Deciding whether or not to do a Masters degree is a big decision for anyone.
After all, the jobs market seems to be more competitive than ever before, and so it is critical to do everything in your power to stand out and increase your earning potential.
However, a Masters does demand a lot of hard work and it may not be necessary.
So, should you do a Masters degree?
Read on to discover everything you need to know to help you make your decision.
Reasons to do a Masters degree
Let’s begin by taking a look at the main reasons why people decide to do a Masters degree. This includes the following:
- Meet the requirements of a current job
- Enter a specific profession
- Enable progression to a higher level of qualification
- Develop a personal interest
- Improve employment prospects
- Progress in an existing career path
Some people also go down this route because they want to have a change in their career.
A Masters can give you the knowledge to do this, as well as industry contacts and networking opportunities.
While the reasons to do a Masters degree are compelling, it is also important to recognise that the program will be very intensive and, of course, you are going to need to pay for it.
This is why your decision needs to be made carefully.
Can you do a Masters degree with a third or a 2:2?
In order to be accepted onto a Masters degree, you will typically need to have the minimum of a 2:1 at Bachelors level or the equivalent.
This does not mean that all hope is lost, though.
You may be considered if you showcase that you have relevant professional experience.
If you do not meet the criteria, you should call the admissions department to find out if you could be accepted onto the course.
You basically need to find a way to make up for the grades you are lacking.
In addition to this, it is likely that you will be required to take a recognised language test to prove your proficiency if English is not your first language.
The test you take will depend on your area of study and the university you are applying too. Nevertheless, some of the most widely used tests are as follows:
- Cambridge English Language Assessment
- Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic)
- Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
- International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
Could you do a Ph.D. degree without a Masters?
A lot of people want to do a Ph.D. – this is the ultimate goal.
So, is a Masters a must in terms of the stepping stones needed to get there?
Yes, it typically is. You will usually need to have a relevant Masters degree if you are then to be accepted for a Ph.D.
This is due to the fact that students cannot obtain the requisite level of in-depth knowledge about a certain field of study if they do not have a Masters degree.
Is a Masters degree worth the expense?
This is one of the key questions you need to ask yourself. Obtaining a Masters can be emotionally draining, time-consuming, and expensive, so you need to make sure it is worth it.
The cost of a Masters degree will differ depending on the university you attend and the course you take. You can even take online courses, which are popular.
Take a look at the Online Masters in Education from University of Exeter to get an understanding of how these courses work and how much they cost.
A lot of people prefer online Masters because they are more flexible and so you can hold down a job at the same time.
In order to determine whether or not a Masters degree is right for you, i.e. worth the high costs and high level of work, you should:
- Contact individual employers, professional bodies, and careers services for more information and advice.
- Think about whether or not a Masters degree will improve your credentials considerably above your current undergraduate education.
- Think about everything in the context of your overall career plan. Think about your ultimate career goals. Will a Masters degree help you to achieve these?
- Browse relevant job advertisements to figure out what employers value the most.
- Be passionate about your subject.
Do you have the time to do a Masters degree?
As briefly touched upon, making sure that you have the time available to do a Masters degree is also important.
Earlier, we mentioned how a lot of people are opting to do a Masters online, i.e. embrace distance learning.
You will still get the support you need from a personal tutor and all of the resources required.
Typically, you can take as long as you wish to complete the course.
There are other methods of study and learning available to you too that are worth thinking about. Block mode learning is a good example of this.
This incorporates intense face-to-face study over a fixed period, typically consecutive days or weekends. This enables you to book time off work in advance.
Blended learning is another option you should look into.
This incorporates a mixture of online learning and face-to-face classroom time. This means that you get the best of both worlds.
You will be able to work from home while also having the benefit of interacting with fellow students, tutors, and lecturers too.
Are you ready to do a Masters degree?
Finally, we are going to present you with a number of questions that will help you to determine whether or not you are ready to commit yourself to a Masters degree.
So, let’s take a look…
- Are you sure that the courses you are looking at are the right courses for you?
- Are you genuinely passionate about the subject and the qualification?
- If applicable, will your studies enable you to qualify as a professional?
- Will the qualifications give you all of the tools and skills you require for your dream career?
- Does the qualification demand you to possess certain skills?
- Is the qualification held in high regard by pivotal employers within your target industry?
- Will the postgraduate qualification certainly improve your prospects for your career?
- If applicable, are you going to be able to manage to live on a budget, especially while your friends are in full-time employment?
- Are you willing to accrue a greater amount of graduate debt?
- Can you afford the living costs and the tuition fees associated with Masters study?
- If applicable, are you excited about the opportunity to write another and even longer research project or dissertation?
- Are you prepared to do less partying and more studying than what you did at the undergraduate level?
- Are you completely aware of the level of commitment that is needed for a Masters study?
As you can see, there is a lot that needs to be taken into account when deciding whether or not to do a Masters degree.
Hopefully, you have found the information in this blog post useful and it has helped you to determine whether this education path is right for you and your career.