt to the changing nature of the discipline.