There are quite a few professional degree programs to choose from. A professional degree is important if you are looking for more than entry level work for these kinds of degrees help to prepare you for a specific career by teaching the skills that are necessary in order to perform them. Most professions that require a degree are the kinds of jobs that are regulated or licensed by the government, which is why specific types of education and training are necessary in order to enter them.
The types of jobs that require these specific kinds of degrees include things like medicine (including nursing), veterinary medicine, engineering, psychology, law, architecture, physical therapy, pharmacy jobs, social work, education and areas such as chiropractic, speech language pathology and even public policy. Each of these areas requires that the one practicing it register with specific government agencies and take the required examinations that will certify their ability to work in the field as well as obtain a license to practice. But what all is needed in order to get a degree at this level?
Most degrees that will allow you to work in specific areas require an extra two years (minimum) beyond a regular undergraduate degree. A good number of these kinds of degrees are taken in conjunction with a graduate or master’s degree, though many require a good deal of additional study, particularly when it comes to medicine, law and the higher levels of education. But how did these kinds of degrees come to be required?
It used to be that a university would award a “baccalaureate” or “master’s” degree depending on the number of years that a student had studied at a particular university. But the first actually degree designed for a particular profession was awarded by one of the old Scottish universities and was awarded to those who were studying medicine. It was a called a MD or Medical Doctor degree. The Juris Doctor as a degree awarded to those who had completed advanced studies in Law was created by Harvard University. Ph.D. degrees did not begin being awarded until 1861.
Today it is widely accepted that most that practice these specialized areas will actually have two advanced degrees. The first degree is usually the one required by the laws of the land to be able to practice or work in that particular area. The second degree is a specialized degree that allows the person holding it to work in a specific area of that field.
While many of these degrees take a good number of years to complete, especially in order to specialize in a particular area of that field. Due to the length of training and study time needed to be able to obtain one of these degrees, those who possess them can expect much higher pay than those who do not have specialized degrees or the minimal amount of training needed in order to work in a particular field. Not only do those who obtain these kinds of degrees get paid better, they also tend to be well-respected by others in their field. The focus and dedication necessary to be able to complete these kinds of degrees are the kinds that everyone wishes that they had but only a handful can lay claim to. The respect is earned, for you would not want someone unqualified or unproven conducting surgery on you, treating your animal’s injuries or constructing your home or building.
Professional degrees can be had by enrolling in graduate programs at colleges and universities around the county. The programs set up for the specific majors will ensure that you learn everything that you need to in order to get your licensing and certification in the field and go on to work in a specific area. What area of that particular field you decide to specialize in may vary considerably from person to person and from program to program. For example, two individuals can work their way through and undergraduate pre-medicine program, move on to medical school and obtain their MD, but proceed even further in their education, acquiring degrees and certifications that allow them to practice in areas as diverse as Gynecology and Gerontology.
If you have always done well in your scholastics and have your eye set on a career that goes beyond entry level work, you may very well want to consider obtaining a professional degree to ensure that you will not only find work, but find the kind of work that you can be proud of.