Master’s degrees have always been thought of as valuable career assets, but they are not for everyone. In addition to costing half or more of the cost of an undergraduate degree, your master’s requires two to four additional years of studying. For some, this can delay entering the workforce or make it difficult to fulfill their current job requirements.
For adults with full-time jobs and families, the juggling act becomes even more difficult. But the good news is that there are more options than ever for earning your master’s degree, especially if you’re already employed. Schools are making graduate school more accessible for everyone, so you may want to consider going back to college in the near future. If you’re interested in learning how a master’s degree could improve your life, here are five potential benefits.
Qualify for More Jobs
While a bachelor’s was previously the gold standard for most jobs, that is not the case anymore. With the majority of the population working age and entering the workforce, competition is increasing in every field. This pushes employers to become more scrutinous, and they are now setting the bar higher for every applicant.
Some jobs require a master’s degree for you to even begin working. Aspiring therapists or social workers must complete a graduate program before they can apply for their state license. Graduate degrees are also required for many mid- to high-level medical, financial, educational and business careers. By earning your graduate degree, you can qualify to work in additional fields and higher-paying job opportunities.
Specialized Knowledge in Your Passions
One of the most disheartening things people realize in their bachelor’s programs is that there is a lot of course work that has nothing to do with their major. Prerequisites take up half of an undergraduate program, and while they are important, they can leave some graduates feeling like they’ve only just grazed the surface of their chosen discipline. A master’s program gives you the opportunity to dive deep into your preferred subject area and become a specialist in your field of work. Whether it’s cybersecurity or digital marketing, there are many areas you can study and only acquire in-depth knowledge about through master’s-level studies.
Greater Networking Opportunities
If you want to make professional connections in your field, you are not forever roped in to messaging on LinkedIn. Master’s courses are filled with professionals, both instructors and students, who can become valuable connections throughout your career. Working with and studying under people from your industry with all sorts of experience and skills can expand your knowledge, broaden your perspective and help you grow as much as a professional as a person.
You not only have more options as an employee but also as a student. Online programs, evening classes and weekend courses allow you to study and complete your coursework without slowing down at work. You can also explore various financing options that are even more generous and flexible than those for undergraduate students. No matter what field you want to go into, there is an option out there for you. If you’re aspiring to earn your MSN or doctor, you can take out a private student loan from a personal lender to pay for your advanced degree. The same applies for every other field, and future repayments can be simplified through consolidation and refinancing.
Build Your Reputation
Professionals with master’s degrees have greater credentials and, as a result, more credibility. Combined with your real-world knowledge and direct experience, a graduate degree could help strengthen your professional image. Going through the process will also show colleagues and potential employers that you are able to maintain a dedication to a goal which is a highly reputable quality.