If you are a student who is in the final stages of their undergraduate degree or have recently finished, you may be wrestling with the question: “should I pursue a master’s degree?” It’s a difficult question and the right answer can often be obscured by the circumstances in your life.
You might be unsure if the extra education will benefit your career goals. The prospect of paying extra school fees and spending more time as a student can make the decision tough for those eager to enter the workforce and earn a living full-time.
Because it’s such a huge decision, the reasons you apply for a master’s degree need to be well grounded.
Let’s take a look at the 5 best reasons you should pursue a master’s degree.
An investment in your future
While it’s not completely vital that you have a career plan in place before undertaking graduate study, it does have its advantages. Postgraduate education is a form of professional development that gives students the skills and knowledge to access higher paying jobs sooner.
If you care about being the absolute best in your desired career, then postgraduate education is the next step on that path. There really aren’t many alternatives that will give you the same result.
Get noticed by employers
Entering the job market with a basic undergraduate degree isn’t as easy as it used to be. As more people gain access to higher education, the more competition there is for the same jobs.
More and more, employers are looking at other factors when deciding who to interview. Even entry level roles are being hotly contested by those with similar educations.
A master’s degree will place you in a smaller pool of candidates, making it much more likely that you will land an interview for the jobs you apply for.
Get an even deeper understanding of your field of study
If you’re applying for a master’s in law, then you likely have a very keen interest in legal philosophy and other related subjects. A master’s degree allows you to dig deep into your study area in a far broader sense than during your undergraduate degree.
While undergraduate degrees often let students pursue modules of interest, this is taken to a much greater level with a postgraduate degree. You will often need to conduct large amounts of independent research as part of your study and develop your own understanding of a subject from a range of different perspectives.
Make contributions to your field of study
A master’s degree enables you not only contribute to your field professionally but academically as well. During your study you will lay the foundations of your expertise in the field and this can inform academic essays that you might get published in the future.
If you care about being an expert opinion in your field then a master’s degree is absolutely necessary.
Building your network
According to MastersAvenue, while an undergraduate degree is often associated with making friends, cramming last minute study for exams and sleeping late, postgraduate education is much more about making professional connections. This is not only true of other students, but with faculty members as well.
The professors and lecturers you learn from and interact with can have a profound effect on your future prospects. Many of them will serve as mentors who are invested in your individual growth.
Postgraduate study also gives you an opportunity to develop your people skills, which is essential in practically every career. Working with others on high concept ideas and nurturing those working relationships is one of the biggest advantages of postgraduate study.
Will you pursue a master’s degree?
Even acknowledging all of the points made above, it can still be an incredibly tough decision. Depending on your personal situation you can struggle balancing your study with other commitments.
It’s also important to know that economic incentives shouldn’t be the only reason you pursue further education. While it’s understandable as a driving factor you will struggle throughout your master’s degree if it’s not something you want to achieve academically.
For those without any significant reservations, a master’s degree is a sound choice that will enable you to reach heights in your professional career that you could not have otherwise.
Executive Editor at Best in Australia. Mike has spent over a decade covering news related to business leaders and entrepreneurs around Australia and across the world.