Difference Between a Master’s Degree and a PhD

The progression of degrees generally goes like this: diploma, certification, career training degree, bachelors degree, masters degree & doctorate degree. These successive degrees provide students with more amount of knowledge one by one. But you need not go for the highest degree to get success in career. Students usually have confusion that which degree is better for them. One common confusion is between a masters degree and a PhD. After doing masters degree, they get confused whether to go for PhD or not. Read on if you too are doubtful regarding these two degrees.


Both the programs, i.e. Masters & PhD, provide higher education to the student in a specific field. You apply the information in the program that you learned before. In both the programs, you have to put greater efforts than the efforts you put in bachelors degrees. You can’t just study in exams and get good marks. You have to have a thorough grasp of the subject. In both the degrees, you need to be passionate about researching new things in your specific subject. Both degrees will give you better chances to get selected for any job than your undergraduate competitor.


  • Time Duration 

The most elemental difference between a masters and a PhD is the time it requires to complete the program. Typically a masters degree can be completed in 2 years by a full time attending student. And a PhD generally takes 5-7 years at the minimum and sometimes it may require 9 long years to complete.

  • Expenses

With more time, PhD also requires more money. However, masters program is not cheap either. The fee for tuition, school classes, books etc. make up the total expenses of PhD quite higher than the masters degree. But yes, the amount of financial aid opportunities for a PhD candidate is more than the ones in masters degree. And after completion of PhD the salary offered to you may be higher than after masters degree course.

  • Career Paths for Masters Degree & PhD

A PhD program is more competitive than a masters program as it takes far more amount of hard work and time. You have to burn the midnight oil in order to stand out in a PhD program. Masters degree is like a more specialized training in a specific field. It is more career oriented. Students who desire more credits & knowledge in the field usually prefer masters degree. On the other hand, a PhD program is more research oriented. Students who love their field, enjoy the particular subject, passionate to do original research usually prefer PhD program.

Keeping the above factors in mind you can easily decide whether to go for PhD or just give a break to your studies after masters degree and start earning right away. Hope this post can clear all your doubts. Any queries and feedback are always welcome!

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