It has now reached the final term of your university life. Your stress level is high, your all-nighter mentality is at it’s peak and now, family-members are starting to ask, “What’s next?” Maybe you think pursuing a Master’s degree is the best for you rather than facing what can be months of unemployment.
Nonetheless, deciding on whether you need a Master’s degree can be a tough decision. There are two main types of MA degrees, which are thesis (research-based) and non-thesis (taught, professional or coursework-based). Regardless of which you’ve picked, there are still a ton of questions you need to ask yourself before committing to another year-long financial investment.
Here are 4 things you should ask yourself before deciding to pursue a Master’s degree:
1) Why are you considering a Master’s degree?
Is it because you’re still not sure of what you want to do in your career? Or, do you feel like a master’s degree will help you progress in your desired career path? For many, a master’s degree is their way to buy time where they use education as a safety blanket from the real world. A master’s degree should be the bridge that brings you closer to your dream job, not a path you casually take in order to figure out what your next step is. Hence, remember to have a clear reason as to why you think a master’s degree is crucial for your next career step.
2) Is pursuing your Master’s degree something you want or something others want for you?
Ever since we were little, school and education have been pressed down on us by family members and loved ones. How the key to success is by continuously pursuing a higher education whenever you can. However, most of the times, you are listening to opinions from those who actually don’t understand what a Master’s degree entails. While many employers desire those with higher qualifications, your decision to pursue another degree should be something you want, not what others want for you. Learn how to quiet the noise, don’t make big decisions for other people’s happiness and follow your own path because at the end of the day, you will have to live with it.
3) How hard is a Master’s degree compared to an Undergraduate degree?
Since it is a higher qualification than an undergraduate degree, of course a Master’s degree is a lot more difficult. During your undergraduate years, you usually starts off with simpler tasks which will eventually shifts to more complex ones. However, the number of preparations required for Master’s courses are higher. For example, more research, studies and background checks have to be done in order to aid you in your essays when the time comes around. Generally, every class requires you to be self-dependent when it comes to studying hence, if you’re the type that always needs a mentor, you might want to reconsider.
4) Do you require a Master’s degree to be successful in your desired career path?
Imagine where you would want to be in the next 5 years. If you might stray away from what you studied in your undergraduate programme, then don’t do it. However, if you believe that a Master’s degree will give you an edge in the field you want to be in, then go for it. For example, becoming a professor will require you to have a Master’s degree in order to pass the tests and to gain more knowledge on the subject you’re planning to teach. On the other hand, if you want it just for the sake of feeling more qualified, then take a pause and think again. Most of the times, hands-on experience at a job might actually help you learn more and get you to where you want to be a lot faster.
Pursuing a Master’s degree comes with a hefty cost.
Obtaining a Master’s degree can also be time-consuming and emotionally draining. Therefore, if you decide on pursuing it, make sure you are weighing your options and reasons for it carefully. Your choice to pursue your Master’s degree should be a clear and intentional decision that you make to get you closer to the career of your dreams.