When you graduate with your first bachelor’s degree, you probably aren’t thinking about how you can spend even more time going to school. After four extra years of school, enough is enough. You’re ready to go out into the workplace and make a name for yourself. Why bother with a master’s degree?
Starting off with a bachelor’s degree is a great way to begin your career, but in the long run, a master’s degree will get you further. It’s more than just an extra piece of paper. It’s an extra step up the ladder.
Whether you’re a new graduate or a career professional that’s thinking about going back to school, here are eight unique reasons to pursue a master’s degree.
#1. More Opportunities
A master’s degree opens up doors that you might have never noticed before. Even if you’ve been in your current career field for several years, many job opportunities can be hidden simply because you don’t have a higher education.
For students that go straight into a master’s degree after earning their bachelor’s, this means you could start at a much higher level when you begin working. Rather than working in an entry-level position, it’s possible to start out in a management or other higher-ranking job.
#2. Possibility to Switch Careers
When you first graduate with your bachelor’s degree, you might not think about the possibility of switching careers. After working so hard to get into your dream job, you know that you’ll never want to quit.
In a perfect world, you wouldn’t ever want to or have to switch careers. However, this isn’t a perfect world and it’s quite possible that you end up unhappy with the career you first picked.
Master’s degrees give you more flexibility and make it possible to switch between careers easier. Even if your degree isn’t perfectly aligned with your new choice, just having a master’s degree makes you a possible candidate.
Sometimes, master’s degree programs will admit students without prior experience in a specific field. This depends on the school and career field, but it is possible.
#3. Higher Pay
Most of the time, new graduates have some type of debt or student loan they hope to pay off. After four years at a university, this is completely normal. It’s also normal to feel a bit rushed and want to start making money as soon as possible in order to pay off the loan.
Having a job is a great way to start paying off your loans, but it won’t be much help if it doesn’t pay enough. With a master’s degree in hand, you’ll start off with higher pay and work your way up. Rather than spend several years before you make a decent amount, a master’s degree can help you start with decent pay and work towards an even higher salary.
Although it may seem a bit backward to pay for an extra degree in order to save money, master’s degrees aren’t always expensive. In fact, there are many online master’s degree programs that are affordable.
#4. Increased Freedom
With a master’s degree in hand, you can be a lot pickier about the jobs you apply for and the career you go into. In some cases, a business may choose you over someone with a relevant bachelor’s degree. Even if your master’s degree isn’t specific to the work, companies value the additional education.
Having the freedom to choose where you work is something not everyone benefits from. Many career professionals choose to go back to school simply because of the additional freedom that is granted by master’s degrees.
On the topic of freedom, don’t feel like you have to return to a university campus in order to obtain a master’s degree. There are many online master’s degree programs that you can do no matter where you live.
#5. Updated Knowledge
For career professionals, completing a master’s degree later in life can help you stay updated on any changes to the industry. Every career field makes constant changes and over time, they all add up.
No matter which industry you work in, your knowledge is going to become outdated eventually. Despite your best efforts, it can be difficult to stay up to date on all the changes and research that is done. Especially in any scientific or medical field.
In a master’s degree program, you’ll be exposed to the most recent discoveries and get clear updates on any changes made in your field. With a focus on new breakthroughs and updated information, you’ll return to your career more prepared than ever before.
#6. Improved Skills
Master’s degrees are designed to get you thinking and analyzing. While this may not sound like a fun way to spend your free time, it can greatly improve your soft and hard skills.
Many master’s degrees include hands-on experience and in turn, this experience improves how you work. With assistance from your teachers and other students around you, you can improve your hard skills in a safe and positive environment.
In addition to the hard skills you’ll earn with hands-on programs, you’ll also learn how to write and communicate better. In the workplace, these two soft skills are incredibly important. Alongside critical thinking and analysis skills, you’ll be one of a few people with such sought-after skills.
#7. Gain Resources
In any type of career field, having a good network is vital. With the right resources and connections, you can raise through the ranks quicker or earn a position that would have otherwise never been opened.
It’s not just new undergrads that partake in master’s degree programs. While you complete your studies, it’s quite likely that you meet other career professionals who have unique resources you can benefit from. Some of these people might even be able to benefit from your resources.
#8. Increase Your Credibility
Even with years of experience in a field, having a master’s degree can grant you the credibility you deserve. It shows that you’re dedicated to your field and willing to put in the extra work. In many cases, master’s degree programs all allow for more specialized coursework and advanced training opportunities.
During your program, you may have the chance to take on an internship or other type of training. Although you might feel like internships are better reserved for undergrads, doing an internship as a master’s student can be one of the best career decisions you make.
Taking On the Challenge
Completing a master’s degree will take time and effort, but it’s well worth it. Even if you don’t think having a master’s degree can benefit you in your industry, taking on the challenge is rewarding and beneficial. You may even be surprised by the number of doors that are opened afterward.