Have you considered going back to school to achieve a master’s degree? Are master’s degrees a good investment of your money, energy, and time? Many working executives and professionals contemplate if obtaining another degree is essential to reach their career goals. While some careers require advanced degrees, many professionals develop successful and lucrative careers based on their experience, bachelor’s degrees, and additional certifications or achievements.

There can be numerous outside factors that affect your educational endeavors. The desires of colleagues, parents, family members and friends can influence your career and educational choices. Often, professionals are unsure of if they desire a career path or if someone else wants a certain future for them. The most critical factor to have clarity around is your prime career target. Once you are sure about what positions you’re interested in, deciding on whether or not to pursue additional education is more manageable. Here are four ways to identify if you should get a master’s degree to help answer the question, “Are master’s degrees worth it?”

1. It needs to land the job you want

This might sound obvious, but specific fields need advanced degrees. Roles such as professor/instructor roles in academia and highly specialized subject matter expert positions are good examples. A master’s degree (and sometimes a doctorate) is usually required in these instances. If you want to pursue these positions, achieving a master’s degree is not negotiable because many recruiters would not consider you equipped for the position without it.

2. You are considering a career change

If you’ve been working in one role or industry and want to make a career transition, a master’s degree can be very helpful. Engaging in a degree program where you gain an understanding of the practical application of concepts and education is ideal. Practitioner-focused programs and those with practicums can assist you in acquiring solid experience during your education, which can highlight well on a resume and in an interview setting. When competing with other candidates who might have more experience than you, a master’s degree can set you apart.

3. You have the time and support

Whether working full-time or part-time, pursuing a master’s degree can be very challenging. Can you dedicate time to completing assignments, reading, and studying? Are you supported at work and at home to assist you in getting things done if you have reduced time for tasks? Many colleges and universities estimate that students should spend a minimum of 7-12 hours per week studying per scheduled class. If you have aid from co-workers, family members, and friends, earning a master’s degree can be more practical.

4. You want to grow deeper in your education to support your passion/career

Do you just enjoy learning factors related to a particular field that you’re passionate about? Would knowing more about a specific subject help you grow within your career? If you can say “yes” to either or both of those questions, then getting a master’s degree might be a significant, quality investment of your time. Achieving an advanced degree requires performing extensive research and diving deep into a field, so having a genuine interest in learning can help keep you inspired.

Choosing whether or not to pursue a master’s degree is a question that many professionals and executives consider. Outside influences can play a significant part in decision-making and cause additional pressure. You need to have a clear idea of your job targets before deciding. Additionally, it is necessary to know if a master’s degree is needed for your desired position and if it will help make you a more competitive applicant during a career change. When considering the logistics of your schedule, you need to know if you have the time and resources to devote to coursework. Finally, if you’re motivated by learning and career growth, getting an advanced degree might also be worth it. How will you know if you should get a master’s degree?

Still find yourself looking for ways to boost career growth? Fly High Coaching is always here to help. We offer expert professional resume services and career coaching to help professionals improve their career or change the path they are on. Contact us today to get started on your success or check out our FREE Kick Start Your Success course for more ways to improve your career situation.

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Porschia Parker-Griffin

Porschia Parker-Griffin is a Certified Professional Coach, Business Consultant, and Founder of Fly High Coaching. When she is not coaching, Porschia enjoys traveling, cooking, and working with animals.
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