Obtaining a master's degree is a goal that many aspire to. There are numerous benefits to it. It can be a great step toward earning more money and moving up the corporate ladder. It can help keep your skills marketable. A master's degree can be a stepping-stone toward a career or job change. And of course it may simply be required in order to pursue a career, such as becoming a lawyer.

Bachelor's Degree

A bachelor's degree is required for a master's degree program. Having an undergraduate degree in the same subject is generally helpful, but it's not a necessity. Undergraduate degrees in studies such as philosophy and math are normally acceptable for graduate degrees in other areas of study.

Testing

Many graduate degree programs require that you take a test prior to applying. Your test scores are taken into account when deciding on your acceptance. These tests are considered a way to assess how much you know about the type of program you are applying to and how successful you will be. Most tests can be retaken several times, with only the highest score being submitted to the schools of your choice.

The Graduate Records Examination (GRE) is a test required to be considered for entrance to many graduate school and business school programs. The test measures verbal and analytical reasoning skills and writing skills.

The Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) is required for many Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs. The GMAT test measures your mathematical, verbal and writing skills and is used to assess applicants' ability to succeed in business and management master's programs.

The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) is required before applying to law school. The LSAT measures reading comprehension as well as analytical and logical reasoning skills.

Prerequisite Classes

Depending on what you majored in during your undergraduate career, you may be required to take certain classes prior to getting accepted into a graduate program. Most programs want to see that students have attained a certain proficiency in math-related and English-related courses.

Work Experience

Many master's degree programs discourage you from enrolling in graduate programs immediately upon graduating from college. They want you to have work, intern, or volunteer experience first, so that you will bring that experience and knowledge to your graduate studies.

Some MBA programs require that you have at least a year of hands-on experience managing staff before enrolling in their program. Likewise, nursing programs find it essential that you have patient care experience before pursing a master's degree. And most law enforcement programs want you to have street experience before pursuing an advanced degree.