Are master’s degrees still relevant? Yes. In fact, they’re considered more than just relevant now—they’re practically essential.
A master’s degree makes you more competitive in the job market. It helps differentiate you from other job candidates, because master’s programs help you specialize in the field you’re most interested in. That’s a plus for your future employers, because having a master’s degree means you’re already immersed and involved in the field.
It also sets you apart from the crowd. More people hold a bachelor’s degree now than 30 years ago. In 1980, 22.5% of people who were 25 or older had a bachelor’s degree; that number rose to 35.6% by 2015 (source: National Center for Education Statistics). Having a bachelor’s degree has become the expectation. To stand out, you need that master’s degree!
In general, having a master’s degree also means your earning potential is higher (which offsets the initial investment you made in tuition—and more). You’ll also have more career mobility with a master’s degree, working your way into positions with more leadership and responsibility.
In many fields, having a master’s degree has become a necessity for entry- and mid-level jobs. Here’s just a few of the degrees that are becoming the standard requirement:
- Master of Business Administration for entry-level jobs in a range of industries, if you want to work in an administrative position.
- Master of Education for administrators like principals and vice principals, as well as curriculum designers and instructors at the university level.
- Master of Science in Nursing for nurse practitioners and nurse educators.
There are other fields, such as engineering and geology, where you can work with just a bachelor’s degree, but having a master’s degree will help you make significant contributions and move up in your organization.
The workplace has become more fast-paced and fluid across all disciplines, and earning a master’s degree demonstrates that you have the ability and flexibility to adapt to that environment. When you’ve earned a master’s degree, you’ve demonstrated to your employer that you’ve trained yourself for the job with new and refined skills.