7 Ways a Master’s Degree Will Advance Your Career

Vesa Merxha
May 4, 2021

Is the cost, time, and effort involved in earning a master’s degree worth it? As usual, the answer depends on your unique circumstances.    The graduate degree usually requires another couple of years in school, and you’ll need plenty of initiative and self-motivation to complete the independent workload. However, the return on your considerable investment can be worth it in terms of your career and earning power over the long run.   Here are 7 ways a master’s degree can advance your career.   

1. Strengthens your professional skills

Furthering your education through a master’s degree program allows you to develop personal and professional skills to serve your career goals in the long run. Enhancing skills like public speaking and research can give you the chance to bring new insights into your particular field.   The skill to conduct meaningful research which you’ll develop during your graduate work can lead to breakthroughs and opportunities for discoveries that make a positive difference in the world. If we take an example of the tech field, areas like Big Data, AI, and Extended Reality (XR) evolve almost overnight because of talented experts.  

2. Broadens your professional networking

There is no better way to get introduced to professionals in your field than through a master’s program. After all, your professors and classmates have the same interests, drive, and passion as you do. Some will go on to become leaders in the industry; the relationships you develop now will be essential as you move forward in your career.   Making meaningful connections may be nerve-wracking, but it increases your chances of landing an interview and a job. Graduate programs bring students closer to the people who are already a part of the industry they are studying.   career woman posing in front of her team proud of her accomplishments  

3. Gives you a competitive advantage

A bachelor’s degree is the norm for entry-level positions. An advanced degree, therefore, gives you a competitive advantage. Whether you are at the beginning of your career or already have a few years experience, a master’s program will provide you with hands-on knowledge and hone your skills.   Apart from significantly boosting your resume, when you earn a graduate degree, you will have earned value and credibility that attracts a high level of respect.  

4. Develops your expertise

As any profession advances, staying competitive and remaining relevant requires updated skills. When it comes to some occupations, a master’s degree gives you an advantage from the get-go.   Take the cybersecurity field, for instance. While there are many job openings,  the education level needed to land them is high. That’s because proficiency and precise skills are crucial.   A graduate degree allows you to focus on a specific area of study. Naturally, gaining expertise helps you stay up to date and opens doors to higher-level positions. A master’s degree shows you are dedicated, have initiative, and a strong work ethic.  

5. Guarantees reliability

The independent work in a master’s program intentionally allows you to teach yourself; you are no longer merely receiving information, but actively searching it out.   Completing a graduate program proves you have professional capability, that you’re equipped with sharpened skills, and that you will deliver positive results. Recruiters understand a master’s degree recipient will be a reliable and valuable hire to an employer.   person holding money in front of a marble countertop  

6. Boosts promotion opportunities

The benefits mentioned will help you stand out for internal promotions, as well as new job opportunities.   An advanced degree opens doors to senior-level, higher-paying positions that call for more responsibility. Management and leadership roles are not usually available to those with undergraduate degrees only, unless they’ve also got many years of related work experience.  

7. Substantially increases your earning potential

Last but not least, graduate programs generally lead to higher salaries. Whether you get promoted internally or are a direct hire for a senior-level position, with a master’s degree, you’ll earn more than employees with bachelor degrees. It’s worth mentioning that depending on demographics and the career path, the difference in salary can be more than double.   Deciding whether or not to pursue a master’s degree can be tough, regardless if you are a recent graduate or an experienced professional. Even though it is time-consuming, demands self-motivation, and is a considerable financial commitment, the benefits and the sense of accomplishment can make it well worthwhile.   Thinking about pursuing your master's degree? Here are top student loan lenders for 2020:
  1. Sallie Mae
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  3. Earnest
  4. Discover