Whether you’re approaching college, or are you a middle-aged professional who is dreaming of a new path, you might be thinking about going to college. It is important to weigh the pros and cons before collecting letters of recommendation and sending an application. Are masters degrees worth it?
Master’s studies are an exciting prospect and there are many important reasons to consider undertaking post-graduate studies. The most popular reasons for taking a Master’s degree are:
- developing the current career path
- improving employment prospects
- developing personal interest
- transition to higher level qualifications (such as doctorate)
- entry into a specific profession
- meeting the requirements of current work.
A master’s degree can also help you change your career, help you obtain a charter, and provide useful industry contacts.
Although the economy is recovering from recession, college graduates can no longer enjoy the world of new opportunities. First of all, just more people are fighting for the same jobs. According to the National Center for Education Statistics at the Institute of Education Sciences, the percentage of young people enrolled in studies is growing. In 2012, 41% of people aged 18 to 24 enrolled in studies, compared with 35% in 2000.
In connection with the economic rebound after the Great Recession in 2014, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York published statistics showing the disgusting job market facing new college graduates. The rate of unemployment and underemployment of new university graduates has steadily increased over the past two decades. The current unemployment rate among university graduates is around 6%, compared to 4% for all university graduates, which indicates that new graduates have a harder time finding employment than their more experienced counterparts.
Do I need a Master’s degree to get the job I want?
Of course, you want a job that is rewarding and engaging. If this job requires a master’s degree, prepare a backpack. Although it is possible to circumvent the educational requirements for some professions, some professions, such as speech pathologists, biomedical engineers and data scientists, require a master’s degree, without exception.
In other cases, however, having a master’s degree – although it makes you a more attractive job candidate – is a “need” for employers, not a “necessity.” If you’re heading for a specific job, you need to look at job offers and see what’s in the ‘preferred’ category and what’s in the ‘required’ category.
How many debts will I incur?
Knowing how much a diploma costs is one thing, but understanding how much you can afford is completely different. An expensive program – especially for a career that may not be a well-paid choice – may not be the solution for someone with tight finances, mortgage and a family. You need to know what is and is not feasible for you.