What degree is higher than Master?

A master’s degree should provide you with the knowledge and skills you will need in your future career. A doctorate or doctorate, on the other hand, is designed to develop your critical thinking, analytical and writing skills and is usually a multi-year commitment to independent research on a specific topic. The purpose of a PhD is to prepare you for a career in academic research – although it can also help you gain access to a variety of other careers and entry level / higher salary. In the United States, a master’s degree is integrated into a doctoral program because it is a necessary preparatory period that mainly involves coursework, while in most other countries a separate master’s degree is required to enter a PhD program so that you can

If you want to stand out, you need to go for a PhD: according to the United States Census Bureau, 24 million people in the United States had a master’s or professional degree in 2019, and only Ph. D. But is it worth the extra effort? And what exactly would the extra effort be? See the table below to get an idea of ​​the main differences between master’s and doctoral programs.

Master vs PhD at a glance

The table below shows the main differences between the two.

A doctorate applies to you:

What are the benefits of a master’s degree?

There are many reasons why one might consider pursuing a master’s degree rather than a doctorate in one’s graduate studies. These include:

  • It takes about a third of the time compared to promotion and also costs less.
  • This is a great way to differentiate yourself from those who only have a bachelor’s degree without committing to a substantial research degree.
  • The ultimate goal is a career rather than research. For example, if it matches your career goals, it’s an “easier” way to change careers or move up.


A typical full-time masters takes about two years. However, there are accelerated programs that can be completed in about a year.

A doctorate usually requires five to six years of study, teaching and research. However, it can take up to eight or nine years for some students to graduate. With such a large investment, you need to know before you start whether a doctorate is right for you.


What is a promotion? A doctorate is the highest level of a university degree (level 8). This is original, independent research in a particular field or topic – used to write a long dissertation worthy of publication.

How long will it take? Full-time doctorates usually last three to four years, while part-time degrees should last around six years.

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