When you spend three to four years of your life studying for your bachelor’s degree on a full-time basis, you cannot wait until you walk at graduation and receive your diploma. While some degree holders who have earned their BA or BS degrees will immediately pursue their master’s degrees, it is more common for these graduates to enter the workforce. When they are hired to a job and begin to get practical professional experience, the prospect of returning to school becomes more and more dim.
What you might not know is that there are several professional and personal benefits to earning a master’s degree. Read on, and find out six different ways that a graduate degree in your field can help you improve your quality of your work life as you advance professionally.
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1. Invest in Intellectual Stimulation
One thing that you miss out on when you transition from academia to the professional world is intellectual stimulation. Going further through college does not just help you earn extra credentials, it also helps with your overall knowledge and specialization. If you want to amass specialized information and you want to exercise your brain with advanced curriculum, investing in your education will lead to a wider understanding of the world, especially within your discipline, that benefit you throughout your life.
2. Take Advantage of New Job Opportunities in Your Field
A bachelor’s degree will help you land entry and mid-level positions in a field, but with your master’s degree you can have a shot at higher-level jobs that require a graduate degree. Although experience might take the place of a master’s degree in some workplaces, you must spend a lengthy amount of time in your position before recruiters may give you a promotion. With your master’s degree on record, you may be offered positions with your employer or even with a competitor in the field.
3. Qualify for a Professional License
In most states, positions that require you to have expertise in a specific field may require professional licensing from a state board. For example, electrical engineers must be licensed before they can work in most states making it beneficial to obtain an online master’s in electrical engineering. Getting a master’s degree can offer you more than just higher education, it can open up many more opportunities for advancement.
4. Increase Your Lifetime Earning Potential
Graduate school can really pay off if you are in the right field. If you are wondering if it is worth the investment of your time, reviewing your potential earnings can help you make a decision. The actual change in salary varies from field to field. For example, engineering majors go from earning an average of $54,000 with a BS to earning an average of almost $70,000 with a MS. If you do the calculations, this is makes a major difference throughout your lifetime.
5. Concentrate on Your Major
If you are not thrilled at the idea of spending more time in school, you will be happy to hear that your experience as a graduate student will be much more involved in the major that you choose. Since you will have already completed your general education courses, the entire time that you study you will be taking courses on subjects that are relevant to your major and that will expand your knowledge.
6. Gain Respect in Your Field
If money is not your motivation, you may want to become a graduate student just to get respect from your peers and colleagues. Adding a master’s degree to your resume will get you noticed and will earn you the attention that you deserve. Earning a master’s degree can help you challenge yourself and enjoy new professional options while you enjoy personal growth.
Whether your reasons are financially motivated or a professional title is your incentive seek an advanced degree, there are several reasons why you should consider graduate school. Price out the cost of attending school, and ask about tuition reimbursement through work or research stipends to see if you can keep the costs down at the same time.