Education has traditionally been an important career requirement. You need a certain diploma or degree to qualify for most professional jobs. But how much education do you need? Should you get a master’s degree? Even though traditional education requirements are still very important, many employers do not view them the same as in the past. They consider education in combination with real-world experience and other training.
Our recruiters in Toronto talk about the need for it and outline the pros and cons of getting a master’s degree.
Should you get a Master’s Degree?
Your decision to pursue a master’s degree can depend on many things. Are you still in school or are you already an experienced professional? Do you need a master’s to achieve your career objectives? For example, some employers require you to get a master’s degree to qualify for certain jobs – senior management/ director level. Your industry and profession also play a big role.
How many Canadians have a Master’s Degree?
According to 2021 census data, 9.3% of Canadians have a graduate degree. 8.2% have a master’s degree and just over 1% have a doctorate. Based on this data, it’s clear there are many Canadians who still see value in pursuing an advanced degree. But your decision is a personal one; here are some factors to consider:
The Advantages of Having a Master’s Degree
- Networking: For me, personally, before pursuing my MBA, this factored greatly in my decision. For example, does the school offer you the opportunity to build your network via your peers, alumni, and faculty? This could turn out to be a distinct advantage for your career moving forward.
- Advanced Knowledge and Skills: A master’s degree typically provides a deeper and more specialized understanding of a subject, making you more knowledgeable in your field.
- Career Advancement: It can open opportunities for higher-level positions, promotions, and increased responsibilities within your current field.
- Higher Earning Potential: On average, individuals with a master’s degree tend to earn higher salaries compared to those with only a bachelor’s degree.
- Specialization: You can choose a specific area of study that aligns with your career goals and interests, allowing you to become an expert in that niche.
- Personal Growth: Pursuing a master’s degree can be personally fulfilling and boost your self-confidence.
- Career Change: It can enable you to switch careers or transition into a different field, especially if your undergraduate degree is in a different discipline.
The Drawbacks of Getting a Master’s Degree
- Financial Cost: Master’s programs can be expensive, leading to student loan debt and delayed financial stability.
- Time Investment: It typically takes one to two years to complete a master’s program, which may delay your entry into the workforce or other life goals.
- Opportunity Cost: While in school, you miss out on potential work experience and income you could have earned with a bachelor’s degree. Consider the cost/benefit tradeoff of not only paying for the schooling, but also potential lost wages and short-term career progression.
- Uncertain ROI: The return on investment may vary depending on your field of study and the job market. Some master’s degrees may not significantly increase your earning potential.
- Overqualification: In some cases, having a master’s degree may make you overqualified for certain job positions, leading to difficulty finding suitable employment.
Is it Worth it to Get A Master’s Degree?
A master’s degree can boost your career by improving job prospects, salary potential, industry contacts, and opportunities for advancement. However, if the degree does not align with your career goals or the job market, it may result in financial burdens and delayed career progression. The impact of a master’s degree on your career depends on the field and industry, so research is crucial before deciding to pursue one. Ultimately, the decision to pursue a master’s degree should be based on your specific career goals, financial situation, and personal aspirations.