Master’s Degree: Worth the Hype?

SHEZA FIROZ
Blog
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06 February, 2024

“Want to get ahead in your career? Get your Masters Degree!”

This is not wrong advice - but is it the right advice for you? Completing a Master’s degree is not easy, especially as a working Professional on a budget. So before you commit, let’s take a look at the main arguments for and against pursuing a Master’s program. 

Pro: Master’s Programs Offer Increased Specialized Knowledge:

  • Master’s classes will empower you with added expertise, technical proficiency and theoretical knowledge.
  • Due to the professional nature of the students, these classes provide insights with real-life applicability. 
  • You will also sharpen your problem-solving, critical thinking and analytical skills, which will mould your workplace performance and ability. 

Pro: Master’s Degree Holders Access Improved Career Opportunities:

  • Thanks to the expert knowledge these programs offer, Master’s degree-holding candidates can gain eligibility for higher positions.
  • This can also come with a higher paycheck, improved benefits (insurance, vacation days, PTO) and an overall excellent compensation package. 
  • When you meet potential employers, holding a Master's degree helps you highlight the value you bring to the organization and negotiate a good contract. 

Pro: Master’s Programs Offer Entry into Specialized, High-paying Industries:

  • Certain industries, including Business Administration, Education Administration, Information Technology, Nursing and Healthcare require even entry-level candidates to hold advanced degrees.
  • If you are aiming to enter these industries, or an industry with similar requirements, earning a Master’s degree will help you develop in-demand skills and enter the competitive job market.

Con: Master’s Degrees are Expensive. 

  • Most Master’s degree programs, especially from North American Universities, can be quite expensive. 
  • On the contrary, European Universities like Universidad Catolica De Murcia (Spain) offer affordable tuition for working Professionals with budget restrictions. 
  • Our Recommendation:: You can enquire about the availability of flexible payment options, discounts, scholarships and so on. 

Con: Master’s Degrees may not be the Right Fit for your Career Goals.

  • If you wish to develop practical skills in the shortest time possible, then a Master’s Degree would not be the right choice for you (at least at this point).
  • In this case, opting for a Master’s degree would be an inefficient use of time, money and effort. 
  • Our Recommendation: You can consider Short Courses, Workshops, Diplomas or other options, reserving a Master’s Program as a long-term plan for the future. 

Con: Master’s Programs are Time-consuming and Academically Rigorous.

  • These programs require that you attend classes at fixed schedules, complete long readings, conduct deep research and so on.
  • Additionally, these programs are also academically challenging, demanding significant time and energy to meet the academic goals. 
  • Our Recommendation: Look into institutes that offer Flexible and Self-Paced Master Programs, along with dedicated Personalised Tutor Support.  

Con: Master’s Degrees may Require In-person Attendance.

  • Certain universities require students to appear in person for their lectures, examinations, VIVAs and so on.
  • For many working Professionals, this is not a practical arrangement, especially if the University is located in another country. 
  • Our Recommendation: If this is a hurdle you encounter, consider Universities that offer Online Master's programs instead. 

This article outlines everything you will need to consider, along with your circumstances, before committing to a Master’s program. Ultimately, the decision to pursue a Master’s degree rests on these factors: your specific career goals, your available resources (time, money, energy) and your current skill gaps. Given the opportunity, earning a Master's degree can be an academically and professionally lucrative choice. 

Sources:

https://www.scribbr.com/frequently-asked-questions/cost-of-masters-vs-phd/#:~:text=A%20master's%20degree%20usually%20has,less%20than%20North%20American%20ones.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/shodewan/2023/09/10/will-a-masters-degree-help-advance-your-career/

https://www.coursera.org/articles/is-a-masters-degree-worth-it 

Sheza Firoz
Junior Content Writer

UniAthena

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