Graduate & Professional Studies (2024)

Makea Career Change

We spend a lot of our lives working —which makes having a profession that aligns with your purpose in life so important. Whether you want to find a new job or make a change in your career, PLNU's Graduate and Professional Studieshas something to offer you. Our degrees, certificates, and credentials will help you find your passion or pick a new path while providing hands-on experience to set you up for success.

You may wonder if it's too late to shift jobs, but these programs are designed for busy professionals, helping you discover what meaningful work looks like for you. Even if you're wanting to change careers with no job experience in the industry you're moving to, taking courses to establish skills and knowledge can make a huge difference. Making a move like this can be intimidating but the unknowns should not stop you from taking the next step. PLNU provides the necessary resources to allow for an effective transition, so you're able to make the switch that's best for you.


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Our wide range of programs offers many different degrees and certificates that can aid you in the search for careers in San Diego and help you network successfully on even larger scales. You deserve to make the move that best aligns with where you want to be. Setting yourself up to do this well can be accomplished by learning the skills that will make you competitive in this season of change. By looking for these answers and trying to see what your next steps are, you're already on your way! PLNU'sGraduate and Professional Studies program optionsare geared towardcultivating your purpose and helping you get to the place you want to be in your professional life. Whether you want to learnmore about finding a career you love or connect with us, we're here to support you.

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Up My Earning Potential

Is a master's or advanced degree worth it? The job market is competitive and salary increases can be difficult to come by. Obtaining your graduate degree will allow youto make invaluable connections and grow your earning potential. Higher-income jobs can be important when you want to start a family or reach certain career milestones. Prioritizing your growth in meaningful ways can help you meet your goals. Education is a pivotal way of keeping your experience relevant and your knowledge up-to-date while expanding your skillset.

With part-time, full-time, hybrid, and online programs, PLNU’s Graduate and Professional Studies offers the flexibility you need to take steps towardyour success. Additional certificates allow you to beat the average salary increase in your profession as you show drive and commitment towardyour work. Our programs help with your appeal to potential employers and also set you apart in your current position as well.

Taking the steps to make your professional development a priority can provide many opportunities and long-lasting benefits. The job market is competitive so allowing yourself to stand out will help with navigating your work life in the direction you want it to go. Continuing education will help with promotions, seniority, and subject matter expertise — skills that canup your salary over time. Are you ready to take the next step towardupping your earning potential? Check out some of the informational events offered or contact a counselor to get started today!

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Graduate & Professional Studies (1)

Become More Competitive in the Job Market

For many professionals, being competitive is a necessity. Whether you're actively looking for work or want to be the first choice to get promoted in your office, it can be useful to find ways to develop professional skills thatset you apart. For any one job that an organization or company posts, there maybe countless applications. When seeking ways to stand out, you have to ask yourself: what makes you distinctive?

Career success starts with you. Taking the steps to earn a credential, certificate, or degree can show the initiative and unique skill sets that are so important in the job market. This type of education can stand out on your resume and help you land the job you've always wanted. The expertise and experiences offered through PLNU’s coursework and hands-on teaching can enhance your desirability to potential employers. If you want to stand out in the job market, it's necessary to be proficient and knowledgeable about the work you do. Continuing to obtain certifications or even advanced degrees allows you to maintain an edge and stay up-to-date with your industry.

If you're just starting out in your field and want to gain work experience, our Graduate and Professional Studies programs offermany different opportunitiesto grow. With a curriculum that emphasizes hands-on experience provided by experts in their fields, you can learn and grow in meaningful ways. Even seasoned professionals can benefit from furthering their education because of the added value this brings. In an alreadycompetitive job market, you want to stand out and be remembered for your specific qualifications. Taking the next step to earn additional credentials will prove to be invaluable as you apply for jobs in the future.

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Do What I Love to Do

How do you find work you love in the vocation you're in? Are you satisfied with your current occupation? What does it look like for you to grow professionally? For many career-driven individuals, these questions are necessary but can also be compounded by a lot of confusion or stress. Finding where your passions liein the work you do takes time, but furthering your education can help you navigate some of this uncertainty and hone inon what you feel called to do.

Career development is a lifelong process, and you don’t have to do it alone. As you seek work that you love, you can turn towardadvanced education designed to help you find answers. The degrees, certificates, and credentials offered through PLNU's Graduate and Professional Studies are designed to help you find a vocation that fits your career calling. These programs allow you to develop new skills while growing an understanding of how your passion intersects with your work. Professionals are available to work with you, providing feedback on your resume and cover letter while helping connect you with potential employers. You'll have the opportunity to grow with like-minded individuals to strengthen your abilities and pursue work you enjoy after graduation.

Your career journey is an investment in yourself as you discover what it means to find fulfillment in your work. The time spent in the office is a large portion of many people’s lives, which means that finding ways to enjoy what youdois as important as the work itself. As you measure your current job satisfaction, planning proactive growth opportunities like continuing education can help you maintain or increase the love you have for your job. If you're interested in shifting careers to encompass what you enjoy doing, or want to find a deeper passion in your current work, schedule an appointment with counselors who can talk you through this process.

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Graduate & Professional Studies (2024)


What does graduate of professional studies mean? ›

“Professional studies” refers to the breadth of topics covered in the curriculum of this program. This includes a wide range of practical skills employers seek in their candidates. This makes a professional studies degree highly applicable for graduates seeking to apply their knowledge to the professional environment.

What is a graduate and professional degree? ›

GLOSSARY. A graduate or professional student is a student who is pursuing education opportunities beyond an undergraduate (bachelor's) degree. Graduate and professional programs include master's and doctoral programs such as Ph. D., J.D., and M.D., among others.

What is the difference between undergraduate and graduate professional? ›

An undergraduate degree gives you a broad knowledge base, but a graduate school degree provides specialized knowledge to prepare you for leadership roles in your chosen career. In graduate school, you'll gain the leadership skills companies are looking for in management positions.

What's the difference between a graduate school and a professional school? ›

Graduate school programs are academic courses of study that offer more advanced programs of study (beyond a bachelor's degree) in certain disciplines. This can mean earning a master's degree on its own or as a step toward a PhD program. Professional school programs help prepare students for careers in specific fields.

Is Professional Studies a good degree? ›

Prepare You for a Broad Range of Careers

It is well-known for its broad focus, which means that employers recognize that graduates with this degree have a solid working knowledge of the best business practices in many different fields.

Is MPS a real degree? ›

The Master of Professional Studies (MPS) is a master's degree that combines the focused study of traditional graduate degrees (such as the Master of Arts or Master of Science) with the specialized, industry-specific skills you can immediately put to use in the workplace.

Is a professional degree the same as a bachelor's degree? ›

Professional degrees may have additional qualification requirements such as bar exams, licensing tests, and trainee programs attached. A professional bachelor's degree is not the same as a bachelor's degree.

How many years is a professional degree? ›

What's a professional degree? A professional degree helps students prepare for careers in specific fields, such as law, pharmacy, medicine, and education. The length of the programs vary and can span anywhere from one to five years, depending on the institution you attend.

What is a graduate entry professional degree? ›

A graduate entry degree is term used for an academic degree that denotes a minimum 3-4 year bachelor's degree. It is most commonly used to refer to first professional degree programs.

What are the four types of degrees? ›

The four types of college degrees are associate degrees, bachelor's degrees, master's degrees, and doctoral degrees. Colleges classify associate and bachelor's degrees as undergraduate degrees and master's and doctoral degrees as graduate degrees. Within those categories, you can earn many types of degrees.

How many years is a graduate degree? ›

Master's degrees typically take two years to complete, but the timeframe can vary from person to person. Depending on your degree program and whether you're going to school full-time or part-time, it could take you less time to get your master's degree – or more.

What is the highest degree you can get? ›

A doctoral degree (Ph. D.) is the highest level of degree, often requiring several years of research and study beyond a master's degree. The length of time and course hours needed vary depending on the focus of the study.

What is the difference between graduate and professional graduate? ›

There are two types of graduate degrees — academic and professional. Academic degrees are usually for university teaching and/or research and professional degrees are usually to enter a certain vocation, such as K-12 teacher, lawyer, dentist, etc. Some degrees may be more for your personal enrichment.

What does "graduate professional" mean? ›

Means you are an “expert” in your field who can design, carry out and assess research. Generally requires four to six years of study beyond the bachelor's degree. Most programs require you to research, write and submit a dissertation — an extensive research paper — to graduate. Highest degree you can attain in most ...

What is a professional graduate program? ›

A professional degree is a type of educational program that helps prepare students for occupations in a specific field, such as education or law. These typically include graduate-level programs, such as a master's degree, and often involve completing an internship with work-based learning.

What is meant by Professional Studies? ›

"Professional studies" is a term used to classify academic programs which are applied or interdisciplinary in focus. The term can also be used for non-academic training for a specific profession.

Is a master of professional studies the same as a master's degree? ›

The difference between a Master of Science and a Master of Professional Studies degree is that MS degrees are typically focused on research, while MPS degrees focus more on practical problem solving.

Is BPS a real degree? ›

The curriculum for the fully online Bachelor of Professional Studies (BPS) in Business and Management program includes coursework in accounting, financial management, marketing, project management, employee relations, leadership, management practice, business communication, and global commerce.

Is an MPS degree worth it? ›

An MPS degree can provide a pathway to an eventual doctoral degree, however this varies by field of study and by the type of MPS program. In certain research and academic fields, students who graduate with an MS degree may be better positioned for acceptance into PhD or other types of doctoral programs.

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