Is getting a master's degree worth it?

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What Makes a Master’s Degree Worth It?

You certainly knew that getting a master’s degree has several benefits. But did you know what those benefits actually were, what makes a master’s degree worth it? We’re going to list those benefits down below.

Gaining a sense of accomplishment

Nothing beats the feeling of accomplishing something. You might have felt that once you graduated from a bachelor’s level, but this is different. Not too many people choose to advance their education. The reasons behind it are irrelevant; still, the fact remains that you’re one of them.

While this doesn’t in any way mean that your identity consists of only your educational accomplishments, we have to admit that earning a master’s degree is quite important and an achievement you have to be proud of because it’s not easy to get a master’s degree. It is not only because of the studies’ difficulty level but also because of the sacrifices one has to make to reach there.

This accomplishment will certainly increase your self-confidence level because you’ll prove, if to no one else to yourself, that you can finish something that you started off years ago.

Increasing your credibility and respect

Increasing your credibility and respect

A master’s degree is seen as a strong indicator of an individual’s character and abilities. This is why they might find it easier to trust them in top-tier management and executive positions. The trust comes as a result of them showing that they can create goals as well as follow through with them and obtain the result they wanted. Getting a master’s degree also proves that you have gained the knowledge and the skills necessary to succeed in senior-level positions.

A master’s degree brings credibility and respect to your career life and in your personal life. When people find out that you have obtained a graduate degree, you’ll be seen in a different light. People will have a positive opinion of you. Everybody likes people who have achieved great educational accomplishments and make good decisions in their life.

Getting the first-hand experience

Each level of education opens up new horizons for people who obtain them. While with Bachelor’s you did receive a more general overview of many subjects, in master’s studies you further immerse in your chosen field. Actually, you have the chance to focus only on your field of interest.

In your journey to get a master’s degree doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll pause your professional commitments. In fact, many companies reimburse their employees to continue their studies further. In some cases, universities support individuals that chose to further their education by offering them teaching and research assistantships. You’ll also have many internships, apprenticeships, and projects where you can put the theory into practice.

Experiencing a greater chance for a career switch

One thing that characterizes a master’s degree is the versatility it offers in the professional world. With a master’s, not only will you get a pro in your niche field that you chose to study but also in a broader area of careers related to your field of study. For instance, if you get an MBA, you will be qualified to work in management positions and almost all business-related job positions. Employers are aware that to acquire a master’s, one must master a wide range of business topics, making them qualified to land several jobs.

So, getting a master’s will make you a more marketable individual. You won’t be tied to a career path but will have more options to choose from.

Higher earning potential

Higher earning potential

Now, we’ve come to the reason why many people turn to get master’s, a higher earning potential. Bringing home more money means that the quality of life will be improved. Many people live from paycheck to paycheck, and with an increased salary, this wouldn’t be a problem anymore. Financial stability is the goal many individuals have. This will leave them space to do so much more than they otherwise would.

Widening your professional network

When you enroll in a university to get a master’s degree, you’ll share the classroom with many other students. What’s best, you all have chosen the same field to study and scrutinize. During academic years, you’ll be able to work more closely with them through countless group projects and assignments. All those fellow students have the potential to enter your professional circle. So, when you get out of graduate school, you’ll already have a network of people you share the same interests, and these relationships can prove beneficial in the years to come.

Other Factors to Consider Before Enrolling

There are many factors to review when adding up the final costs of a program. These include:

  • Type of program (Is it conducted online or in person?)
  • Subject of study
  • Price of books and miscellaneous fees 

Online vs in-person programs: Online programs are popular right now, causing a spike in tuition pricing. However, in-person education results in transportation and other miscellaneous costs. As a result, it’s important to factor in these expenses when comparing final costs between in-person and online programs.

The subject of study: The program you choose will result in either a lower or higher tuition rate. Different programs require various credits and hours to complete the degree, which may result in higher tuition. Besides financial costs, you also need to consider the opportunity costs. A minute you spend sitting in a class can be a minute spent doing something else. Time is money.

The price of books and other miscellaneous fees: Another factor to consider is the extra fees required during the course. These include parking costs, technology fees, library fees, and lab fees. 

While these fees may be minimal, they can still add up over time. One of the higher costs comes from books. On average, a student will have at least one book per semester with a price point of $60 to $100.

With all of these considered, let’s take a look at some master’s degrees that are worth earning. 

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Accreditation for Masters Degrees

Accreditation is when a school or degree program h

Accreditation is when a school or degree program has been officially recognized as meeting certain standards. It’s important for a number of reasons:

  • It shows employers that you attended a good school and not a shady “degree mill” that sells credentials for profit.
  • It may impact financial aid. Certain loans and grants, including federal ones, are only awarded to students in accredited universities.
  • It ensures a certain level of educational quality. A lot depends on the school, of course, but generally speaking, you can expect a better education from an accredited degree program as opposed to a random, untested one that you found online somewhere.

How do you know if your college is accredited? Check with the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). They oversee more than 60 accrediting programs in the U.S., including national, regional and faith-based ones. There’s a searchable database on their website that can pull up a school’s accreditation data in no time flat.

What Should You Get a Master’s Degree In? 3 Essential Tips

Even if you know you want to get a master’s degree, sometimes deciding what subject area to get a degree in can be tricky. Here are some tips to help you answer a key question: what should you get a master’s degree in?

Tip 1: Determine Your Biggest Passions and Interests

Regardless of whether your intellectual or professional passions have changed since you got your bachelor’s degree, take time to consider what kinds of topics you’re deeply interested in.

It should be a subject area you can readily envision yourself researching, reading about, and writing about as your day-to-day “job.” If the idea of studying this topic excites and inspires you, then it’ll likely be a great field for you to pursue a master’s degree in.

But what if you’re equally interested in two topics? In this case, you have a few options:

  • Pick the field that’s more relevant to your professional goals: For example, if you’re interested in both English lit and computer science but plan to go into web design in the future, a computer science degree will be far more useful.
  • Consider doing a degree or dual degree that combines both fields: For example, if you’re interested in Chinese and law, you might want to look into dual degree programs that let you study both Chinese and law, such as .
  • Apply to programs in both fields and choose a program to attend based on factors such as location, funding, etc.: If you really can’t decide between the two, then it might be best to just apply to the programs that interest you in both fields. Once you find out which programs you’ve been accepted to, you can make your decision on where to go (and what field to study) based on other important factors to you, such as how much financial aid you received, where the school is located, and how highly ranked the program is.

Tip 2: Consider Your Professional Goals

Before choosing a field in which to get a master’s degree, try to visualize your future career path:

  • What kind of industry or field do you want to work in?
  • What kinds of jobs do you see yourself working?
  • Do these jobs often require or strongly prefer a master’s degree?

It’s helpful to first figure out the general field you’re interested in studying at the graduate level. For example, say you majored in English and are now thinking of breaking into writing and editing. Options for possible master’s programs could include the following:

  • English/literature
  • Creative writing
  • Publishing
  • Professional writing
  • Technical writing
  • Communication
  • Journalism
  • Marketing/advertising

Once you have a general idea of the industry or field you want to have a career in, begin thinking about specific skills and topics you want to learn, and look for master’s degree programs that can help you become an expert at these.

Say you’re the English major interested in establishing a career in writing and editing. Maybe you’re not as interested in reading as you are in writing. So as a result, you start to think it might be better to look primarily at master’s degree programs that focus on how to write professionally.

In this case, a program that centers on writing as a career versus as an art, such as NYU’s MS in Professional Writing and Emerson’s MA in Publishing and Writing, would be a better fit for your goals.

Of course, this doesn’t mean you can’t apply to other programs, such as creative writing MFAs. But thinking about the skills you want to learn should help you narrow down what kind of program you think will benefit you the most in your future endeavors (whatever those may be).

If you’re struggling to determine what kind of career you want, there’s no harm in meeting with a job coach or getting in touch with your undergrad institution’s career services center.

Tip 3: Get to Know the Program

Tip 3: Get to Know the Program

Once you have an idea of what topic you want to study in a master’s program and what kind of career you envision yourself having, it’s time to figure out what programs will work best for you.

Here are some actions you can take once you’ve found a program you want to apply to:

  • Read the program’s official website: Get online and read everything there is to know about the master’s program you’re considering. Start with the college or university’s official website, and pay special attention to pages that detail specific courses students must take, professors, and graduation requirements.
  • Learn about the experiences of real students: Get in touch with current/former students in the master’s degree program you want to apply to. These are the people who can tell you what to expect in terms of classes, faculty members, the campus environment, professional networking opportunities, etc.
  • Visit the campus, if possible: This isn’t a necessity, but oftentimes seeing the campus and program in-person can give you a clearer picture of how you’ll fit in on a day-to-day basis.
  • Get to know the current faculty: This is generally more important for those seeking PhDs, but even for prospective master’s students, it’s definitely helpful to learn more about faculty members by reading their profiles on the school’s website, emailing them, or meeting them in person.
  • Find out about funding: This primarily depends on your financial situation and what you’re willing to pay for grad school. But as I mentioned, it’s best to pay as little as you can for your master’s degree. Find out whether the program offers scholarships and how many students get one each year. In general, better-funded master’s degree programs should be higher on your list of schoolsbut this doesn’t mean funding is by far the most important factor.

What are the benefits of an MA TESOL?

One of the greatest benefits of getting a Master’s in TESOL is that it opens you up to an incredibly large range of teaching possibilities.

  • You’ll be qualified to teach English anywhere in the world
  • You will generally have your pick when it comes to level, and ESL teachers who have an MA are generally eligible to work at universities.
  • Having an MA under your belt will set you apart from other candidates vying for the same opportunities as you and lead to higher earning potential.

There are tons of great job websites, such as HigherEdJobs or , where you can find ESL admin and university teaching positions.

Masters Degree FAQ

Will I get paid more if I have a master’s degree?

A report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2013 revealed that many master’s degree holders in STEM fields had wage premiums. Mathematicians, statisticians, and workers of other math-related roles, for instance, enjoyed higher wages than people with a bachelor’s degree. This also held true for computer systems analysts and computer programmers.

Is it possible to earn a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree at the same time?

Normally, students earn a bachelor’s degree first before progressing to a master’s degree. This process usually lasts six years. However, some institutions do offer dual degree or integrated programs for select majors. Through these, students can take graduate classes while at the undergraduate level and complete both in five years.

Are online master’s degrees credible?

A general rule of thumb when considering online learning for a master’s degree program is to check whether the university offering the program is accredited. A regional accreditation is sufficient for employers. This signifies that a university has met or exceeded the standards in quality education.

Can I get a federal student aid for a master’s degree program? Yes, provided that you meet eligibility requirements. For the federal student loan, graduate students are considered independent students. This means that they are not obliged to provide parent information when completing the FAFSA form. Other types of aid include aid from other federal agencies, state aid, and school aid.

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