4 Things You Should Know Before Pursuing A Master's Degree

Are you considering taking the next step for an educational or career advancement? Here’s what you need to know before getting started with a master’s degree:

1. A Master’s Program Entails Heavy Workload– Don’t expect to be cruising through grad school due to possessing a solid foundation with a bachelor’s degree. A master’s degree entails more technical studies, critical and analytical thinking skills, with more challenging coursework compared to an undergraduate degree. The workload in a master’s degree can be compared to the heightened responsibilities felt by recent high school grads who are just entering college. It takes some time to adjust to the added responsibility.

2. Consider the Time Investment– The average master’s degree program, according to the Education Portal, takes approximately two years to complete. This is important to keep in mind, to determine if this dedication can be followed through, so as not to start without finishing.

3. Better Opportunities– Despite the heavy workload and investment in time, a master’s or graduate degree can open numerous doors for students, in terms of career advancement, salary increase, and elevated credibility. This isn’t just a statement, it’s a fact: According to the Department of Labor and Statistics, graduate degree holders will earn at least a million dollars more than undergraduate degree holders throughout their lifetime. In addition, employment rates are much higher in this group of educational achievers.

4. The Cost of Graduate School– According to the U.S. Department of Education, the average tuition for graduate school runs from as low as $5,000 to as much as $40,000 annually, depending on the school of choice. Research will need to be done, and the type of field being pursued also affects the cost. An online school eliminates the cost of boarding and transportation. In addition, some distance learning schools will offer payment plans for tuition, but this will need to be researched as well.

Pursuing a master’s degree is a huge step that will need to be considered wisely before taking the plunge. A higher education is an undeniable asset in life – career-wise, financial-wise, and stability-wise, so it’s definitely a good move worth taking. However, due to the challenges faced by many college students, it’s also important to consider whether this step comes with the right timing, based on family, work and finances.

To overcome doubts, career counselors are usually positioned in most colleges to help prospects decide which move is best at any given time.