The decision to obtain a master ‘s degree often comes from either wanting to specialize in a particular field or delve into another career path. Other times, it may be because one is unemployable and searching for opportunities to improve while waiting for a job. However, the real question is, is a master ‘s degree worth it?
The real answer is there is no right or wrong answer. It all depends on what one is trying to achieve career-wise. I am fortunate that my grad school program allowed me to move to Canada and provided me with an opportunity to do an internship which has helped diversify my career options. Could I have done that without a master’s degree? Of course!
There are specific career paths that getting a masters’ degree will mean more pay such as academia, medicine and law. For a lot of career paths, you can bypass educational requirements with work experience and certifications. With that being said, it is important to look at your career path to determine if a master’s degree is worth it.
Graduate programs are a huge financial investment as the cost goes up yearly which makes it very expensive. In this part of the world, where student loan is a big deal and it is important not to get into more debt if there is no financial gain for getting an additional degree.
Personally, I do not think it is worth obtaining a master’s degree because there are different ways to become more qualified in my desired career path either by taking certifications or gaining work experience. There are lots of online academies such as Coursera that one can get career-specific certifications. One of the most exciting things from doing a master’s program that I experienced was publishing two academic papers in two different journals. This opens the door for me if I decide to get into a Ph.D. program.
There are two kinds of master’s program one can enrol for – Research-based and Course-based master’s. Research-based masters require students to write a thesis or develop a project alongside additional courses. This sort of program is usually cheaper and often comes with funding and scholarship. While course based masters are taught programs, which require taking more than 4 classes which may include additional requirements such as internship, project or academic paper. Master’s degree program requires a lot of hard work as 70% is the pass mark in Canada. The course-based masters I enrolled for, required 10 courses, an internship & a research paper. Believe me, it is a lot of work but I had to make the most out of it. For more on Canadian education, click here.
Determining the worth of a master’s degree requires looking into the future to determine if it is aligned to your career goals. There are many ways to determine whether doing a master’s is the best fit for you. One way is speaking to people in similar career paths as you before deciding on pursuing a graduate program. Here are a few questions to ask yourself before enrolling in a master’s degree.
QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF BEFORE YOU GET A MASTER’S DEGREE
- Why do I want to go to grad school?
- Will this degree bring me more money?
- Do I have the time and resources needed to take on this degree?
- What benefits do I stand to gain from attaining this degree?