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Is Going For Your Master’s Degree a Good Idea?

With the economy and job market as weak as it currently is, young adults are starting to wonder whether going to college for their bachelor’s degree is economically sound right now. With that thought, it’s hard to imagine spending more money to get another, higher degree. When you add the fact that jobs are scarce and that recent graduates with bachelor’s degrees are finding it difficult to get a job, it’s even more difficult to imagine. However, education is one of the most valuable things and with more education comes a higher pay. So many are asking, “is it a good idea to go for my master’s degree right now?”

It must be said that there is no right answer for every one person. Everyone has different financial situations, different needs and different desires. You can’t say that “YES!” getting your master’s degree is the thing that will get you out of unemployment and help you find the job you want since you are now more educated. You also can’t say “NO!” getting your master’s degree is a waste today and that spending your money on more education and adding to your student loans will bring you down. It has to be a decision that you make for yourself. You can however, weigh your options and take a look at the pros and cons of going for your master’s degree in this economic climate.

Before deciding to go for your master’s, an article in Quintessential Careers suggest you ask yourself five questions- and answer them honestly. Going to grad school is more intense than getting your bachelor’s degree and requires a big commitment from you. In most cases, those attending graduate school are also working full-time already. The juggle of work and school can become a large hassle and if you aren’t ready for it, it can be very stressful. That is why you need to think it through before you decide to make a commitment to graduate school.

First and foremost, you should understand what you want to do and know where you want your career to go. Furthermore, you should understand how getting this degree will put you closer to that career goal you have. Without a clear understanding of what you want out of your career, going to graduate school can be a huge waste of your time and money. If you go to graduate school on a whim and it ends up not being what you want, that’s a good amount of money basically thrown out the window. That is why it is so important to understand what you want and where you want to go. Of course, deciding to go to grad school on a whim may work out for a select few, but why take that chance? It’s also important to understand where you want your career to go so you can assess whether or not you even need a master’s degree.

Quintessential Learning points out that for some career’s, getting a higher degree can actually work against you if it is unnecessary. If you don’t need that degree and you have it, employers and companies may see you as overqualified and may brush right over your resume or application. Plus, if you go straight for your master’s right out of college, it’s likely you won’t gain much work experience so it will be even more difficult to find work when you finish with this degree.

Another reason for getting your master’s may be that you are unsatisfied with your current career or your bachelor’s degree didn’t turn out to be what you thought it was. Going for your master’s is a good way to change your career and to get on the right path. If you are going into graduate school with this mindset, it’s likely that you know what you want to do and you have thought it out quite thoroughly.

Another thing you need to consider is whether or not you will earn more because of your master’s. It is likely that with a master’s degree you will earn significantly more than if you just had a bachelor’s degree. So although paying for more education will be expensive right away, statistics show that you will earn more in the long run than if you didn’t.

Whatever your reason or motivation may be for going to graduate school, it’s so important to think it through. You will be investing a lot of time and a lot of money, so being sure of what you want is number one. Some may think that since the job market is so rough right now and it’s virtually impossible to find a reasonable job as a young adult today, it’s a good idea to go back to school. The reasoning is that while you are in grad school, the job market may pick up and by the time you are graduated with your master’s there will be more jobs available for you. That may be true, but you need to consider your lack of job experience. If you pick up a job while you complete your studies, then you’re on the right track. Otherwise, you may find the market not as kind as you thought when you graduate with a higher degree.

SOURCE: Quintessential Learning
IMAGE: Courtesy of US News

Nicole Nicholson

Nicole is the Content Editor for Spark Hire and mainly writes for and edits the work for the Spark News blog. She graduated in 2010 with a BA in Journalism from DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois. She has a passion for writing, editing, and pretty much anything to do with content. In her free time she frequents the Chicago music scene and writes reviews on shows for her own personal blog. Connect with Nicole and Spark Hire on Facebook and Twitter