validity of a Masters around the world

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by xygirl, Sep 12, 2006.

  1. xygirl

    xygirl New Member

    My goal is to achieve a Mater's degree after my bachelor's.
    I just wonder how easy that will give me job opportunities all over the world. The degree is American and say I'll live in Europe or Asia or so. Is it well accepted?
    I'm starting to hesitate if I should go another route, I heard of European Master's, but know nothing about it.
    Thanks :)
  2. edowave

    edowave Active Member

    An RA masters from a US university will be "valid" around the world. Whether or not that will help you get a job, is another matter. That depends on a myriad of factors of which the type of degree you have is typically the least important.
  3. xygirl

    xygirl New Member


    Thank you, but my main goal with a Masters is to be able to get a good job. That's the whole idea towards achieving a Masters.
    Another question is (sorry if it sounds stupid), but what is 'RA'?
    thank you for your information and any more, because I can really use some type of guidance.
  4. JLV

    JLV Active Member

    Being an American university graduate myself, I wish that was true, but it isn't. Some European countries do not validate US degrees per se. It depends on factors like University's prestige in termsof publications, faculty etc , absolute coincidence of contents and weight (i.e. work load), and many subjective issues that make impossible a prediction. Most times it just doesn't happen. Other Europeans here can confirm it. I am sure.

    The UK and Ireland may be the exception though.

    Of course, no RA degrees will make people here just laugh (NA could be the exception, again).

    In terms of jobs, an American degree is, objectively speaking, very good to find jobs as long as your profession is not regulated. Otherwise, you have to go through a lengthy recognition process that may end up in failure anyway. So if you plan to be a psychologists, a teacher and the like, ask authorities in your place of residence first. Nevertheles, in terms of employer acceptance, it is my experience that American RA degrees are very well accepted.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 12, 2006
  5. eric.brown

    eric.brown New Member

    Re: Hello

    RA stands for regionally accredited. RA is one of the standards for educational institutions in the US (with the other being DETC).
  6. B.N.

    B.N. Member

    Europe used to have their own system of higher education. By that, I mean that they didn't have the Bachelors -> Masters -> Dr. levels like the US. However, the EU now has something which they call the Bologna process. You can read up more on the process here.

    This basically means that in the next couple years most Europeans will know the value of a Masters degree. Of course, if you receive a degree from a well known school (ie Harvard, Yale etc.) it will have a higher perceived value, as is true in the US as well.

    If you plan on using your RA masters to get a job in an international company, I don't think you'll have any problems. If you want to use it to pursue further education in Europe (ie getting a Dr.), that can get complicated. If you want to use it to become a lawyer or to get a job in other highly regulated careers, you will probably have some complications as well. It won't be impossible, it just might be a little bit more complicated than in the US.

  7. Michael Lloyd

    Michael Lloyd New Member

    In your other thread, you speak of earning a master's degree in a healthcare discipline. While a graduate degree from a First World country will likely be 'accepted' anywhere in the world, it may not qualify for licensure as a healthcare provider in a given country or otherwise allow you to practice that healthcare profession. This is a key distinction.

    Many countries have licensure or other regulatory requirements in order to practice any number of healthcare professions. You may have to earn a degree in that country, or first check to see if the regulatory authority accepts degrees from other countries.

    An example is you are a physician trained in Thailand and you have a medical degree from the National University. You move to the United Kingdom and wish to practice medicine. The UK licensing authorities 'recognize' your degree from Thailand, but it does not meet their standards for licensure in the UK. You have to take additional training or pass various exams in order to qualify for licensure in the UK. (NB: I picked Thailand and the UK as random examples. Feel free to substitute any other country; the concept is likely the same.)

    Some healthcare disciplines are extremely portable around the world: nursing, radiology technician, lab technician and the like. Others, such as physician, psychologist, dentist, etc. are not. Generally speaking, the more advanced the educational requirements for a given healthcare profession, the less portable it may be. In many cases, if you have a graduate degree from a 'First World' university, it is not unduly difficult to qualify for licensure in another 'First World' country. As an example, physicians trained in the UK or Canada are easily licensed to practice in the USA and vice versa.

    Note also that some countries may have restrictions on the ability of any distance learning degree to qualify for licensure in those professions requiring a license to practice.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 12, 2006
  8. CoachTurner

    CoachTurner Member

    The other is NA (National Accreditation) of which the DETC is among the accreditors. There are other national accreditors as well, some having more repspect in their profession than others.

    There are examples where RA isn't "good enough" and NA is required in the profession. Those examples don't generally include the DETC but the situation does exist where accreditation by a national body (often in addition to RA) is a standard for certification/licensure/employment.

    One example would be the field of librarianship -- where an MLS accredited by the ALA (NA) is often required. Another common example is Law. RA is great, but the school must also be approved by the ABA (NA).

    Generally speaking, RA gives you a higher level of utility for most purposes than NA -- RA plus NA (professional) is even higher.
  9. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    This depends on what type of profession are you planning to pursue. Are you in a regulated profession like Education, Engineering, or Accounting? In general, American degrees are accepted world wide but this depends on your resume and the country where you are planning to pursue your career.
  10. xygirl

    xygirl New Member


    Oh boy,
    When I read all that, I feel like giving up.
    My goal is a Master's degree in something medical , preferrably Physical Therapy or a kind of rehabilitation with patients.
    So, basically, if I don't live in the States, I wont go far with my degree.
    Now, I don't know what to do.
    Since, I'm still overseas, in Belgium, I will finish my bachelor's of Psychology.
    Then, is ther any recommendation for changing my plan?
    If even DE is not recommended and I'm not able to pay for Harvard, what do I do?
    Also, what are "first world " universities?
    Maybe I can change and attend a Canadian or UK university, would that be better.
    I really am so interested in Health Care and thought that that was a profession where I'll always find a job with.
    I mean, really, health is so importand and will remain so. (I believe).
    Then again, if I move to the States for a while, what are the odds of me being able to attend another than US university?
    Oh, I really don't know it anymore.
    Here I am, studying like crazy everyday and wanting a degree and now I hear I wont have much of a chance out there. What's the point. I may better become a waitress or so....(I know that sounds desperate, but it's costing already so much, I cannot continue this if it doesn't reward me in the future)
    I really don't want to sound harsh, but I know nothing about the States and their degrees. The reason I 'm in it is because we have 'thought' to be moving there soon and for a longer time.
    Things have changed and nothing is sure anymore, so I want to be flexible with a degree that can move with me.

    Thanks guys for more advice, cause I'm lost here.
    (sorry if I sounded boring).
  11. Michael Lloyd

    Michael Lloyd New Member

    "First World" generally refers to the industrialized countries of Europe, North America, and Australasia. Generally speaking, the more economically prosperous a country is, the higher chance it is considered a First World country.

    Given that you are currently living and studying in Europe, here is what I would do in your situation:

    Give some serious thought as to what two or three healthcare professions interest you: physical therapy, occupational therapy or rehab medicine?

    Contact the Belgian governmental authority responsible for licensing or regulating these types of healthcare providers. Ask what the criteria are for education, and what foreign degrees are acceptable to meet the educational and licensure requirements. Ask if any European countries have any reciprocity agreements, such that if a physical therapist is licensed in Belgium, can they also practice in France or Germany? I don't know if the European Union has any sort of Union-wide regulations on this issue.

    If you know for a fact which profession you wish to practice and which country you wish to practice in, you can review that country's licensure regulations to determine what education you require.

    Getting a healthcare graduate degree from virtually any country in Western Europe should enable you to practice almost anywhere in the world, and probably with no, or minimal additional training required. You will probably have to pass the licensure exams in any country, but you would have to do that regardless of where you earned your degree. At the facility at which I work, we have healthcare providers who were originally trained in Ireland, the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Poland and a host of other countries. It can be done.
  12. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    There's a difference between national accreditors and professional accreditors, and by mentioning the ALA and the ABA you're listing the latter, not the former.

    National accreditors are a replacement for regional accreditors, almost never an addition to them. One or two schools that were nationally accredited maintained that even once they had graduated up to regional accreditation, and there's AALE, which seems to perform both roles, but these are exceptions to the rule.

  13. xygirl

    xygirl New Member


    I understand and would take your advice on contacting the local government here IF I would stay here, but I don't.
    I still don't have my bachelor's degree and we don't have plans on staying. However, we don't know where we'll go and neither where we'll stay.
    My aim is to have a degree with which I can travel around the world.
    So, in health care (if I don't like any technical stuff, so no lab technician f.e.) , what are my options? Would I have better chances in psychology?

    Also, DE degrees are not recommendable, but if I could get to a university for a brief period (I don't know if possible when attending a Master's progr), could I do the remaining period distance (with that university) or does a Master's progr require you to stay attending the university for its time being? Especially when Medical area.

    One last thought: Are you guys saying that I can better stay in the STates if I want to get a good paying job in the health sector. (btw, international companies sound very attractive, but very hard to get in).

    Thanks again:)
  14. Michael Lloyd

    Michael Lloyd New Member

    In terms of a healthcare profession that is in demand, especially in the the United States and Canada, physical therapy comes immediately to mind. I suspect there is equal demand in Europe.

    In most medical professions, especially in the USA and Canada, and I suspect Europe as well, the educational programs necessary for licensure and practice are not distance learning. If you already have an undergraduate degree in a given healthcare profession, there may be some graduate programs that are offered via distance education. But the initial healthcare training demands lots of hands-on supervised work that cannot be provided via distance learning. You cannot learn how to do range of motion exercises, or how to start an IV line from a distance learning methodology. It requires practice on live people.

    A famous exception to the above is the Excelsior distance learning program to become a registered nurse in the USA. But even that program requires supervised clinical rotations at a local hospital; it is not entirely distance learning.

    With your undergraduate degee in psychology, you would likely qualify for admission into a graduate psychology program. But if you want to study physical therapy or occupational therapy, you will probably be starting pretty much from the beginning in an educational program. You can probably satisfy some general credit requirements from the psychology degree, but still have to take all the technical physical therapy classes, for example.

    Since you are still in school, I think you should sit down with your school's career counselors and determine what it is you want to do for a living. Once you determine that, and where you want to live, you can then investigate how to become a member of that profession in the area you want to live. It would be unfortunate if you went to physical therapy school, for example, only to discover that you don't like doing physical therapy.

    If it turns out that you want to do physical therapy and live in Canada, you can explore the educational requirements for licensure and if you should go to school in Canada vs. attending a foreign school.
  15. xygirl

    xygirl New Member


    I appreciate your explaination very much and totally understand you.
    Now, I do know what I want and know this degree is not what I want, but it's the only option for me while living here.
    Additionally, ironically, if ONLY I knew WHERE I would live, I could take up your advice, but that's where my problems is.

    Thanks again!!!:)

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