As demand grows for STEM-related careers, those with a degree in this field can discover opportunities for career advancement and leadership that can position them for long-term career growth and success.
But to get the most out of your career in these fields, you may need to complete a master’s degree. Luckily, there are ways to reduce the time commitment so you can reach your goals faster.
By planning ahead, you can sometimes take master’s-level classes as part of your bachelor’s degree, meaning you’ll start your master’s studies earlier along in your academic journey. At Maryville University, for example, our Early Access program can help you earn up to 12 credit hours that count toward both your bachelor’s and master’s degrees, all billed at the undergraduate rate. That means you can save time and money as you pursue graduate studies en route to a technology career.
Knowledge helps promote innovation, and these accelerated master’s programs — sometimes called combined programs or 4+1 programs — can help you gain the skills you need in less time. This also helps to build a bridge to the next phase of your education while supporting your career goals.
The benefits of taking graduate-level science and technology courses as an undergraduate
Many STEM-related careers require at least a bachelor’s degree, while an increasing number need a graduate degree. These include mathematicians, biologists, chemists, engineers, computer engineers, and data science managers.
Science and technology careers are transforming business and society, and there are plenty of opportunities for professionals in these fields. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the number of STEM-related careers to grow by 8% between 2019 and 2029 — more than twice the rate for occupations across all fields (3.7%).
By taking advantage of combined degree programs, you can save a significant amount of time reaching the master’s level, so you can focus on advancing your career sooner. Through Maryville’s Early Access program, for example, you can complete up to four master’s-level classes before you even finish your bachelor’s degree. Most qualifying graduate programs comprise about 30-39 total credit hours, which means you’ll be about one-third finished with your master’s degree requirements before you even begin.
Get a head start on your education and career with our dual credit system
Taking advantage of programs and opportunities like Early Access can prepare you for the depth and rigor that you’ll find in upper-level coursework. This can help you more easily understand and master key concepts to help turn academic theory into real-world practice.
With Maryville’s accelerated Early Access program, you can choose from nine in-demand master’s degrees with flexible coursework that’s 100% online. This way you can:
- Earn advanced credits that can be applied to both degrees simultaneously
- Gain the skills needed to become an expert practitioner of your craft
- Position yourself for leadership and advancement opportunities
There’s more than one way to prepare for a high-tech, future-focused career
A 2020 report from the World Economic Forum reveals that at least 54% of all employees will need to enhance their skills to meet changing work requirements by 2022. Taking graduate-level courses as an undergraduate can help you do that, but it’s not the only route.
An online certificate program is another option that can help you upskill or reskill — positioning you for success in the classroom as well as in your career.
Some college-level certificate programs, like those offered at Maryville, can also give you a head start on earning a full degree. In these cases, once you’ve completed your certificate program, credits earned from a bachelor’s-level certificate can be applied toward an undergraduate degree, and credits earned from a post-graduate certificate can be applied toward earning your master’s.
That means you can build skills quickly in a dynamic, for-credit certificate program — then get a head start if you decide to earn a full degree later.
One small step to advance your future
Maryville University offers a variety of STEM-related master’s degrees in areas like data analytics, cybersecurity, data science, and software development. With Early Access, you can discover a quicker, more efficient route toward earning your master’s degree.
That means you can save time, save money, and maximize your education as you prepare for a rewarding career in multiple fields.
If you’re ready to see how Maryville Online can help you be brave and pursue your educational and professional goals, we’re here for you. Check out our online bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees, or schedule a call with an advisor today.