There is a curious phenomenon going on in Higher Education today: The One Year Master’s Degree. Ten years ago a Master’s degree meant something and required a two or three year commitment to be in class, on campus, in a traditional brick-and-mortar university.
Today you can get a Master’s degree at a high-level private university in eight months and in many programs half of that time is spent in an “internship” role where scholarly writing, testing and in-class discourse are all discounted in favor of “Real World” experience. Has the Master’s degree replaced the high school diploma as the minimum bar of acceptance for a good paying mainstream job?
Have we lost any of the methodology or the teaching merit in the awarding of a cheapened M.A. where that degree once meant advanced study and learning instead of an extended internship opportunity? How did this cheapening of the M.A. happen?
Did online universities — with their homestudy and credits for “life experience” — hasten the traditional university’s entrance into the Master’s degree diploma mill where you pay to play with an advanced degree? Does a One Year Master discount and decay those who spent two or three years earning the same “degree” in a more traditional Master’s program? Do advanced degrees mean anything anymore?