Taking A Shortcut To Further Education


More than 16 million people in the U.S. now have a Master’s degree, making it one of the fastest growing credentials in the nation. One of the main reasons for this phenomenon is the major earnings bump that a postgraduate degree can bring. For instance, if you are aiming for a job as a General Manager, a Master’s will earn you an annual salary of around $97,000 – compared to only $80,000 if you don’t have this degree. Another reason is the ability to save on the fees and boarding (and student loans) which are often imposed by longer degrees.


Whether you already have a degree and you would like to get a Master’s or you have yet to complete a college degree, what are a few ways to cut down your study time?

Going Online

You can earn college credit online by offering to complete an accelerated course. At some universities, you can complete a course in around eight weeks, though usually, degrees take at least 12 months to obtain. Just a handful of accelerated degrees include an Associate of Applied Science in Fire Science (at Kaplan University), an Associate of Science in Design Studies (at Herzing University) or an Associate of Arts Degree in Accounting (at the Florida Institute of Technology). The first two degrees last 12 months; the latter, 20 months.

Accelerated Postgraduate Degrees

Many colleges also offer acceleration Master’s Degree programs in a wide array of areas, ranging from accounting to chemistry and criminology. Very prestigious universities like NYU, for instance, offer over 30 Master’s degrees that can be completed in one year. To take an accelerated course, you will have to commit to full-time study for at least a year, since courses are intensive and subject matter is varied and complex. However, you will reap the financial rewards almost from the get-go once you start working. And if you prefer getting your master’s degree online, an Online MBA is now possible.

Take CLEP Exams

College Level Examination Program Exams give you credits, and they are accepted by over 2,000 colleges in the U.S. Some exams offer 12 credits (e.g. Spanish) while some offer nine (e.g. German Level 2 and French Level 2). There are also exams worth fewer (i.e. three) credits, but if you take the right combination, you can easily compile at least 15 credits for the college of your choice. DSST exams are similar; though the number of credits is generally lower, you can earn three credits in around two hours.

Credit For Prior Learning

Some colleges validate and credential college-level skills and knowledge you may have acquired outside a university setting. These skills range from budgeting to time management, leadership and mentoring. Interestingly, there is a high overall success rate in earning academic credit for prior learning experience (around 82%). Each learning institution has its own rules regarding prior learning acceptance rates, policies and type of earned credits, so if you have your eye on a particular college, inquire about their college-credit equivalency program and get ready to sit for exams if necessary. Just a few tests colleges may ask you to complete include the Cambridge International Exams, the International Baccalaureate or Excelsior Exams.

If you are keen on earning a degree or postgraduate degree but you need to do so quickly owing to financial or personal reasons, there are many avenues to choose. From earning credits by doing exams to obtaining credit for prior learning, you can show you have the knowledge and skills it takes to thrive in a college environment. If you are working, an online or accelerated degree will help you achieve your goals quickly so you can start reaping the reward of doing something you love all the sooner.

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Taking A Shortcut To Further Education
More than 16 million people in the U.S. now have a Master’s degree, making it one of the fastest growing credentials in the nation.
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