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Is Going Back to School for Your Master’s Worth the Expense?

Published on April 9, 2016 12:00 AM EST
Is Going Back to School for Your Master's Worth the Expense?

Many undergraduate students are told that master’s degrees aren’t always worth the time and expense. However, a master’s degree in an advanced field of study offers exclusive advantages with tangible benefits for graduates. If you are weighing the pros and cons of returning to school yourself, check out these pros that could sway you back into the hallways.

Is getting a Masters degree really worth it?

Increased Earning Potential

Is Going Back to School for Your Master's Worth the Expense?

A master’s degree statistically guarantees a higher income. According to theBureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), master’s degree holders earn over $1,300 per week, and experience an unemployment rate of 2.8 percent. Those with a bachelor’s degree only earn $1,100 per week and experience an unemployment rate of 3.5 percent. As an employee gains expertise and experience over their career span, their earning power will continue to increase, especially if they obtain a master’s degree early in their career.

Increased Career Opportunities

Years ago, a bachelor’s degree or an associate’s degree with work experience was sufficient to obtain most jobs. With more and more students graduating college with a bachelor’s and flooding the job market, it now takes a master’s degree to stand out from the competition. Employers now set a master’s degree as the minimum qualification for any supervisory or decision making position. Finishing a master’s degree increases job competitiveness and creates more opportunities for career advancements through internal promotions.

Professional Credibility

Besides the tangible financial benefits, a master’s degree offers the intangible benefit of increased professional credibility. Master degree holders will experience higher levels of credibility among their clients and coworkers and within their industry or profession. For example, a master’s in education degree is the standard accreditation for public school teachers. When it comes to selecting employees to take on major projects, having education matters to decision makers. Finally, some graduates will experience enhanced credibility in their personal lives.

Intellectual Growth

From a professional development viewpoint, graduate coursework is generally deeper with more complex concepts and demanding assignments. Almost all on-campus and online master’s degree education programs require students to complete a master’s project or produce a master’s thesis. Because most students attend graduate school while working full-time, they will be able to apply their newly acquired skills and knowledge at work. They will also be able to intellectually tackle conceptual work problems through their master’s degree program.

As an added bonus, master degree students will be surrounded by talented classmates who will share interest in target subject matters. Thus, graduate degree programs provide excellent networking opportunities with professionals in similar industries.

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