How to Know When It’s Time to Go for a Higher Degree

higher degreeThe decision to get a higher degree is not an easy one…

Many modern college students graduate with very few job opportunities. Many also have a lurking suspicion that all those classes they took now mean much less than they thought. It’s no surprise, then,  that many degree-holders are jumping to get Master’s and PhD’s as quickly as possible. However, there is no guarantee that a higher degree will land you a stable job any more than an undergraduate degree.

The decision to get a higher degree must be considered from many angles. That includes the traditional “degree equals job” mindset.

Considering an investment of more time and money into higher education? Then take the time to understand exactly why you’re doing it. Most important, know the ways you reach your career goals with the degree you already have.

Here are some important considerations before you take the plunge:

Why Do You Want It?

First, assess why, exactly, you want to go for a higher degree. After all, there is little to no guarantee that a job will be waiting for you on the other end. So it’s important to make sure simply getting a job is not your only reason for continuing your education.

There are some career paths and situations that simply require a higher degree.

These should be some of the first (and, possibly, only) reasons to consider going back to school. And only then if you’re having trouble finding employment. If you want to work in a field that absolutely requires a higher degree, such as medicine or law? Then you have no option other than to obtain the required degree programs.

Will It Help You in Your Career?

Another good reason to go for a higher degree? Because it will help you reach higher levels in the career you have now.

If you got a great job with your bachelor’s degree but are slowly realizing that you will need a higher degree to move to management levels, then going back to school could be a legitimate option. However, make sure to remember than work experience often trumps education. And that there are many successful leaders who have only bachelor’s degrees or no degree at all.

Consider All Your Options.

Don’t fall into any of the categories above? Still considering a higher degree mainly because you see very few career options with your bachelor’s? You may want to consider other options first.

You could try to take free courses. Or expand your mind and your skill set in other ways that don’t necessarily require the debt racked up by a master’s program. Look into community programs, certificates, and free online courses. Explore every option to learn new information and grow as a professional.

Consider Your Dream Career Path

It’s also a good idea to reconsider your career path if you find that doors are just not opening. Make sure that you know exactly what you want to do with your life and why. Sometimes changing your perspective and re-assessing your career goals is the key to finding your own lane. And, there is absolutely no reason to go back to school out of desperation or in an attempt to figure out what you want to do. Moving forward with a bachelor’s or associate degree is perfectly possible.

Regardless of the reasons you may be considering getting a higher degree, first consider all your options. That includes the things you can do with the current degree you worked so hard to attain.

With a little effort or a small change in direction, your current degree may be all you really need to get moving.


For this post, we’d like to thank our friends at Quality Resumes & Career Development.




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