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Impacts of Pursuing a Master’s Degree Essay

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Updated: Jan 25th, 2022

Introduction

Education is important in life because it shapes the perception and attitude of students towards various issues. In addition, it gives them opportunities to identify and nurture their talents so that they can be used in the future to transform their societies and lives. Academic Scholars like Rowan Botkin argue that learning is an endless process because man is always curious to know his environment (Zupek par. 2). Modern societies are structured to create more opportunities for social and economic success for students who pursue higher education than those who are contented with undergraduate degrees. This essay examines the impacts of master’s degree courses and their relevance to improving the social and economic positions of individuals and their societies.

Definitions

Learning institutions offer different courses that are structured in levels depending on their complexities. The foundational learning institutions offer elementary studies and enable students to know how to read, write and identify objects (Brown, Bull, and Pendlebury 21). Primary and secondary schools help students to identify their interests in various subjects and narrow their lessons to fit in specific fields.

Advantages of Pursuing a Master’s Degree

Advancement in learning increases the chances of getting employed within a short period after graduating from university. Employers believe that students who pursue higher education degrees have a better grasp of the requirements of their jobs. It shows that they were committed to going the extra mile and learning more about the courses. The world population census conducted in 2010 revealed that the world has a population of about seven billion. More than four billion people are unemployed. Therefore, about two billion are in formal or informal employment, and this means that there is a high dependency ratio in modern society. The census attributed employment opportunities to an individual’s level of education. A recent survey conducted by the United States Census Bureau revealed that a huge population is seeking advancement in education to increase their chances of getting jobs (Bureau of Labor Statistics par. 2). Employers look for graduates who have a master’s degree or those that have pursued two parallel courses because they believe they have the required skills to offer professional services to their companies (Brown, Bull, and Pendlebury 38). Competition in the job market compels employers to consider students who have master’s degrees because they are perceived to be more qualified than their counterparts.

Secondly, having a master’s degree is a guarantee that there will be no job losses in times of inflation and other inevitable economic issues. Focused employees do not just attain contentment after getting their first jobs. Employees must think about the future of their careers and evaluate the lives of their jobs. Job security is heightened by pursuing additional training, but a master’s degree course assures employees that they are more likely to keep their jobs compared to their colleagues (Brown, Bull, and Pendlebury 46). The Bureau of Labor Statistics conducted a survey in 2013 that revealed that employees who have a master’s degree have fewer chances of being jobless compared to those with college and undergraduate qualifications (Bureau of Labor Statistics par. 2). In addition, it revealed that employees with a master’s degree in engineering, nursing, Information technology, and other technical and health fields have lower percentages of being unemployed. Education has never suffered devaluation as an investment because employers understand that their organizations need fresh and new skills and knowledge that reflects and meets the demand of today’s fast-paced world. Therefore, students should pursue master’s degrees to ensure their chances of retaining job opportunities are higher than those of their colleagues than have college or undergraduate diplomas and degrees respectively.

Thirdly, employees get fulfillment when they earn salaries that reflect their hard work, commitment, and academic qualifications. It is not easy to get a master’s degree because of the challenges and requirements of completing this course successfully. All graduates expect to get well-paying jobs immediately after they graduate and clear from their universities (Bureau of Labor Statistics par. 3). However, the reverse is usually true because most of them get jobs that do not match their qualifications. It is impossible to get job satisfaction if employees are underpaid and yet forced to work hard to meet the objectives of a company (Gardner and Holley 77). Employers expect to make profits regardless of the areas of specialization of their employees. Most companies that make huge profits do not pay all their employees’ good salaries because of the differences in their academic qualifications. No organization pays more salary to employees who have college diplomas or undergraduate than those that have a master’s (Brown, Bull, and Pendlebury 48). Today, employees attend evening and weekend part-time classes to boost their education levels and increase their chances of getting higher salaries. Employers will not compromise quality and salaries because they know that a master’s graduate will inject new skills and knowledge that will increase the productivity and profits of their companies. Therefore, students who wish to have a high starting salary should pursue a master’s degree to ensure their first jobs land them in positions where they can have bargaining powers and negotiate for higher pays.

Lastly, pursuing a master’s degree predisposes individuals to different environments where they learn and discover important issues that affect performance in different fields and industries (Zupek par. 4). This degree is an expanded base of knowledge that involves conducting field research and getting in touch with practical issues regarding how work is supposed to be done. Students who pursue master’s degrees get technical experience and knowledge that is necessary for transforming the practices of organizations through the use of practical and applicable approaches to solving issues. Employees who have master’s degrees are experts in their fields, and this also makes them more marketable. They have unique perspectives regarding company policies and the responsibilities of employees because of their broad knowledge of specific issues (Gardner and Holley 81). The learning objectives of this level of study ensure students develop critical thinking that shapes the decisions they make to transform organizations (Brown, Bull, and Pendlebury 66). In addition, it imparts special analytic skills that are necessary for solving conflicts and creating room for the growth of other employees through participation in key decision-making processes. These individuals have excellent time management skills that are usually transferred to other employees, and this transforms the culture of an organization.

Disadvantages

Education Scholars argue that pursuing a master’s degree does not guarantee an individual all the benefits mentioned above. They claim that there are fundamental aspects that regulate the level of enjoyment of the benefits of pursuing a master’s degree. In addition, they present the following arguments to prove that having a master’s degree is not an end, but a means to attain fulfillment in life.

First, they claim that the cost of getting a master’s degree supersedes the benefits that most individuals enjoy. There is a low and disproportional return on the financial investments and time commitment that individuals sacrifice to attain this degree. The cost of pursuing a master’s degree in an average university is between $30,000 and $120,000. However, this cost varies depending on the university and course an individual pursues. For instance, Harvard University charges an average of $120,000 for a master’s course, while other universities ask for less than this amount. MBA, engineering, health sciences, and IT-related courses are more expensive than education and social sciences (Gardner and Holley 82). In addition, students spend a lot of money on transport and buying reading materials that are indispensable in pursuing a master’s course. The monthly expenses of a master’s student may be over $500 depending on the location and lifestyles of the individual. Students are expected to meet extremely short deadlines and yet deliver flawless results when they are given assignments. They spend hours and sleepless nights reading, doing research, and compiling information from various sources to have a succinct presentation of various issues to meet the instructions of their lecturers (Gardner and Holley 87). The irony of all these efforts is that the starting salary of a master’s degree graduate is a drop of water in the ocean, and this means that there is a very low rate of return on investment.

Secondly, having a master’s degree is a curse in disguise. Some jobs like engineering and library management do not require a master’s degree because they are not too demanding like teaching, nursing, management, and administration. In addition, some employers hesitate to hire over-qualified employees because they may demand higher salaries in the future or sue their companies for underpayment (Zupek par. 5). Some managers consider new employees who have a master’s degree a threat because they may be promoted faster and even occupy their positions. It is not easy to integrate the skills of a master’s graduate with those of college and undergraduate levels, and this hinders unity and cooperation in the workplace.

Lastly, most students do not know the courses that suit them. They take master’s programs without considering their job markets and security, and this increases the number of master’s graduates in the market (Gardner and Holley 91). In addition, there is stiff competition from college and undergraduates who are ready and willing to accept low salaries and work in tight environments. Students who graduate from master’s programs find it difficult to get their first jobs because employers treat them just like college and bachelor’s graduates since they do not have the required work experience. Therefore, they settle for the wrong jobs or accept the low salaries offered by employers. These issues frustrate and demoralize their efforts to use the skills and knowledge acquired to improve the performance of their organizations.

Conclusion

Students should pursue a master’s degree course because the present world is very competitive and requires individuals who have an extra advantage over others when it comes to getting employment and promotions. A master’s degree is a necessity in the modern world because it increases the chances of getting jobs within a short period after graduating. In addition, it guarantees job security and creates room for easy and quick promotion of individuals because they have the potential of leading and transforming organizations. Unpredictable economic crises and other issues like inflation and globalization influence the policies of companies regarding the recruitment and compensation of employees. Those who have a master’s degree are more likely to retain their jobs than those who do not have. Graduates who have a master’s degree earn higher than those with college and undergraduate qualifications. They are in high demand, and employers are likely to accept their terms of service because they know master’s graduates are assets in their organizations. The training, research, and other learning activities involved in pursuing a master’s degree equip students with the relevant skills to transform and improve the performance of their organizations. Employers are likely to accept to incur the heavy costs of financing the salaries of master’s graduates because they know the expected benefits are high. However, these degree programs have a low return on investments, and this makes pursuing a master’s degree an exercise in futility. The rate of return of investments should be reasonable to compensate for the time, energy, and money used during the study. Some organizations and professions pay almost similar salaries and allowances to master’s and bachelor’s graduates because they think these employees are in the same job group. Not all jobs require a master’s degree, and some students do not know what is good and appropriate in today’s world. Most students or employees pursue a master’s course for prestige and as a reaction to the pressure from parents, spouses, or peers. They do not understand the importance of this degree in their career or economic advancement. However, it is better to have a master’s degree than lack it when it is required. Today, almost all employees have a bachelor’s degree, and this means that it is necessary to have a master’s one to be unique and have a competitive advantage over other employees.

Works Cited

Brown, George A., Joanna Bull, and Malcolm Pendlebury. Assessing Student Learning in Higher Education. London: Routledge, 2013.Print.

Bureau of Labor Statistics. Earnings and Unemployment Rates by Educational Attainment. United States Department of Labor. 2012. Web.

Gardner, Susan K., and Karri A. Holley. “Those invisible barriers are real”: The progression of first-generation students through doctoral education.” Equity & Excellence in Education 44.1 (2011): 77-92. Print.

Zupek, Rachel. Bachelors vs. Master’s: How Does Your Salary Stack Up? 2009. Web.

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