20 June 2024

Is a Master’s Degree Worth It?

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Whether you’re looking for elevation within your field, want to specialise, or just like being at university, there are several reasons why a Master’s degree could be your next move.

Master’s degrees can be extremely useful when navigating the world of work because they allow you to go into depth in your chosen field and give you more of an edge in the job hunt.

What should your next move be after your undergraduate degree? Read on to find out if a Master’s degree is the vibe for you.

What are the benefits of a Master’s degree?

Master’s degrees are great, excellent even. They’re your opportunity to gain more academic knowledge in your chosen field and meet a brand new cohort of future talent. But what exactly are the benefits of doing a Master’s degree? Let’s have a look.

Boost employability and improve earning potential

A Master’s will give you an instant edge over the competition. Having a postgraduate degree in your arsenal shows an employer that you’re serious about the industry and have been trying to upskill yourself and expand your knowledge.

It can also affect how much money you can earn. According to the Government’s Graduate Labor Market Statistics, the average salary for grads was £38,500 per year, whereas postgrads earned an average of £45,000 per year. That’s a gigantic difference of £6,500.

Postgraduates were also hired slightly higher than graduates at 89.3%.

Change to a new career

That’s right! A Master’s degree is an opportunity to do something different. Many students use their postgraduate degrees to switch to an entirely new career. The trick here is to pay close attention to the entry requirements.

For example, if you studied drama at university, you might not be accepted into a science-based postgraduate program, unless you have some experience and proven passion within the field.

However, if you want to study an MA in applied linguistics, creative writing or even english literature – having a 2:1 or equivalent in drama is perfect.

Meet industry frontrunners

You’ll be invited to a barrage of events during your course. Some are not so relevant, and some are very relevant. Alums of your course who have gone on to become real Beyoncés of their industry are often invited back for guest lectures, seminars and networking mixers. It’s your chance to learn more about the industry and add contacts to your lil’ black book.

Not sure exactly what you’ll do after university, here are a few ideas to get you started.

What are the disadvantages of a Master’s degree?

While there are many upsides to studying for a Postgraduate degree, there are some aspects to consider before you take the leap.

Adding to your student debt

Another stint at university does mean additional student loans. While fees for Master’s degrees can vary, on average, you’re looking at an extra £11,000 for your course. The government now offers a Postgraduate loan of up to £12,167 to cover tuition fees and living costs. This does mean a heavy amount will be added to your overall student debt.

There are entry requirements

It’s not a disadvantage, but like all courses – there are entry requirements. This will ring especially true if you want to change to an entirely new subject.

For example, if you want to study for an MA in magazine journalism, you’ll need at least two weeks of work experience at a magazine or publishing house. Any medical course will require qualification from a medical undergraduate degree.

As a standard, all Master’s programmes expect you to hold a 2:1 in any subject. If you have a 2:2, that’s not an issue, but you’ll likely need to supplement that with work experience or other requirements. All-in-all, it’ll be a good idea to shop around.

You’re not guaranteed a job afterwards

While a Master’s degree rapidly increases your chances of post-study employment, it’s not a full guarantee. Job competition should be considered an Olympic sport. The ISE reported that there were 901,772 applications for graduate jobs last year, averaging around 89 applicants per role.

That shouldn’t be too much of a deterrent, though. There are ways to ensure you get even more of an edge over the competition. We’ll get into that next.

Will a Master’s degree get me a job?

While they’re not a requirement for all industries, a Master’s degree looks good on your CV, but it doesn’t automatically get you the job.

However, if you combine the perks of higher education alongside work experience…You’ll be unstoppable.

A placement year or an internship will allow you to put your career to the test while gaining invaluable experience before you graduate. Employers adore skills and want to see how you’ve used them, so work experience will be the best way to do that.

Some benefits include;

Want to see what’s out there? We have hundreds of roles available now for you to get into.

How do I choose a Master’s degree?

There are plenty of ways to decide which course you want to take. At the forefront, you should always consider your career goals. Ask yourself some of the following questions…

  • Do you have your eyes on a specific role?
  • Do you see yourself becoming a manager?
  • Are you going to learn something new?
  • What are the requirements for working in your industry?
  • Does my course already include a Master’s?

You’ll get a clearer idea of what postgraduate courses are out there. Also, speak to your career advisors or course leaders/lecturers. They’ll already have some idea of your experience and prospects.

If you’re already working, it might be a good idea to speak with your manager to see if they will sponsor you for a Master’s. This will only usually happen if it’s relevant to your work and benefits the company to do so. But there’s no harm in asking.

Whatever you decide to do, whether that’s a Master’s, some work experience or maybe even another undergraduate degree – it’ll all count towards helping you secure that all-important career.

Good luck!