The days of graduating high school and landing a well-paying job have passed. Yes, there are exceptions, those that have dropped out, started tech startups, and have made millions, but it is typically the exception and not the norm. In today’s cutthroat business landscape, it is becoming necessary to go one step further in distinguishing yourself from the pack, attaining a Master’s degree in addition to the undergraduate degree sets a solid foundation for professional growth.
However, as many countries are still recovering from the economic recession in 2008, and the job market has not returned to the state in which it once was, many aspiring graduate students wonder if the academic, personal, and financial rigor earning a graduate degree will pay off in the long run.
Here are the top 10 reasons why graduate school is an investment in yourself, your career, and your future.
- Dig Deep: Expand Your Subject Knowledge
Only pursue those things you are passionate about. By the time you have graduated from your undergraduate program you should have found your interest stimulated in one particular area of study and hungry to know more about it. Whatever the field of study you pursue, it should fulfil that desire to expand your knowledge and become an expert in the field.
- Joining the Workforce Versus Staying in School a Little Longer
"School is fun," or so they say. The real struggle begins after the diploma is in hand, and you are gently nudged into the competitive workforce, or the "real world."
Of course, graduate school has a price tag, and it is not cheap. Outside of a financial investment, it also takes time, determination, and stress management. On the bright side, studying for a master’s degree is a rather short process. The average graduate is out of school by 22, a quarter of a lifetime, a short period to sacrifice for the betterment of the rest of your life.
- Personal Growth
Some individuals are considered lifelong learners. Their hunger to acquire knowledge is one of their life pursuits, expanding their knowledge base, challenging themselves academically. A graduate program offers the opportunity to pursue higher education in a structured environment that affords immense personal satisfaction.
- Grants, Loans, and Stipends: When there is a will, there is always a way
Research your options. Financial assistance is often offered in the form of a stipend, an award paid to a student who is required to perform services from a professor's/supervisor's research funds which will support the student in qualifying for a degree or other academic achievement in the field in which the research is being performed. It is a solution where everyone benefits. In addition to having the financial burden offset, students also have the chance to perform research that could later be published in a journal or impact society.
- Increase Your Job Prospects
A graduate degree opens doors, and the general fact is that higher salaries are typically bestowed upon professions that require more specialized skills with greater responsibilities. Having a master or PhD will inherently be more financially lucrative, making you applicable for managerial and directorial positions.
- Graduate Courses are Far More Stimulating
Undergraduate programs cover a wide variety of subjects, some more generalized and others more topic specific. Graduate level courses, on the other hand, are entirely concentrated on your particular interest in the field you have elected to pursue.
- Changing Careers?
After receiving a bachelor degree, you went out into the workplace and spent a few years absorbed in the industry in which you graduated, only to realize it is not as fulfilling as you would like it to be. For those people that are dissatisfied with their current career path, graduate school offers a relatively quick solution, enabling individuals to jumpstart a new career.
- R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Titles Do Turn Heads
It is not appropriate to flaunt your degree, but it does organically get attention. Saying you have a MBA or PhD sounds more appealing, adding more value to your name.
- Return on Investment
What is in it for me? When considering higher education, it is wise to calculate the return on investment based on industry data. In the United States, Indeed, an online job search portal reported in January 2017 that U.S. workers with a Master degree earn an annual salary of $82,000 versus those with a bachelor degree earning $65,000 annually. If you want to increase the dividends on your paycheck even further consider a MBA. These graduates earn on annual average of $95,000. This evidence demonstrates that earning a graduate degree has a significant, positive impact on one’s pocketbook and/or bank account.[i]
- Some Careers Require a Master or PhD
Some professions require a graduate degree, i.e. doctors and lawyers, for example. While it is debatable that these jobs are worth the investment of time and money, there is no doubt of the need of these professions in society. Sometimes there are other reasons motivating you to pursue your passion.
Relocating to another country or region of the world to pursue your graduate studies is another factor to consider that demonstrates flexibility, confidence, ingenuity, and ambition. This adds value to your resume and positively impacts your access to more worldwide career opportunities. The decision to study abroad offers a whole host of benefits when vying for an international career in business. Having this experience, adapting to a new culture, navigating challenges, and embracing diversity helps tilt the playing field in your direction
Nathan Parcel’s CEO of InternMatch.com says, "It’s not so much about the piece of paper, but what you do with it." His advice is to "Use this opportunity to deepen your understanding of the space, network with insiders, and gain additional knowledge through internships. Build upon your master’s degree."[ii] A graduate degree will only offer what you want to get out it.
Is it an investment? Yes. Is it a gamble? Maybe. Will you regret it? Never.
Earning your master’s degree at GBSB Global Business School is an affordable option. Our degrees in the fields of Business, International Management, Finance, Marketing, Entrepreneurship, and Operations Management prepare students to manage with ease across borders and cultures – in an environment that embraces diversity and the ability to bring a worldwide perspective to the study of international business. GBSB Global Business School in Barcelona is an excellent place for students who are looking for innovative business degrees in Europe. GBSB Global Business School is one of the leading business schools in Barcelona, home of major, multi-national companies that are constantly recruiting graduates. Want to make a positive investment in your future? Apply today!
By Emily Dawn Szajda, GBSB Content Manager
[i] Bachelors, Masters, PhD, MBA Salary. Indeed, One Search. All Jobs. Retrieved from https://www.indeed.com/salary?cat=degree&q1=Bachelors&q2=Masters&q3=PhD&q4=MBA
[ii] Razavi, Lauren. 28 January 2014. Does a master’s degree make you any more employable?. The Independent Online. Retrieved from http://www.independent.co.uk/student/postgraduate/postgraduate-study/does-a-masters-degree-make-you-any-more-employable-9088946.html