Why Get a Master’s Degree? Everything You Need to Know!


After earning an undergraduate degree, many students have reason to continue with their formal education and obtain a graduate degree. If you have earned a bachelor’s degree, then you may be wondering, “Why get a master’s degree?” 


Well, there are many reasons why a master’s degree is important. Here, we will take a look at the process of getting a master’s degree and the benefits of a master’s degree. 


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What is a Master’s Degree? 


A master’s degree is a graduate-level degree. It is intended for those who have fulfilled their bachelor’s degree and are seeking further specialization in a specific subject. This level of expertise is intended to prepare graduates for a certain field of study (research, academia, etc.) or to work professionally. 


Some students will earn a master’s degree because of their genuine love for learning. While it is possible to learn informally and outside of school, the structure of a master’s degree can be desirable. 


Additionally, for those who wish to work in academia, a master’s degree is a stepping stone along the journey. For example, professors need to earn a terminal degree such as a Ph.D. in Education or a Doctor of Education (EdD) degree. In either of these cases, a master’s degree (typically a master’s in education) is required first. 


Master’s degrees vary in their length, but you can expect it to take between one to three years to earn. The reason for the length depends on where you choose to earn your degree, whether you enroll full-time or part-time, the subject matter, and the country in which you study. 




Reasons to Get a Master’s Degree


Now that you know how to define a master’s degree, the question still stands: why get a master’s? And, the obvious follow-up question remains, “How will a masters degree benefit me?”


Let’s take a look at some of the common reasons to get a master’s degree:



1. Helps Switch Careers


In America, roughly half of the workforce changes jobs every one to five years. Over half of employees (57%) attribute their decision to change careers to having a lack of financial security. As such, many people will choose to return to school to gain a master’s degree for their next career endeavor. Since a master’s degree offers specialized knowledge, many programs will allow entrants who have different undergraduate degrees than what they are currently looking to undertake in the master’s program. That being said, it can mean that you’d need to take some extra classes to cover prerequisites if you’re going back to school to study an entirely new subject. 



2. Boosts Earning Potential 


Given that financial security is a top reason why people switch jobs, it makes sense that financial security would be a primary consideration for many who enter the workforce in the first place. Having a master’s degree positions you to a higher earning potential and overall lifetime earnings. On average, the earnings increase between a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree is 20%



3. Increases Job Opportunities


When you have more degrees under your belt, you are inherently opening the door to more job opportunities. This is because some positions may require a master’s degree to land. Simply by having the degree, you meet the qualifications to apply. 



4. Hones Skills 


A master’s degree also teaches hard and soft skills. Besides enhancing skills that are tied to the subject matter you’re learning, you’ll also get to boost your transferable skills. These include critical thinking, communication, problem-solving, time management, leadership, writing and research, and more. 



5. Offers Advanced Opportunities 


Along with more job opportunities in general, a master’s degree can afford you more advanced career opportunities. This is because leadership and executive positions typically require graduate level degrees to possess. So, both the quantity and quality of your job opportunities is positively impacted by having a master’s degree.



6. Expands Leadership Skills 


With any college degree, students learn an immense array of skills. When it comes to a master’s degree specifically, many of the skills required are those that are required to work in leadership positions. From problem-solving and critical thinking to presentation and communication skills, a master’s degree can set you up for high-level positions. 



7. Preps you to Take on Challenges


Earning a master’s degree can be challenging in its own ways. The material is high-level and requires a lot of dedication, consistency, and effort. For some, it is this challenging aspect that is the most intriguing.



8. Improves Networking Skills 


If you were to ask a graduate of a master’s program, “Why get a master’s degree?” many will be likely to answer that it is great for networking. This is especially true of a master’s in business administration (MBA). Within a degree program, you get to connect with students from all over the world and expand your network. This could lead to meeting your next employer, business partner, or mentor. 


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Getting a Master’s Degree 


Master’s degrees exist at a variety of institutions, which means that you get to choose how you prefer to learn. You can choose to enroll in a program online, in-person, or a combination of the two (known as hybrid programs). 


There are many advantages to choosing an online program. The advantages are that online colleges are typically more affordable and flexible than in-person programs. For example, you can enroll in an online master’s degree program like those available at the University of the People. University of the People offers master’s degrees in Business Administration (MBA), Education, and Information Technology. Since the programs are entirely online, students can choose when and where they wish to learn. 


Depending on where and what you wish to study, you’ll need to make sure you check the requirements of the program before applying. 



The Bottom Line 


The answer to why get a master’s degree can be different for each individual. Overall, with a master’s degree, you get to expand your career possibilities, increase your earnings, learn more, network, and forge a new career path, should you want to do so. 



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