Master of Science: Reasons to Enrol

A Master’s degree is often viewed as a way to increase knowledge in a specialised area of study related to one’s current profession. 

In this post, we will concentrate on the Master of Science (MS) degree, what it is, what it isn’t, the benefits of pursuing it, and the cost involved.

What is a Master of Science?

A Master of Science degree is a postgraduate degree focusing on a specific discipline within technology, mathematics, medicine, business, administration, and the natural sciences.

A full-time Master of Science degree typically takes approximately two to three years, depending on one’s chosen specialisation. This degree opens doors to various career options, such as engineering, data science, statistics, economics or even academia.

Master of Science abbreviation

Master of Science is abbreviated as MS or MSc across most postgraduate degree programs globally, depending on the specialisation. For example, MS in Computer Science. 

Why get a Master of Science?

Getting a master of science degree comes with a plethora of advantages for you and your career.

Specialisation in your field of study

A Master’s degree programme helps professionals increase their knowledge in a specific area. However, beyond aiming for a promotion, a Master of Science programme can add more value to and improve one’s job security. 

Furthermore, an MS can provide one with up-to-date approaches in their discipline or updated information on new state-of-the-art approaches to unique problems. 

Career advancement

If career growth is your goal, obtaining a master of science degree will take you a long way in attaining that goal. An MS is often that unique professional differentiator that will get you picked from many applicants for senior leadership roles in an organisation.

Change of career route

If a career change is what you are looking for, a Master of Science degree can give you the prerequisite knowledge and skills for that new tech job you desire.

 In addition, some MS degrees aren’t strict on the undergraduate degree attained before admission. For example, a computer scientist can switch to data science by taking on a master of science in data science. 

The knowledge and skills attained from the MS will enable him/her to get a position in data science and hence, complete a career switch. 

Lifelong learning

A Master of Science degree provides you with a wealth of knowledge to prepare you for a life of continual learning. Students can investigate various aspects of a topic in depth with an MS degree and receive lifetime knowledge about a discipline.

Research competencies

A Master of Science degree can improve your research, writing, critical thinking skills, and problem-solving capacity. These skills can help you in any profession, whether solving problems or tackling sophisticated projects.

Increase one’s earning potential

On average, a master’s degree holder will earn more than a bachelor’s degree holder. According to, the median salary of a bachelor’s degree holder is RM2,545 per month in Malaysia, while that of a master’s degree holder is RM4500 per month.

earning potential
Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko

What can you do with a Master of Science degree?

A good Master of Science degree program should help a competent student develop valuable and transferable research and critical thinking competencies. 

This can help ambitious individuals succeed in careers such as: 

  • Civil engineering
  • Electrical engineering
  • Computer science
  • Data Science 
  • Economics
  • Entrepreneurship 
  • Health care administration
  • Management
  • Marketing 
  • Occupational therapy
  • Statistics

The wide range of disciplines  in Master of Science provides access to jobs such as:


A wide range of engineering roles benefit from master’s degrees, such as

  • Chemical engineer.
  • Industrial engineer.
  • Manufacturing engineer.
  • Environmental engineer.
  • Biomedical engineer.
  • Design engineer.
  • Civil engineer.
  • Nuclear engineer.
  • Electrical engineer.
  • Mechanical engineer.
  • Systems engineer.
  • Aerospace engineer.
  • Software engineer
  • Security engineer.
  • DevOps engineer.
  • Data engineer.

Statistics and data

  • Statistician
  • Data engineer
  • Data analyst
  • Data scientist
  • Analytics director
  • Machine learning engineer.
  • Big data engineer/architect.
  • BI developer/analyst.
  • Web analyst.
  • Insight director, research analyst.

How long is a Master of Science?

It takes one to three years to attain the MS degree depending on the programme and country in which it is offered. For example, in Malaysia, it typically takes two years to complete. 

However, this length of time assumes normal progress in all the modules offered.

Is a master of science hard?

The difficulty in attaining a Master of Science degree depends on two factors: the difficulty of the subject and the competence/intelligence of the student. The contents of most of the MS programmes are in-depth and technical and, thus, require technically inclined students. 

For example, students with a good grasp of mathematics will find that most of the content in the curriculum isn’t difficult. 

How much does a Master of Science degree cost?

The sections above make a compelling argument for pursuing a Master of Science degree. It is important, however, to consider the time and monetary costs involved in this endeavour. 

For example, the median cost for a master’s degree in Malaysia is RM18,180 to RM 31,815 and RM89,193 for international students.

What is the difference between a master’s degree and a Master of Science?

A master’s degree is an overarching term for all graduate master’s programmes that include both the arts and sciences, while a Master of Science is specifically for the sciences. 

So, a master’s degree can be a Master of Science (MS), a Master of Arts (MA), a Master of Philosophy (MPhil), a Master of Research (MRes), etc., while a Master of Science is specific. 

What is the difference between a Master of Science and a Master of Research?

There is one primary difference between a Master of Science (MS) and a Master of Research (M.Res.). 

A Master of Science is a postgraduate taught program, while a Master of Research is a postgraduate research program. 

In most cases, postgraduate taught programmes have a similar structure to undergraduate courses. Students may choose between mandatory and optional courses, seminars, lectures, and papers. Postgraduate taught programmes also include research activities at the end of one’s studies. 

On the other hand, students enrolled in postgraduate research programmes are typically motivated to research on their own and work closely with a supervisor. 

This allows them to utilise research facilities and training equipment, develop their investigational skills, and gain excellent training. 

So, students wishing to gain extensive knowledge in a particular field while benefiting from a structured educational programme and constant guidance should pursue a Master of Science degree. Conversely, an M.Res. is ideal for students interested in expanding their academic skills and looking to work in roles that involve advanced research abilities.

Is a Master of Science the same as PhD?

A master of science (MS) and a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) are different. The focus and the aims of each are not the same. The prerequisites for admission into each programme are also different. 

Here are some of the differences:

Entry prerequisites

Master’s degrees dictate completing a bachelor’s degree, while PhDs require completing a master’s degree.

Time to completion

Master’s degrees often take anywhere from 1 to 3 years to complete, while PhDs take between three and seven years.

The focus of the degree programme

A master’s degree is designed to enhance career-oriented knowledge and skills. A doctorate is a research-based degree intended to produce critical research, analytical and writing abilities to satisfy industry knowledge demands.

Amount of research required

A master of science degree only requires moderate research, while a PhD is all about research. It requires intensive and original research.

Amount of research required
Photo by cottonbro studio

Where to study Master of Science?

Master of Science degrees is offered in many universities in many countries worldwide. For example, in Malaysia, most universities offer MS degrees to students. However, they vary in subjects, quality and, indeed, cost. 

A great MS degree offered in Malaysia is the Master of Science in Engineering degree offered at UOW Malaysia KDU.  


All in all, the pros of enrolling for a Master of Science degree greatly outweigh the cons. From career progression to knowledge acquisition, taking on a Master’s Degree will greatly benefit you and your organisation. 

Whether you’re looking for advancement in your career or further education, an MS degree offers great opportunity.


15 December 2022


Education and Career