There are so many different pathways to obtaining a Master’s Degree, even if we assume one attempt at choosing a field, and one chronological 4 year period of acquisition. None of which are a given. Many people choose one field of Masters courses and realize once or twice that they have chosen the wrong area of study. Failure to explore and the lack of opportunity may be a root cause in students’ tendency to change their major at least once in their college years. A student may enter college having dreams about nothing other than becoming a teacher or a doctor and during their first few years, realizes that their dream and reality are nowhere near the same thing.
Another scenario is that the student longing to be a doctor takes some introductory courses and realizes that anatomy is much too difficult for them to master. Occasionally a student even realizes that the career they thought was a match requires more coursework than they were hoping for. Lastly, of course, is the tragic event that something in life, be it marriage, children, or a death in the family pulls them away from their coursework and perhaps their original dreams.
For students who maintain a knowledge of what they want to do, and who are determined to stick with it there are still an overwhelming number of choices from graduating high school forward to earning that four-year degree. There are almost as many choices in Masters courses as there are in careers, and the option to basically create your own also exists. Is the student interested in Science, Math, Literature, Art, Humanities, Social Sciences, Agriculture, Business Management, Medicine and Health, Education and Training, or Technology? That is a great place to start figuring out what direction the student wants to head.
Knowing the career outcome a student wants or hopes for may be more beneficial though because certainly one could get a Masters in technology and teach it, or obtain a Master teaching degree and focus on technology. Both would be excellent technology teachers, but their focus and educations would differ. The Technology field of study doesn’t include teaching methodology, while the Education pathway does. It may matter more to the future students than the current college student however the difference will be noticeable. Someone who earns a Masters degree in Language can put it to use in a variety of ways. So even though people who obtain a specific Masters degree have met the same basic course requirements, they will find themselves on entirely unique career paths. One may use their Language degree to teach in a foreign country, while another uses theirs to interact with an international team of computer specialists.
One student’s Master in Psychology may lead to long nights of essay writing on theories and resulting data. Another’s may spell after office hours holding a patient’s hand while they tick off reasons they thought they would be better off not living, and being thankful for that one thing that held them back from ending it. Each Masters course will lead to different experiences for the student who has elected them, and there is no telling where their choices might land them in the near or distant future.