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Continuing Your Education: a Second Bachelor’s VS a Master’s Program

Dec 14, 2020

Ever since Findadmission has expanded, students from all over the world have been asking this very question: should they get a second Bachelor’s degree, or go for a Master’s instead? So, Findadmission sat down withDr. Cris Toffolo, Interim Director at the Office of International Programs for Northeastern Illinois University for her expert opinion. 

Why a masters might work best for you

“In general, I believe it is always better to go for a higher degree (such as a master’s) rather than a second degree at the same level (i.e., a second bachelors),” Dr Toffolo began. “Studies at the master’s level are typically of a higher order of difficulty and they signal to others that you have a higher level of mastery of a given field. Think about the difference in the work you did for your bachelor’s program as opposed to your secondary/high school. Thus, getting a master’s degree is more likely to get you a promotion or a new job with more responsibility and a higher salary.”

Reasons to consider a second bachelors

Dr Toffolo then went on to explain that there are times when getting a second bachelor’s degree also makes more sense for the student. “One reason is if you want to change fields and move into a different line of work or want to change positions in your current company/organization that requires some knowledge and/or skills that you don’t yet have.  

A second reason is that you wish to enter a master’s program but you either lack the foundational courses to be admitted, or your grade point average (GPA) from your bachelor’s program is too low. In this case a second bachelors will either raise your GPA and show that you are now a better student than you were before – you have matured, or problems that held you back in the past are no longer an issue. 

A third reason to consider a second bachelor’s would be to prepare yourself for a job that requires skills in more than one field; however, I would still recommend doing a master’s over a second bachelors where possible in this instance.

Some international students choose to do a second bachelor’s when they join NEIU so that they can find work after finishing their degree, before going on to do a master’s and join the workforce afterwards. In the US, international students can do Optional Practical Training (OPT) once after completing each academic level. 

Finally, some students enrol in a second bachelor’s to graduate from a more prestigious university the second time around, before either going to a higher ranked university for a master’s program or to start their career with a better resume."

If a master’s program isn’t for you

A master’s degree isn’t the only option available to international students. “You can also consider just doing a certificate program at the master’s level,” Dr Toffolo disclosed. “These are typically completed in half the time of a master’s program and provide in-depth training in specific skills that you may need to get certification in your field, or to have the specific skills needed to do a new job or to retool yourself should the technology needed to do your current job be changing.” 

Findadmission allows international students to apply to bachelor’s degrees, their masters, certifications and more, so sign up today! Your study abroad dream awaits. 

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