With unemployment rates still high, now is a good time to consider adding a degree to your resume. With a master’s degree, you are better able to market yourself to national and global employers. These are the best ways to get your second degree in the shortest amount of time.


The World Wide Web's capacity has grown tremendously in the last 10 years. Now more than ever, students are able to communicate with professors without being in traditional classroom settings. An online degree not only takes the least amount of time to obtain, but also gives you the freedom to work from home. Depending on your program choice, getting an online degree can take nine months to one-and-a-half years. Consider your field of study. Online education programs take a shorter time to complete than engineering. You do not, however, want to forgo a field of study that you truly want to pursue because it will take longer than another area of study.

MA vs. MS

A Master of Arts program usually provides general knowledge in a specific program. Some institutions require MA students to have a concentration in order to obtain their degree. For example, if you want an MA in political science, you must have a concentration in economics, public policy or foreign affairs. A Master of Science program is more specific. These programs have a heavy emphasis on a particular subject and are usually more hands-on. Getting a MS degree, depending on the school, may take longer than getting an MA degree because of the work you will need to do outside the classroom.

Full-Time Status

No matter what program you choose, how fast you graduate depends on how much work you are willing to do. A student who completes 18 credits in one year will graduate sooner than a student who is part time. If possible, register as a full-time student, and take advantage of any financial aid you can receive. .

Field of Study

Master's degrees with the quickest completion rates are: fine arts, business, communications, education, humanities, international studies, journalism, liberal arts and physical education. When you find the right school for you, examine the different programs it offers and how long you will need to be there. See if your school offers accelerated programs, which will allow you to learn at a quicker pace.

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