So you’re not satisfied with a layman’s understanding of your chosen field, and have your heart (and brain) set on becoming a master? Well, when it comes to selecting the right master’s degree – or deciding if one is right for you – it’s not a decision to be taken lightly. There’s tuition fees to take into account and all that extra time out of employment. That said, postgraduate study can support your career progression and permits rich, personal development that one simply won’t find tied to a desk, watching the hand crawl to 5pm. And while a postgraduate course doesn’t necessarily guarantee a route to employment and success, it can give you the edge on others when it comes to that all important job. So here’s some advice for the undecided that may help you make up your mind; our 5 IDEAL perks of choosing a masters.
MASTER YOUR KNOWLEDGE
You know how that old saying goes, that someone is the ‘jack of all trades, yet the master of none’? Well, if you’d rather be a master than a jack, then here’s your chance. If you’re passionate about a subject and want to learn even more about it, really go deep, immerse yourself and emerge as an influential figure within your field, then a masters degree is ideal. Being able to pursue your interests in great depth is a real privilege not afforded to everyone, and if you have passionate academic interests, the experience itself is worth it. And one of the biggest perks? Having more knowledge in your arsenal means you’ll be well on your way to becoming a true expert on a subject you care deeply about.
STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD
In addition to furthering your knowledge, gaining a deeper, more holistic understanding of your chosen subject will also help you stand out from the crowd. You’ll always have an intriguing, defining feature of your personality which you can carry with you as a safety blanket, conversation starter, subject changer and more. No one wants to be a sheep; we all want to be viewed as unique and individual, and having a detailed area of expertise to master’s level is one way to achieve this.
MIX AND MINGLING
During most masters degrees, you’re expected to conduct some primary research. This is a great opportunity to rub shoulders with the academic community and connect with people professionally. Yep, mixing and mingling, or ‘networking’ since we’re talking professionally, is part and parcel of most masters degrees and could help you get a foot or two in the door of a future job opportunity. Moreover, it means you’ll most likely connect with like minded people in a professional context who may just turn into a lifelong friend.
INCREASE YOUR EARNING POTENTIAL
Yes, statistics show that you can increase your earning potential with a masters degree. Studies suggest that someone with a masters can on average expect to earn £5,500 more a year – or over £200,000 more over a 40 year working life – than someone only holding a Bachelor’s degree. That said, these statistics aren’t black and white. Women in England with postgraduate degrees still earn less than men with just bachelor degrees – yet another gender pay gap that needs to be addressed.
However, as a general rule of thumb, not only is your earning potential increased, but also your chances of landing the job you covet. If you studied in the field of medicine and are looking at job boards specifically for radiologists, for instance, your job chances are greatly enhanced if you have masters medical radiography postgraduate degree over a lesser academic undertaking. Many companies value post grads who are able to bring a high level of academic ability to the table. Some companies even have programs purely for postgrads, aimed at nurturing their talent.
CONTRIBUTE TO THE WORLD
If you want to contribute to, and advance, the world within any field, both professionally and academically, then you’re going to need to know your subject like the back of your hand, and a masters degree is of course part of this process. It’s your chance to contribute, give back, and not just learn about a subject. And if you get academic recognition in the meantime, you’re well on your way to becoming that prominent expert in your field we spoke about earlier. Talk about perks.