Is Pursuing a Master’s Degree Really Worth it?

When beginning a career, many people will hear one of two things, either they need more experience, or they need more qualifications. Both practical work experience and college level qualifications have their merits, and it can be hard to choose which is the best direction for you to take when planning your future career.

Research into what employers look for when hiring has given new insights into just what they are expecting when they ask for experience, and likewise qualifications. Trying to get the edge over your competitors in the job market can be a job in itself. While you may be starting out in your new career, or you may have been in your current job for some time, a master’s degree can be a great way to give you that edge that may help you get the job or land that promotion. Here is a look at whether a master’s degree is really worth pursuing or not.

What Do Employers Mean by Experience?

This area often causes the most confusion when applying for work. How is it possible to have experience in a job you have not done before? If you are a young person just starting out, how can it be possible to have any experience?

The truth is that when an employer says they want you to have experience, they may simply want to see a few things on your resume that show you have experience of working in any capacity. Just having experience in some work is enough to satisfy some employers, depending upon the job. Other employers may want to see work in the same field as the job you are applying for but not necessarily the same role, though previous employment in the same job would be an obvious advantage.

They want to see that you have some experience using the skills that you will use as part of your daily role in a job, so want to see you have some transferable skills that you can use. A masters can be a great way to develop these transferable skills, such as being organized and learning to efficiently work independently.

Every employer understands that not everyone can have experience in every role, and that in order to find the right candidate for the job they are going to have to interview a broad field of candidates. The chances of them all having experience in the job they are hiring for is slim. A resume that shows consistent employment over time and relevant transferable skills for the role are all that may be required, and anything above that is a bonus to you. You will be surprised at the number of skills you can put on your resume that you would develop through pursing a master’s degree.

What Difference Do Qualifications Make?

Having qualifications is an asset to any potential candidate for employment. However, after basic qualifications that can be gotten in high school like English and math, any unrelated qualification demonstrates little more than the commitment it took to achieve it. When a candidate has a college level education or higher in a subject related to the job, employers take notice.

Having a college education takes commitment and drive and shows you can take responsibility for yourself and set goals and achieve them. The autonomy that comes with a college education teaches a lot of skills an employer will find desirable.

However, by pursing a master’s degree, you are showing your determination and dedication to your career. A masters is very different to a college education, as it is not something you have to do to get the job in the career you want. However, as it is an additional qualification that you are not obliged to complete, it shows that you are prepared to go that extra mile to develop your skills and education.

Earn While You Learn

If you are already in your chosen career choice and are concerned that you would lose your current position by going back to school to do your masters, then rest assured there are many options available to you.

You can now study for your master’s degree online, which means that you can study while you earn and around your work schedule. For example, if you are looking for a fully accredited degree course that provides you with strong leadership skills and optimal efficiency when working with others, then you should get your masters in operations management online.

So, is Pursuing a Master’s Degree Worthwhile?

When aiming for the higher levels of management, unless you have years of experience in the same job, you may struggle to find employment without a master’s degree. Employers cannot afford to spend the time needed to fully educate personnel in the workings of their industry or the responsibilities of various job roles. People applying for work with a master’s degree in the relevant field have an advantage over those without, and maybe even those with experience in the job.

A recent college education will have taught a graduate the latest techniques and theories surrounding their industry and could offer fresh insights that an older candidate with experience may not. Having a master’s degree is a great way to showcase all the innovative skills you have learned that will make you a better candidate for the job/promotion.

Overall government research data has shown that people who obtain higher level degrees (such as a masters) make more money and have lower unemployment rates than those who finish their studies at undergraduate level. Research back in 2016 found that the weekly earnings of someone with a master’s degree were around 19% higher than those who just had a bachelor’s degree.

While pursuing a master’s degree is a big decision, requiring a lot of dedication, it can be a great way to develop your skills, boost your earnings, and improve your knowledge in an industry, which can later increase your chances of getting a promotion! Why not look into your options today?