Performancing Metrics

Top 10 Reasons to Earn Your Master’s Degree

should i get a masters degree

Obtaining a master’s degree can be an arduous but very rewarding goal, one that many professionals should strive for. With a master’s degree, your career path will take a different trajectory than without one; a trajectory that aims you towards being as successful and respected as possible in your career path. By having a master’s degree at your disposal, so many opportunities will open up to you in your life, both professional and personal. According to recent findings, a person with a master’s degree is likely to earn roughly $1,300 more a month than a person with a bachelor’s degree in a similar field (see our ranking of the highest paying Master’s degrees. This stems from the fact that a master’s degree can allow you to garner more respect from your employers, and because you’ve had a longer time to build up a portfolio of professional connections by networking. But it doesn’t come down to just the money. There are many different reasons for obtaining a master’s degree, and this list will outline ten of the top reason why you should sign up for a master’s program at your school.

Practical Applications

The practical applications of obtaining a master’s degree are numerous. For instance, there are a lot of jobs that require you to obtain a master’s degree before you can even be employed in that sector, such as doctors and lawyers. Obtaining a master’s degree means spending more time in school, where you can spend more time to network and make life-long business connections. The more business connections you have at your disposal, the easier and more rewarding your professional life can be. Business connections can help you find a better job than you otherwise might have on you own. They can also give you advice and help guide your career towards a more fruitful path. Anything that you can do to make your professional life easier and more rewarding is always a positive thing that you should strive to achieve. By doing so, the impact on your life will be astounding.

Practicality is something that most people usually don’t think about, but it’s such an important part of any task. Practical applications is the use of something for a reasonable purpose. Obtaining a master’s degree in and of itself is a practical application, as obtaining a master’s degree is more than reasonable for the payoff. There would be no reason to obtain your master’s degree if it wasn’t practical, and as we will show you with the rest of this list, a master’s degree is one of the most practical things you can do to advance your career, have a rewarding professional life and a higher-quality personal life. With your master’s degree in hand, there’s nothing you can’t achieve in your career.

Fun Fact: People that got the most results out of networking during their education say they participated more in “face-to-face” networking at school as opposed to online networking.

You Get to Learn More About What You Love

Most people that seek to obtain a master’s degree are doing so because it’s for a field that they genuinely love. Something that you’re passionate about is something that you should strive to continue expanding your knowledge on over the course of your life. Obtaining a master’s degree in the field that most suits your passion in life is a great stepping-stone towards this goal. A master’s program offers a lot more learning experiences than you would have access to with just an associate’s or bachelor’s degree program. Knowing more about what you love is how you nurture that love and let it blossom into a rewarding career that you can take pride in. You will gain niche knowledge that other people in your field might not know, and this will give you an edge while at the same time bring you closer to the heart of your field.

The reason obtaining a master’s degree will teach you more about what you love is due to the fact that you won’t just be learning the general basics in your field. You will also be doing highly advanced work and research into niche parts of your field. A person seeking to further their career in biology, for example, might choose to obtain their master’s degree in botany or virology. Botany and virology are both extremely different niches that both fall under the biology umbrella, so not only would a student learn about the basics of biology, they would also learn about a specialized field that is a part of biology. You can even specialize further, if you so wish. Taking our prior example, there’s paleobotany and immunology available as even further specialized fields of botany and virology. There’s no end to how much you can learn and specialize in your chosen field, and that’s what makes obtaining a master’s degree so great.

Fun Fact: The average full-time student will earn their Master’s degree in 1.5 to 2 years, but some students take longer due to their schedule restrictions. Check out our list of the Fastest Online Master’s Degree Programs.

Research Opportunities

When you sign up for a master’s program, particularly in a science-related field, you will gain a unique opportunity to do research into niche topics that interest you. Lab and research opportunities are a very powerful and compelling way to learn all the subtleties about your field. And, as an added bonus, you will also gain access to more high-tech gadgets to use in your research, which allows you to become familiar with some tools that you might need to use after graduation. Having familiarity with tools that you wouldn’t otherwise have had access to with a bachelor’s or associate’s degree means you’re more qualified for better paying and more rewarding jobs over those that don’t have a master’s degree in your field. If lab work and research piques your interest, or if you just want to learn everything you can about your subject, obtaining a master’s is the perfect way to gain these experiences.

Research opportunities will usually offer students stipends to help pay for living expenses and tuition, this will be covered more in-depth later in this list. Research opportunities also afford students real-world experience that can greatly diversify a student’s accomplishments and background, which can help them have a better resume after graduation than other students might have. All in all, having access to more and better research opportunities is a great way to gain life experience, career experience, learn more about what you love and give you the tools you need to succeed in your chosen field. This is not something that you should underestimate the value of or take for granted, as it’s an extremely important aspect of obtaining your master’s degree and an extremely important aspect of being better equipped to take on and, more importantly, excel at the professional world in your chosen career.

Fun Fact: Obtaining a master’s degree in a field such as archaeology, paleontology, immunology, epidemiology or other research dependent fields can offer you a chance to travel around the globe. See our list of the Most Popular Master’s Degree Programs.

Sense of Accomplishment

Obtaining a master’s degree is something that is viewed as a challenge by many people and, as such, it is viewed by those same people to be a major accomplishment. Getting your master’s degree is something that can really boost your self-esteem and your sense of self-worth, because you will know that you put forth the effort and time and really worked hard to achieve this goal that not everyone is able to achieve. Being able to look back on an achievement of this magnitude is a great way to motivate you whenever you get stuck in a rut in life, and to remind yourself that you are more than capable of overcoming any task that you set your mind to. Being secure in your ability to handle large, difficult tasks is a huge reward in and of itself, and one that you shouldn’t take lightly as it can be a great benefit to you in your life.

Having a higher self-esteem and sense of self-worth is an incredible feeling and has been proven by science to increase not only your quality of life but also your relative sense of quality of life. What this means is not only will your quality of life improve, but also the way you feel about your quality of life will improve due to your increased positive outlook on life. A person can be financially comfortable in their life, but with low self-esteem, they will view their life as being less fulfilling and comfortable than what it actually is; purely because of their outlook on who they are as a person. Being able to achieve something of this magnitude, however, will allow a person to have a brighter outlook on life and who they are as a person, which goes a very long way towards having a better life.

Fun Fact: When a person’s self-esteem is higher, they are less affected by stress and anxiety, they experience rejections and failures as less hurtful, and they recover from them more quickly.

Increased Respect and Credibility

Many corporations view a master’s degree as a strong testament to a person’s character and capabilities and, as such, are a lot more willing to trust these individuals in positions of power, such as upper management and executive positions. This is purely because they understand that obtaining a master’s degree is a respectable achievement that proves an individual is capable of setting a goal, following through with the goal and obtaining the results they want. It also shows that an individual is equipped with all of the knowledge and skill set that they will need in these management positions. Holding a master’s degree is an excellent way to garner the respect and credibility that most people have to fight to obtain. A master’s degree is a great way to say, “Hey, I worked really hard to prove myself as a capable and respectable professional.” and employers really respond positively to that kind of statement.

Obtaining a master’s degree will not only garner you more respect and credibility in your professional life, but also your personal life. When people find out you have a master’s degree, they really view you in a different light; a more positive light. This is because people respond really well to the fact that someone achieved a great accomplishment and did something wonderful and challenging as a way to better their quality of life and to become a more well-rounded individual. Obtaining a master’s degree is more than just earning a degree, it’s going above and beyond what is expected of the average person in the pursuit of knowledge and career advancement, which is viewed by many as a very respectable pursuit and they respond as such.

Fun Fact: A master’s degree says a lot about a person’s character and their dedication. Employers will have much more respect for someone that has a master’s than they will for someone that doesn’t. Check out our list of the Best Online Master’s Degree Programs.

Free Tuition

Yes, you read that right. Many graduate programs around the country offer various stipends for students enrolled in their graduate programs. These stipends can effectively pay for most, if not all, of a student’s graduate program tuition. Being able to obtain a higher degree than what you already hold without placing yourself further in debt–or risking having to go into debt in the first place, if you’ve made it through your education thus far debt-free–is an excellent perk of getting your master’s. This basically means that obtaining this degree, as long as you keep up with your coursework, is a risk-free decision. The pro et contra (pros and cons) of this decision are virtually all pros and no cons. All it is going to cost you is your time and commitment, which for the returns that you will get, is a very small price to pay when you think about it.

These stipends are usually offered in return for research or apprenticeship programs. These means that not only will you be earning money to pay for your tuition and living expenses, but you will also be gaining tangible, marketable real-world experience. This will help immensely with building a resume after graduation as it shows that not only do you have the knowledge required to be an excellent employee, but you also have prior experience in a professional setting. This means an employer would have to provide you with less hands-on training, making you less of a risk to hire than someone without a master’s degree would be. This obviously will boost your ability to start your career sooner and in a higher position. It also increases your ability to have more career paths open to you.

Fun Fact: Most graduate programs allow you to do apprenticeship programs to earn your stipend. This not only allows you to pay for your education, but it allows you to gain real-world hands-on experience in your field which will help you to secure a job after graduation.

Easier to Get a Job After School

This ties into the increased respect and credibility aspect of obtaining your master’s degree. When a prospective employer sees on your resume that you hold a master’s degree, they are much more likely to give your resume a harder look than resumes from individuals that don’t hold a degree that high. The fact that they are looking harder at your resume and giving you more thought than they might otherwise, this is going to cause your name and qualifications to stick in their mind when it comes time to actually choose who to hire. If an employer is thinking about you when they are hiring, this significantly increases your odds of being hired over people that are not on the employer’s mind. This is due to the fact that employers receive so many resumes year-round that you have to achieve something that will cause your resume to not be forgettable like most others are, due to being basically the same as each other.

It’s also easier to get a job after graduation due to the fact that holding a master’s degree sets the benchmark on what your capabilities are. With a master’s degree, you are much more marketable in the professional world, which makes you more desirable to employers. Anything that gives you an increase in desirability is one of the single most important things you can do when it comes to starting a career. The increase of desirability that you hold will mean that you can have more choices on who you work for as opposed to having to take the first job offered to you. You can also use this desirability to start higher up on the corporate ladder.

Fun Fact: Students and professionals understand the value of the master’s in today’s job market, and they are increasingly using the degree to stand out in the competitive search process.

Career Advancement

Having your master’s degree will open up so many opportunities in your career life that wouldn’t otherwise be presented to you. This is due to your employers being more willing to trust you with more responsibilities. If an employer knows they can trust you to accomplish the things that they assign to you, and that they can assign to you more time-sensitive projects or projects that require a higher level of intelligence then you’re much more likely to be promoted to a higher rung on the corporate ladder. Obtaining your master’s degree is a good way to prove to them that they can indeed assign you these types of projects and that they can trust you to follow through with your responsibilities. Obtaining a master’s degree is a large task to take on, so if you’re capable of achieving this task, then employers will view you as a more capable employee than some of their other employees.

With a master’s degree in your possession, the career opportunities will be a lot better and more varied for you than they would be without having a master’s degree. This is because obtaining a master’s degree puts you on the fast-track for success. For a person to obtain the marketability and credibility that a master’s degree holder has, they would have to put in a lot more time in their career just to prove that they are capable and respectable employees, but with a master’s degree you will already have an achievement that proves all of these things already, and it will take significantly less time to earn a master’s degree than it would to prove these things with just you work history. What this means is you will be able to achieve the position in your career that you want and deserve much sooner, purely because you have made yourself more marketable and shown yourself to be a capable professional that goes the extra mile for your career.

Fun Fact: At many major employers, a master’s degrees has become the de-facto credential for leadership roles within the company.

Greater Possibility for a Career Change

Another great benefit of earning your master’s degree is the versatility it will offer you in your professional life. Not only will you be qualified for the niche field that your master’s degree is actually in, but it will also allow you to be qualified for a broader spectrum of careers in that career field. For example if your master’s degree is in business administration, then you are also qualified for almost all office / business-related jobs available out there. This is because employers understand that to acquire a master’s degree, a student must learn a broader spectrum of topics on top of learning a specific topic which means a student that has their master’s degree is more qualified to perform a wider range of jobs. Versatility is one of the most desirable traits to have, as it will allow you to do so much more in life. Holding just a bachelor’s or associate’s degree will pretty much tie you down to one career path, and what happens if it turns out you don’t enjoy that career path? You would have to go back to school and obtain yet another bachelor’s or associate’s degree for a different field if you don’t hold a master’s.

Obtaining your master’s degree offers you so much versatility in your professional life because it makes you so much more marketable. Being able to market yourself efficiently is the that separates successful individuals from unsuccessful individuals. When someone is unsuccessful in their career path or they don’t have the career they want, it’s usually because they are not as marketable and versatile as others. Being able to show employers that you are capable of performing a wide-range of tasks is going to cause them to want to hire you and have you fill a role in their corporation that comes with more responsibility, allowing you to advance further and quicker than you might otherwise be able to do.

Fun Fact: In 2012, the Master of Business Administration degree surpassed the Master of Education degree as the most popular master’s degree program in the United States. See 50 Best Online Master of Education Degree Programs.

Higher Earning Potential

We saved the most obvious reason for obtaining a master’s degree for last. A higher earning potential is one of the main reasons most students pursue a master’s degree in the first place. With a higher earning potential, an individual’s quality of life can be greatly increased. It’s sad but true that money makes the world turn, so those that have the ability to earn more generally have a more positive outlook on life. Not having to struggle to pay your bills or having to live from paycheck to paycheck is such a liberating feeling and it is something everyone deserves to feel. This is why most professionals agree that obtaining a master’s degree is one of the single most important things you can do to achieve a higher quality and more positive life. Being financially stable will allow you to do and have so much more in your life than you would otherwise have and be able to do.

You will be able to achieve a higher rate of pay and a more desirable position with a master’s degree because it shows employers that you are a low-risk, high-yield employee. This means that you’ve proven you are a capable professional equipped with all the knowledge and skills needed to be successful in your field and, as such, are much more likely to be able to provide a company with positive results. They don’t have to spend time training you and then hoping you will be a capable employee; you have already proven yourself a capable employee and you will need less training. This means employers are much more likely to place you in a higher position starting out, which means an increase in pay. You will also have higher earning potential due to the fact that you will be able to advance further in your career than you would otherwise be able to do without a master’s degree.

Fun Fact: On average, individuals with a master’s degree make $17,000 more annually than a person with a bachelor’s.

We hope you have found this list helpful and insightful. Obtaining a master’s degree is an all around positive thing that you can do to improve your quality of life, and we hope you take the first steps towards doing so.

Michael Templeton
Managing Editor

Kacey Reynolds Schedler
Contributing Editor