Professional graduate degrees in the US have long been seen as the poor cousins of their academic counterparts.
There is a persistent perception that degrees focusing on specific careers are formulaic, their content dictated by accrediting bodies and lacking in innovative thought or pedagogy. Higher education literature suggests that they do not contribute to intellectual development and have to balance a tension between intellectual development and preparing students for jobs. And academics view them as mere money-makers for their institutions, far removed from the pride of place occupied by academic degrees, which prepare students for a life of research and scholarship.
Despite all this negativity, however, professional graduate degrees are in the midst of a renaissance. Over the past 15 years, the number of master’s degrees conferred in the US increased by 66 per cent, with the largest numbers being in business, health professions, education, engineering and public administration. In many occupations, these degrees have become the de facto credential required for professional entry.
Read full piece at Times Higher Education.