October 19, 2018

Should I undertake a master’s?

A master’s degree is a very serious undertaking. Most who go on to take a degree at postgraduate level will have spent a huge proportion of their lives in education so the primary thing to consider before applying for a master’s is whether this is something you really want.

Today, there are many great master’s options available and there are even some you can undertake on a flexible basis with weekend MBA programs in London specifically designed to run alongside working lifestyles to enhance career prospects without holding people back with full time study hours. With these sort of options now available, more and more people are asking themselves whether they should undertake a master’s, so this guide has been produced to help make that decision a little clearer and answer the question of whether a master’s would benefit you, your career and your lifestyle.

Why should I do a master’s?

Most people who start to think about postgraduate study are either approaching the end of their undergraduate degree and are unsure of where to go next, are looking for a career which requires a higher level qualification, are not ready to leave education, or are in work and are looking to progress and need a master’s to do so.

While a master’s is a lot of work, it can provide the answer for those who find themselves in the situations listed above and can be a great way to expand your knowledge and skills and progress in the working world.

What are the pros and cons?

As you can probably gather, like all decisions about your personal education, there are many pros and cons around whether a master’s is the right choice for you. Here are a number of the pros and cons you may not have thought of already that could help with the decision.

   Cons:                                                                         Pros:

  • The cost

While there are many funding options available at this level of study, it does still cost money, so you have to decide whether the money paid now will be rewarded with higher pay and job satisfaction later.

 

  • Employability

The extra qualification is almost guaranteed to make you more desirable to potential employers. Not only does it give you more skills and knowledge but it shows employers that you are committed and serious about the job.

  • It’s not undergraduate

Do not enter into a master’s thinking it will be the same as an undergraduate degree. The people on this course are taking it very seriously and there will be a more diverse mix of ages so the party lifestyle that came with freshers’ week may not be as evident.

 

  • Career benefits

Once you have the attention of employers, it can also open up opportunities with other employers who otherwise might not have considered you. Additionally, it can lead to higher pay as it shows that you are more qualified and can work at a higher level.

  • The work

Master’s students are expected to work hard and want to be there. There is noticeably less contact time than during undergraduate study so the work is longer, more in depth and more independent than what you may be used to or expecting.

 

  • Intellectual reward

Undertaking a master’s can also leave you with an immense feeling of satisfaction and self-pride, as it is a great achievement and for those who enjoy study and research it’s hugely enjoyable for the duration, not just the graduation.

 

How to fund a master’s?

Students studying for a masters dregree
Students studying for a masters dregree

While funding was a ‘con’ listed above, it doesn’t always have to be. There are numerous options available, such as a bursary or scholarship, which can help with master’s tuition fees. The RCUK (Research Councils UK), is one such option that offers assistance to UK applicants across numerous subject areas and can help with the cost of living during postgraduate study.

Most universities and institutions that offer postgraduate courses also provide help and advice when it comes to funding. Whether this is a discount for student alumni coming back to do their master’s, which can be as much as 10 percent, or monthly payment plans, it is always worth speaking to a courses advisor.

Image Credit: Arek_malang (shutterstock.com)

What does a master’s mean for your future?

A master’s can mean great things for you and your future career. Depending on what subject area you are looking to go into, a master’s can sometimes help in getting you that all-important foot – and even a step over a couple of positions – on the career ladder. Whether it is a full-time masters in oil and gas management or an MBA in accounting, there is little doubt that a master’s can open doors in your chosen sector.

Main Image Credit: Frannyanne (shutterstock.com)

This content was written by Rachel Smith. Please feel free to visit my Google+ Profile to read more stories.

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