Second Degree vs Master’s Degree: Best Career Choice

Going back to school is a big decision. Working full time while managing a family and social life – plus studying for a degree at the same time – is no walk in the park. That’s why it’s critical to choose the right path when deciding what area of study and type of degree you want to pursue.

Many working adults who choose to go back to school already have a bachelor’s degree, which may or may not be related to their field of work. That begs the question: when going back to school, should students be pursuing a second bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree in their current field? Below are some factors to consider.

Getting a second bachelor’s degree

If you’re looking for a complete career change, or at least a significant shift, a second bachelor’s degree is probably best.

Earning a degree in the field you wish to transition into gives you a jump-start toward your new career. Some other bonuses of getting a second bachelor’s degree include:

  • You may be able to apply some of the credits you earned when you got your first degree toward your second degree. This means you don’t necessarily have to repeat introductory classes or prerequisites. That not only saves time, but money, too.
  • You may face fewer obstacles when entering the program and likely won’t be required to take an entrance exam.
  • You’ll be a more diverse candidate for future jobs- able to demonstrate a broad level of knowledge across multiple disciplines. This gives you the ability to tailor your applications to the particular area of expertise your potential employer is seeking.

However, one downside is there’s a chance you won’t be eligible for the same financial aid you could be if you pursue a master’s degree instead.

Getting a master’s degree

If you’re looking to accelerate your career in the field you’re currently in, a master’s degree may be your best choice.

If you feel you’ve reached a ceiling in terms of how far you can advance with your current degree and experience level, a master’s degree can give you the boost you’re seeking. Other benefits include:

  • You’ll be able to focus more specifically on an area within your field that you want to grow in.
  • You’ll position yourself as an expert in your field of choice and open up opportunities for growth, particularly into higher-level managerial positions.
  • You’ll be able to use what you’ve learned right away since you’re already working in the field.

You should have a bachelor’s degree in the field you’re pursuing a master’s degree in unless you’re prepared to take some extra prerequisite courses. That’s not true of all programs, but it’s a consideration for some.

Explore degree options

Whether you choose a second bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree in your field or another alternative altogether, CityU has flexible options to make the path to your future possible. View our bachelor’s and master’s degree programs, or contact us for more information.