Is a master’s degree the right move for your career?

Studying takes a great amount of time and commitment, though if you’re pursuing something that you’re passionate about it can be a great way to expand your knowledge. If you’re sitting on the fence as to whether it’s the right time, here are some considerations to help you with your decision making.

How a master’s degree helps

Heading back to school is a great way to further develop your skills. Even if you’re well into your career, there is always time to go back and obtain further higher education which could set you on the path for a more lucrative career down the road. A master’s degree can often help you think more strategically, or become a specialist in your area. This can set you apart from other candidates in your field, especially considering the number of workers with bachelor’s degrees is outpacing the number of available skilled jobs.

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It can help you work for yourself

Heading back to school for a master’s degree can help you better understand how to be a successful entrepreneur. A recent review of industry data showed that nearly one-quarter of graduates holding a Master’s in Business Administration degree start their own business within three years of graduation.

Understanding the expense

It is important to understand how entering into a graduate program will affect not only your future financial prospects but also how it will affect your current financial situation. The average cost of a graduate degree from a public or private accredited college begins at around $30k to $40k, but can increase to $100k. So, it’s important to consider your budget for a student loan, if you would need to work fewer hours in order to have more time to study, need to pay for child care etc.

However, you have to also consider future earning potential and not just the initial investment when it comes to obtaining a graduate degree. Earning potential with a graduate degree is undoubtedly increased over an undergraduate degree with most fields earning $10k to $20k more per year, on average. Over a 40 year career, those who hold master’s degrees earn on average around $400,000 more than people with a bachelor’s degree. Earning potential versus the initial cost can obviously affect how you make your decision regarding going back to university to pursue a master’s degree and it is important that you understand how it will impact your financial well-being.

It can be a great networking opportunity

The year or two you spend studying a master’s will surround you with like-minded people, who share similar passions. You can learn just as much from your teachers as you can from your classmates! While studying is an opportunity to make friends, it’s also a time to widen your professional network with those around you.

Even if you can find financing, is it worth it?

It’s important to not only think of your finance but also your time. Consider what priorities you have in your life and how much time you have to devote to your studies. Don’t forget, study requirements can fluctuate when you approach exams or assignments, so you may need to dial up the number of hours you need for your academics. Consider what time of the day you would study and which days. For example, would you study in evenings and weekends? During the day? Does the course you’re interested in offer classes at a time that’s convenient for you?

Everyone’s situation is different but if obtaining a master’s is something you feel passionate about then there is nothing stopping you from achieving your goals!

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