After three or four years of study, the Bachelor’s degree is acquired. This represents a first professional qualification and is formally equal to the old FH diploma. After obtaining the bachelor’s degree, the decision is made to enter the professional life, or to continue the study as part of a master’s program.
Master’s courses usually take one to two years. They offer students the opportunity to specialize in a specific area of their subject. In some areas – including psychology – Master’s degree is required to gain full access to the labor market. The Master is in any case higher-grade than the Bachelor. The acquisition is worthwhile for scientifically oriented people who want to expand their knowledge.
In many cases, the search for the right Master’s program is difficult. In addition to numerous consecutive courses of study, which build on the already completed studies exist so-called “continuing education master courses”. These are open to every graduate, regardless of the field of study they have completed so far.
Also in the field of consecutive courses there are numerous choices. In addition to general courses of study, which deepen the knowledge in the entire subject area, there are numerous Master’s courses, which concentrate on a specific subarea of the respective subject. The average student is usually overwhelmed with the choice of his master’s program.
Do you even need a master?
Mandatory for scientific career
The entry into the profession usually succeeds without problems without a master. The Bologna Reform has created a first professional qualification with the Bachelor’s degree. The purpose is to qualify the students for the job market. If you are neither interested in a scientific career nor in the deepening or broadening of your acquired knowledge, you should enter the professional life after the Bachelor.
However, there are a few exceptions. For some professions, the master’s degree is required. These professions include, among other things, the classical teacher training. If you want to teach as a teacher at a school, you must have a master’s degree. Although the bachelor’s degree of such courses is not worthless, does not qualify the graduates for a particular profession – the entry into professional life can be quite complicated than originally thought.
The same applies to the profession of psychological psychotherapist. Who wants to take this, must have a master’s degree in psychology, which includes the subject of “Clinical Psychology”. A bachelor’s degree in psychology does not qualify for training as a psychological psychotherapist – nor for a particular profession.
What do you think of the appropriate master’s program?
There is no patent remedy that you just have to apply to find the Masters course that suits you personally. Choosing the “right” degree program depends on many personal factors.
Which career path do you want to take?
Ask yourself this question. If you have a specific career aspirations, or already know in which area you would like to work after completing your studies, it makes sense to choose a Master’s degree program that comes from this area.
Example. For example, if you have a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work and are looking for a career in Social Management, it is advisable to choose a Master’s degree program specializing in Social Management. The more general master “Social Work” or masters focused on another part of the subject “Psychosocial Counseling in Social Work” are in your case not effective and should not be chosen for this reason.
What are your personal interests?
Of course, this question should be decisive when choosing a Master’s degree program, and you should be interested in studying and meeting your personal preferences. A pedagogue with a bachelor’s degree, who is particularly interested in the development of the human being, is not in the best of hands in a master’s program “Adult Education”. Be aware of which aspects of your subject are of particular interest to you during your studies. It is advisable to arrange the choice of Master’s degree program according to one’s own interests.
Otherwise, you quickly lose any motivation for your studies.
Since not every person has a special “favorite area” within his area of expertise, such specialization is of course not the right choice for everyone. If you find the full range of contents of your subject intriguing and do not want to miss any subtopic, you can choose a general master. In this case, the Bachelor Germanist does not choose the Master “Literary Studies” but the Master’s Program “German Studies” – such general Master’s programs exist in principle in each subject.
Where do you want to study?
This question is relevant. Not every university or college offers every master’s program. In some cases, the various institutions set completely different priorities – this is particularly noticeable in the master’s programs. For this reason, you should think about which region is suitable for you. Afterwards it is recommended to compare the offers of the universities located in this region. Here you should pay attention both to the emphasis of the various universities, as well as to the universities themselves. Visiting an “open house” usually pays off in such a case, as it can save nasty surprises on the day the study begins.
Conversations with students and graduates of the different programs can help you in your decision-making. So you can learn how the organization is regulated at the university, which events are offered and what is more important.
In general: do not rush your decision
Finally, you should reconcile all three of these points and your other wishes and ideas. This is almost impossible for anyone. It is quite normal to compromise with yourself. In the end, however, when choosing a Master’s degree program, it is also true that insane is human. If you notice that you have not chosen the right degree program, you can still change it.