How Do I Know if I Should Get a Master’s Degree?
Education is the key to many bright futures. Students across the United States know this truth and pursue collegiate education at an astronomical rate. Today, there are 16.6 million students enrolled in higher education in the U.S. College applicants are finding it harder than ever to gain acceptance at their top schools as well—the admissions requirements are getting tougher, and the competition greater.
This provides all the more reason for considering a master’s degree to set yourself even farther apart from the pack. A master’s program isn’t for everyone: the academic rigor of these course loads provide a great deal of strain when it comes to finances, study time, and that dreaded work-life balance that everyone keeps talking about. But with a master’s in your chosen field, there may just be more avenues for continued growth and employment opportunities that remain closed off to some of that competition.
Utilize a professional counselor for future college admissions questions.
One great way to address this important question is with the help of college admissions counseling services. An admissions counselor will help you hammer out the details of your applications and identify whether or not an additional layer of coursework in the form of a newly minted master’s degree is the right step for your continuing future plans.
Some people will benefit greatly from the addition of a technical master’s program, like those who want to go into computer science, biological sciences, area studies, and many other disciplines. For instance, an MS in Information Technology is a fantastic next step for a graduate who wants to forge a career in IT, computing, and other related spheres. The technical expertise gained with a next-level degree in Information Technology places you head and shoulders above the competition when it comes to job applications and hunting for that next great promotion later down the road.
Think about the path of least resistance and the longer future.
Further learning provides a greater depth of opportunity to anyone who engages with it. An additional degree will stick with you as you progress through life, but the question that anyone pondering a master’s degree must ask themselves is how it fits into your plans. Continuing through school because it’s “the next step” isn’t a great reason. Yet for many, an additional year or two of schooling will give them a greater measure of expertise in their chosen field that simply can’t be gained—and quantified with a credential—in any other way.
On the job experience and continuing coursework will fill similar roles, but the lessons that can be taught in the classroom enjoy a different mental space for those who’ve continued on through the collegiate process of sense-making and analysis. Each offers a potential path forward, but squaring away which option will work best for your needs is a crucial aspect of this important decision.
A master’s degree can provide an edge in your future pursuits, but selecting the program and putting in the work will claim a significant amount of your time and energy. For many, further coursework allows for a greater depth of knowledge and an additional year (sometimes two) of engaging in thought-provoking curriculum with others who are passionate about your chosen field of work.
If you’re thinking of entering into a master’s program after finishing your undergraduate studies or even after a time away from the classroom, consult with a professional counselor on your admissions package and think about the long-term implications of this decision. Time and time again, students find a unique strength in the classroom. It might just be the perfect option for your future.