Should You Get a Master’s Degree? Reasons Why It’s Worth the Extra Money

Confused about whether or not you should get a master’s degree? Worry no more. I’m going to give you my two cents on it. Going to university can be an amazing experience where you explore your interests and get to meet new people. But then it’s over, and you are left with a big question—what do I want to do now? 

It’s a tough one, with lots of factors to consider, but one option is definitely in the mix: postgraduate education. In general, a master’s degree is the first professional degree that requires the completion of two or three years of university study. Students who earn a master’s degree proceed to an advanced degree known as a doctoral degree, or Ph.D.

Master’s degrees could be a great investment in your future, and there are plenty of reasons why. They’re also an excellent idea for any career-driven professional that wants to further their knowledge and improve their career prospects. If you are considering further study, here are some reasons why you should think about getting a master’s degree.

1. You Can Improve Your Career Opportunities

When you are making decisions about your career, it can be challenging to try to make the right choice. For many people, a master’s degree is a great start. If you have one, a master’s degree is generally more valuable than a bachelor’s degree in the same field, if you have one.

Whether you’re planning to move up in your company or start your own, a master’s degree can help make it happen. In addition, industry reports indicate that people with higher levels of education earn more, have better benefits, and are more likely to be hired for senior-level positions.

Many professions, such as law or medicine, require you to specialize in a particular discipline for you to be able to work in that field. A master’s degree is a postgraduate degree that can be obtained through formal education. Hence, it will provide you with opportunities to access specialized roles within the industry.

2. Learning and Education Have Always Been Fascinating to You

While teaching is not necessary to get a master’s degree, it is one of the most rewarding uses of your time and energy. If education has always been an interest of yours, then getting a master’s degree will allow you to hone in on your particular area of expertise. 

Going to school is fun and learning is interesting, so it makes sense that you’d want to keep studying. Earning your master’s degree will be challenging, but it will also be interesting. You’ll get to learn new things and grow as a person. If you’re looking for a new challenge, you should consider getting your master’s degree.

In our ever-changing society, education is becoming increasingly important. Better educated people are more productive, more likely to be employed, and enjoy higher incomes than their less-educated peers. The returns on investment in education can be very large for both the individual and the society.

SEE: Discover why education is important 

3. Workplace Tuition Reimbursement May Be Available to You

Workplace tuition reimbursement may be part of your employee benefits plan. The US Department of Labor notes that approximately 40% of companies offer this type of program. Its purpose is to help graduates improve their skills and increase their value to the organization. 

It is an added benefit that helps employees further in their careers and potentially earns them a higher salary once they complete their master’s degree. Your employer might cover it, but if your education will benefit the company you work for, you may get some financial assistance from unexpected places. 

Many employers will offer tuition assistance and even help pay for the cost of books, travel, and daycare. Tuition reimbursement programs are designed to attract new employees and keep current employees learning new skills. If your company offers one, take advantage of it. It’s not money in your pocket now but can equal big savings down the road.

SEE: Understand the importance of employee training and development 

4. The More Experience You Have, the Better Choices You’ll Make

Getting a master’s degree will offer you benefits that individual coursework can’t provide. Solid knowledge, more time to study, and academic background will give you a better sense of what works and what doesn’t in the real world.

Everyone makes bad choices. It’s a fact of life. But, with each choice comes experience. And, with each experience, you can use what you’ve learned to make better choices the next time around. This is especially true when it comes to higher education. 

No matter what your age, it’s never too late to go back to school and get a master’s degree. The higher your level of education, the better choices you’ll make. As adults, we have a better understanding of our strengths and weaknesses, so you can apply this knowledge when entering into a program that fits your needs.

SEE: Learn about decision-making skills

5. You’ll Gain More Knowledge and Skills

If you’re not already familiar with the formal structure of the college classroom, now’s a great time to learn. As a graduate student, you’ll read more and stretch your brain in ways that can lead to greater knowledge that you can use to teach your students or advance your career. 

With a master’s degree, you will gain more knowledge and skills related to your field. You may even have the opportunity to try a new area of study that interests you. With an advanced degree, you’re eligible for positions with greater responsibility and promotions in your current position. 

Specific courses, research opportunities, and internships will help you learn more about your field of interest and strengthen your subject matter expertise. Graduate school also provides you with softer skills, such as improved communication and problem-solving abilities. When you earn a master’s degree, you acquire specific knowledge in your chosen field, as well as transferable skills that can be applied to any career.

SEE: Learn more about transferable skills

6. Discovering New Areas of Research That Are Interesting

When you go back to school for a master’s degree, you’ll find that graduate studies can be quite different from undergraduate work. Not only do you typically enjoy a higher level of independence, but you’re also exposed to new perspectives and research areas. 

As graduates, some students enjoy working with scholars whose interests cross disciplines and researching topics that were foreign to them in undergraduate study.

An experience like this might lead you to change subfields within your discipline or even develop an interest in a completely new field of study. If you find that you enjoy learning new things, a master’s degree may be the right choice for you.

7. Personal Satisfaction is a Great Reward

One of the best benefits of getting a master’s degree is the personal satisfaction that you will earn. For some, simply earning a greater degree of education is a huge reward in and of itself. Nothing beats the feeling of achieving a goal, crossing something off of your bucket list, or accomplishing something you never thought possible.

Getting the highest degree possible is probably the greatest reason for you to devote the time and effort necessary to achieve it. Personal satisfaction is the best reward for your hard work and dedication. You can gain a sense of achievement by knowing that you have reached a new milestone in your life.

8. Set Yourself for Leadership and Advancement

The best way to get ahead in your career is to get a master’s degree. This gives you a competitive edge over those who only have a bachelor’s degree. It puts you higher in the food chain than your colleagues. In addition, having a master’s degree will boost your chances of moving up and being offered leadership positions. 

If leadership is something that you are interested in pursuing, then getting a master’s degree will put you on the right path. Gaining a master’s degree shows potential employers that you’re someone who takes their future seriously and can accomplish goals consistently. 

This lends itself to possible promotions or leadership opportunities, which can help you climb the career ladder. Many non-degree holders are being overlooked for these same positions simply because they aren’t willing to put in the additional effort.

SEE: Explore leadership skills that will make you a great leader

9. A Master’s Degree Makes Scholarship and Grant Applications Easier for College Students

A master’s degree can provide a boost to scholarship and grant applications for graduate students. Because of the high cost of grad school, many students need financial help. Master’s programs are often better funded than undergraduate programs because there is not as much competition for funding from fellow students. 

Graduate schools generally have more funds to offer their students. Having a master’s degree also shows initiative and hard work in academics—a winning combination for many scholarships and grants committees. 

Because you qualify for a master’s degree, certain scholarship and grant applications will be easier to complete. It also gives you another opportunity to apply for additional scholarships and grants that are tailored toward graduate students.

SEE: Understand financial aid

10. Change Your Perspective On Life

Education is a deeply personal experience. It changes the way you view the world and helps you cultivate new ideas. Not only does it help increase your earning potential, but it also gives you the skills needed for higher levels of responsibility and to take on more complex roles as well.

The world tends to look quite different when you have a master’s degree. As you learn new concepts, grow to love new subjects and fields of study, earn awards, and improve your communication skills, your perspective changes.

If you’ve primarily been doing the same thing since high school, it’s probably good to try to change your perspective on life. In other words, seeing the world through a new lens. The lens of your master’s degree instruction—can be more than just enlightening; it can help you gain insight into yourself and your career.

11. Improves Life-Long Earning

One of the main reasons people get a master’s degree is to boost their earning potential. With this advanced qualification, you’ll be able to access positions with higher salaries. You will also probably be able to earn a higher wage at every stage in your career, especially over the long term.

If you’re planning to earn a master’s degree, start early—as in right after you graduate. Earning a post-graduate degree can significantly increase your earning potential and help you land a position with a higher salary. Earning a master’s degree can improve your lifetime earnings by an average of 20%. 

SEE: Discover tips to make money as a college student 

FAQs 

Does having a degree guarantee me a good job?

You may know how hard it can be to find a job and then to keep that job once you’ve got it. A good degree may not guarantee you a job, but it will boost your chances of getting one. The simple fact is, in the competitive world of hiring people for jobs, candidates with degrees are going to be better placed than those without.

SEE: Explore tips to improve your interview skills

What is the prerequisite for pursuing a master’s degree?

Prerequisites for undertaking a master’s degree usually include a bachelor’s degree. Many universities also require that students earn a minimum-qualifying score on either the GRE or GMAT.

Final Thoughts 

Pursuing a master’s degree is a big decision and requires a lot of sacrifices that you might not be ready for. If you’re aiming for a master’s degree simply to boost your income or to get a higher-paying job, then you probably won’t find much benefit in getting a master’s degree. 

A master’s degree is an additional qualification that can give you an edge in your career, but it’s not a magic pill. That being said, getting a master’s degree is still a smart decision if you can afford the time and money it will cost you. 

If you get a master’s degree, you’ll be exposed to new ideas, thoughts, and methodologies that will help you in your profession. Moreover, you’ll be able to add a new credential to your resume, which will give you more credibility and improve the chances of advancing your career.

In case you’re a busy person who would like to get a degree but is unable to attend traditional classes, you can opt-in for an online degree. There is an article that outlines the most marketable online degrees. It is worth reading. Hopefully one will fit your goals or career.

Thanks for reading.