Why studying a non-official Master’s degree?

Universities offer the possibility of enrolling into non-official Master’s degrees for students to improve their curriculum and broaden their professional training. On many occasions, students are not sure about the differences between official and non-official Master’s degrees. In today’s article, you will learn why it is convenient to enroll in a non-official Master’s degree.

Nowadays, in universities and business schools in Spain, there are two types of degrees: non-official degrees and official degrees. The validity of both degrees is international and the difference is that official degrees are applicable to access Ph.D. studies and some public administration competitive examinations, while non-official degrees need to be homologated for this purpose.

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Characteristics of non-official Master’s degrees

Both official and non-official Máster’s degrees allow students to obtain high-level academic education. The non-official Master’s degrees are exclusive to each university or school and are aimed at advanced training of a specific nature, more oriented towards professional application. 

Their main characteristics are:

● They are focused on current market demands, being much more practical than official degrees, which are more research-oriented.

● They are usually endorsed by companies and have professionals and experts from the sector to teach the subjects.

● Their duration is determined by the university that develops them, but they usually have a duration of 60, 90, or 120 credits.

Syllabuses are frequently updated as they are not subject to official regulations and have more bureaucratic flexibility. The syllabuses of official degrees must be approved by competent bodies, so they tend to take a long time to be updated. 

● They are usually taught in specialized schools or institutions and offer advanced training to acquire specific competencies in a given sector.

● This type of Master’s degree can be accessed with a university degree, a vocational training certificate, or a baccalaureate, although the selection process depends on each school.

● These degrees do not give access to Ph.D. studies or competitive examinations. Those who are interested in research will undoubtedly need to enroll in an official program.

Advantages of studying a non-official Master’s degree

  1. Practice-oriented: most non-official Master’s degrees are focused on current market demands and, although they explain the concepts in-depth, the subjects are designed for practical application.
  2. Professors that are practitioners: the professors of non-official degrees, unlike the official ones, are usually professionals and experts who work in different sectors and who can share their experiences in the sector firsthand In official degrees, the profile of the professors is more academic, since 70% of the teachers who teach in official master’s degrees must be PhDs. This translates into more theoretical lectures that are far from the reality of working life.
  3. Flexibility: the duration and subjects of a non-official Master’s degree are defined by the university or school that develops them, so they have greater flexibility when it comes to creating the syllabus. This translates into a greater adaptation to the demands of the labor market and very updated syllabi.
  4. Access: the requirements to enroll in a non-official Master’s degree are established by the evaluation committees of the schools or institutions and differ from one another. Although most of the schools require a previous university degree, they also allow access through professional experience.
  5. Employability: as they have greater academic independence and are endorsed by companies, the non-official Master’s degrees are usually adjusted to the demands of the market. This is a great advantage because these prepare students for the labor market, increasing their employability.

In conclusion, an official Master’s degree is not better than a non-official Master’s degree, nor vice versa. Both have different characteristics and choosing one or the other will depend on the student’s needs. If you are looking for specific education, focused on the needs of the sector in which you want to work, the non-official Master’s degree is your perfect match.

In ISAM, the first international school born from and for the Agribusiness sector, we offer non-official Master’s degrees in Agribusiness Management aimed at professionals and young people who want to generate a positive impact on their companies and society. We have the support of high-level companies in the agribusiness world such as Koppert, BASF, Syngenta or Kimitec, creating the ideal ecosystem for the learning of our students.

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