Executive Education

6 Reasons to Gain a Master’s Degree

University students in class

Are you undecided about going on to further education? Perhaps you are seeking a gentle nudge in the direction of a degree?

If so, you have landed in the right place.

Now before you read an entire article that spotlights the advantages of earning a master’s degree, it’s important you have a balanced approach to the subject. First of all, obtaining a master’s is difficult. You have to traverse a long, demanding path, and there are no shortcuts available. On top of this, the cost of studying can be a significant deterrent to anyone without financial aid or deep pockets.

…Are you still around? If those two negatives haven’t acted as a permanent deterrent, you can now enjoy the meat on the bone with the benefits of gaining a master’s degree.

While there are many reasons why you might want to earn a master’s, this article has been kept somewhat short to focus on six key points. So without further delay, it’s time to sell you on the thought of enrolling in the course of your dreams.

Reason one: It opens the door to more opportunities 

If you have ever gone on a job listings website and scrolled through the basic vacancies available, you will often be faced with a common roadblock: a degree is required. Even if you possess years of experience within the chosen field of the job posting, this doesn’t matter. You either have a degree, or your application isn’t going to be considered. It’s as simple as that.

Naturally, this means if you possess a degree, you instantly become a more attractive proposition for employers. Yet opening the door to standard jobs is only the beginning. Obviously, there are various roles where a degree is mandatory – think of lawyers and doctors. All in all, a recent report stated that from the 11.6 million job openings in America after the post-recession economy, 8.4 million of these roles went to employees that owned a bachelor’s degree or higher.

A master’s can also act as a passport to the world. Did you know that numerous countries – including Japan, Thailand, and the Czech Republic – are always on the lookout for overseas English teachers? All you typically need is your degree and a TEFL certification, and you can begin packing your bags for a thrilling international adventure.

The list of available opportunities isn’t solely about jobs, either. It’s a prime networking opportunity where you can build lifelong connections with fellow students, advisors, mentors, and professors. As time goes on, this network could prove to be particularly fruitful in terms of supplying helpful advice and exciting work opportunities.

Reason two: Enhanced reputation

If you care about improving and maintaining your reputation, a master’s degree is one of the best items you can own. At least, this is the case when employers are browsing through your CV.

Here’s a quick breakdown of how a master’s can boost your standing when applying for work:

  • Gaining a master’s degree is an achievement. It demonstrates you have the right character and capabilities to get work done.
  • It also shows you have the ability to set a goal (aka obtaining the degree), complete the goal, and gain the results you ultimately wanted.
  • With a degree in place, this displays you have the skillset and knowledge to fill more demanding vacancies, such as management positions.

When you have a master’s degree, you are basically telling the recruitment world: ‘I have put in a large amount of effort to prove myself and own a master’s degree, and this document lets everyone know that I am a respected and capable professional.’

Aside from the positive links that will improve your professional life, this enhanced reputation is also judged positively in your personal life. Once people realize you have earned a master’s degree, they will begin to see you in a more positive light. This is down to the fact most people react positively to an individual that has completed a great accomplishment in their life.

Reason three: Learn more about a subject you love 

When you truly think about it, you don’t want your further education choice being dictated by greed and selfishness. A certain degree might lead you into a job that earns a lot of money, but is it worth it if you have no appetite for the role? Moreover, do you want to follow the desires of your parents and go with the course they selected? While the latter is an uncommon question, there are still various dilemmas you need to work out before picking a course subject.

Ultimately, you should follow your heart and select a course where your passion and enthusiasm can shine through.

The reasons for this are simple:

  • First of all, you will likely never become bored or disillusioned while you are completing the degree.
  • Secondly, it makes sense to expand your knowledge and gain a greater understanding of a subject you’re passionate about.

You should be focused on your lifelong career when picking a master’s degree, so you want it to be something you can get invested in and enjoy for many years to come. Plus, when that passion becomes your job, are you really working at all?

Due to the high level of a master’s degree, you can rest easy knowing that you won’t be going over the basics. The tasks and assignments will revolve around highly advanced work, where you will need to research niche areas of your subject. When the field you’re in is one you love, these types of complex tasks and niche topics are what you crave. They will supply you with an even greater understanding of the subject – and enhance your appreciation for the field at the same time.

In certain fields, there is also more than one applicable master’s degree to attain. As an example, chemistry has a wide range of degrees available. Once you have been taught about one specialist field – for example, organic chemistry – this can later be expanded upon by studying, say, synthetic organic chemistry. There’s no end to the combination of master’s you can put together, so you can build an exceptional educational CV – if you have the time and money to do so, of course.

Reason four: It’s easier than ever to study for a degree 

No, the courses are not getting any easier – sorry to spoil that fantasy for you. It is, however, easier than ever to enroll on a course to study for whatever degree you desire. The reason for this is simple: the rise of online education over recent years.

When you go with online learning, this boasts a level of flexibility that traditional educators simply cannot match. As well as there being many different online schools available, there is an endless selection of courses on offer. Plus, certain options require no prerequisites. You can be working as an electrician one day. The next day, you are planning to become an accountant by obtaining a relevant degree.

Speaking of work, this is another great benefit of online education. There is no need to quit your day job to start learning. Instead of having to work around your course, the course can be worked around your life.

For instance, you could study for an online business analytics master of science degree in the morning, go to your regular 9-to-5, then return home and do a quick 30-minute revision session before hitting the sack. This is just one example: you can complete your studying whenever and wherever you want. Fancying doing your online course from home? Maybe visit a local café and relax with a cappuccino? Or how about doing it while you’re on vacation? The freedom of online learning makes all of these options viable.

If you do remain at work while doing your course, this isn’t the only reason why online learning is typically more affordable. You will also find that most online courses are a fraction of the price compared to their traditional brick-and-mortar counterpart. Overall costs are also lowered due to the ability to download resources instead of buying expensive books, and because you don’t need to spend money on travel to get to class.

Reason five: Grow in more ways than one 

When studying for a master’s degree, there are obvious – and not so obvious – ways that you can grow as a person.

The most obvious is, of course, your educational development. With a master’s, you become a more well-rounded individual from an academic perspective. This then gives you entry to job roles that were previously unattainable.

When you’re studying for your degree, you are also gaining a number of practical skills. Whether you are studying online or via traditional means, you will be enhancing your ability to manage time. After all, time management is essential for keeping your assignments, classes, and other activities in order. Furthermore, you can also develop the following:

  • Presentation skills
  • The ability to work on a team
  • Writing/typing skills

Perhaps above all else is the sense of accomplishment you receive once that master’s degree has been acquired. It’s a major achievement to gain a master’s degree as it’s not something many people can do. It requires a massive amount of hard work, unwavering dedication, and straight-up ability to pull off.

Alongside that accomplished feeling, gaining a master’s degree can also give your self-esteem a major boost. You have to take on adversity, complex challenges, and stressful deadlines to get to the stage of owning a master’s degree. You need to go out of your comfort zone as you’re tested to the limit. Yet once you get through it all, the great feeling of empowerment takes over.

Reason six: The financial rewards 

It’s time to be honest. The main reason why most students want to earn a master’s degree is simple: the money. Once you obtain a degree, this presents a wealth of opportunities to bolster your bank balance – and clear those pesky student debts in the process.

It has already been mentioned above that you have many different job opportunities available once a master’s degree is attained. Yet certain opportunities – aka the ones you will be targeting – offer far greater financial rewards.

To paint the picture more clearly, in 2017, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) collated the average earnings for workers depending on their educational background. The following quote from the BLS is a succinct, yet accurate description of the results:

“The more you learn, the more you earn.”

To dig a little deeper into the figures, consider the following points:

  • For employees that have gained a master’s degree, their median weekly earning is: $1,401.
  • For employees that have gained an associate degree, their median weekly earning is: $836.
  • For employees that gained a high school diploma, their median weekly earning is: $712.
  • For employees that didn’t get a high school diploma, their median weekly earning is: $520.

As you can see, there’s a substantial gap between employees who have a master’s degree and those who failed to acquire a high school diploma. When going with annual statistics, master’s degree holders earn a healthy $72,852 each year. On the other end of the scale, high school dropouts gain $27,040 on a yearly basis – nearly three times less than someone with a master’s degree.

Utilizing a master’s degree to your advantage 

There are many reasons why you could be exploring the possibility of earning a master’s degree. You could be seeking an opportunity to grow and learn in a new profession. You might be attempting to give your current career a boost up the company ladder. Or you may simply be trying to secure a higher annual salary to provide a better life for your family.

Whatever the case may be, you cannot afford to miss out on a strong educational background. Although unemployment rates in the US are lower than they have been for 50 years, it still remains a struggle for non-graduates to secure rewarding and worthwhile work.

A master’s degree is challenging to attain, and it requires a large commitment. Yet the rewards make the journey worth it. More career opportunities, greater financial rewards, a better sense of personal fulfillment – these are all perks from acquiring a master’s degree.

Sophie Ireland

Sophie Ireland

Contributors Editor
Sophie Ireland is the Contributors Editor at for CEOWORLD magazine, where she covers hiring trends, money, the future of work, and lists and rankings, and all things related to professional success for readers. She has ten years of experience in research, spanning market research, data analytics, macroeconomics, and financial services. She can be reached on email sophie-ireland@ceoworld.biz. You can follow her on Twitter at @ceoworld.
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