I need a Master’s Degree in a field different from my Bachelor’s Degree. Is it possible?
Investing in your education can seem intimidating; if you have countless interests, want to change jobs, or just want to pursue a career in a more lucrative field, you may be wondering if you can get a Master’s degree in a field different from your Bachelor’s degree.
Many colleges and universities present academic tracks as straight lines and narrow paths leading to a few careers. In fact,you have a choice when it comes to your academic career,and you don’t always need some Bachelor’s degree to qualify for your intended master’s program. Whether you are a first-time student pursuing your dream job or an experienced business executive looking to branch into a different field, getting a master’s degree can be a great way to meet your life goals.
Re-evaluating Goals: Bachelor’s vs. Master’s Degree
Think about who you were when you got your bachelor’s degree. In some cases, this 18-year-old student, who was unsure of her academic interests or life goals, chose a major because she didn’t know what else to do.
Perhaps your bachelor’s degree was the result of pressure from your school or parents, or the result of a passion that no longer exists. Now, when faced with an unforgiving job market or more realistic life goals, you may realize that you want to change your career path.
Or perhaps a professional who has worked for a while may decide that a complete career change is necessary and wants to master a different field. This newfound maturity, career goal, or reassessment of life should be taken positively and courageously.
The new York times reports that passion and experience are even more important than a real major, so if you can show passion and interest in a new field, your bachelor’s degree may be less of an obstacle than it might seem. In most cases, getting a master’s degree in a new field is very possible, and although someone with a bachelor’s degree from another field may have to take several courses to qualify for certain master’s programs, a career shift can be made.
Requirements for a Master’s Degree
Should you major in business and work toward an MBA or choose a career in therapy by majoring in psychology and earning a master’s in the field? If you’re interested in both subjects, then you should feel free to pursue both.
In an article on graduate school and career goals, blogger Ainsley notes that a lot of programs will accept students with varying undergraduate degrees. In fact, many schools prefer people with different backgrounds because career paths aren’t homogeneous. As long as you have a bachelor’s degree at all, most schools will only require certain prerequisites to complete a master’s degree.
What are these prerequisites? The answer depends on the program you choose. Business schools emphasize strong communication skills, teamwork, and innovative marketing solutions. If your education includes a bachelor’s degree in English literature, then you already have strong communication skills and perhaps teamwork on paper.
The school may ask You to complete additional marketing coursework to make up for the shortfall, but this additional coursework may be included in your master’s program so that you don’t waste time going back to school for an additional bachelor’s degree.
When you talk to your future school, ask specifically if you can get a master’s degree if your bachelor’s is in a different field, because the admissions counselor will be able to guide you in the right direction.
If the career you are pursuing is very different from your past– for example, you have a bachelor’s degree in art, but you want to go into healthcare– take the time to discover yourself in a new field. Volunteer at a local hospital or hospice, take a summer CPR course, or interview a nurse or doctor.
The more interest you show in your potential career, the more likely you are to convince master’s programs of their capabilities in this field.