How to Know if You’re Ready to Earn a Master’s Degree
From 2011 to 2021, there was a 50% increase in the number of Americans over the age of 25 whose highest level of educational attainment was a master’s degree.1 They’re among the millions of savvy professionals worldwide who are getting future-ready for careers of all kinds.
“In an increasingly competitive global and knowledge-based economy, it’s more important than ever for workers to invest in themselves through education and continuous learning to update their skill sets and knowledge base,” writes former U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao in an essay for the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).2
Have you been thinking about investing in your education, and future? If so, here’s how to know if you’re ready to earn a master’s degree:
It’s Time to Refresh Your Skills
If you’ve been working in your career field for a while, it may be time to update your professional practice with a master’s degree. A master’s degree can provide you with new industry knowledge and give you a chance to learn new skills alongside other professionals in your program. A Master of Business Administration (MBA) can provide the tools and resources to help you lead confidently in complex business settings. If your passion is working with children with exceptionalities, you can build your expertise by earning a Master of Arts in Teaching. Those are just two of dozens of master’s options.
You Want to Shift Career Focus
Some colleges and universities offer MS degree programs that let you specialize in a particular area of your field. You could shift your career in a new direction by expanding your knowledge in a new area of expertise. For example, focusing your MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling on trauma and crisis counseling, or specializing in emergency management when you earn an MS in Criminal Justice, can help you shift your career focus. Master’s programs at accredited universities can also help you develop leadership skills that can expand career opportunities.
A New Job Requires an MS
To get started in some career fields, you’re going to need postsecondary education beyond a bachelor’s degree. The BLS says these are some of the occupations that require a master’s degree: computer and information research scientist; education administrators (kindergarten through postsecondary); educational, guidance, and career counselors and advisors; marriage and family therapists; mental health and substance abuse social workers; and nurse practitioners.3
You’d Like a Higher Salary
Earning an online master’s degree could potentially increase your paycheck. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, master’s degree–holders in some career fields may receive substantially higher starting salaries than professionals with bachelor’s degrees.4 These fields include business administration/management, computer/information technology, registered nursing, psychology, and social work.4
Your Ultimate Goal Is a Doctoral Degree
A master’s degree can provide the foundation you need to step up to a PhD or professional doctorate. And if you decide to earn a doctoral degree in a new career field, your master’s may help reduce your time to graduation. In Walden University’s PhD in Healthcare Administration degree program, for example, doctoral candidates with a master’s in another academic discipline may be eligible to transfer credit for prior coursework and/or professional credentials.
Are You Ready for an MS Degree?
Whether you’re interested in changing careers or advancing in your current field, there are dozens of online degree programs designed to help you reach your goals.
If your college search leads to Walden University, you’ll find online master’s degree programs in areas that include education, psychology, business, social work, and nursing. Walden’s master’s programs are career-focused and led by faculty members who are scholars, researchers, and industry professionals.
Enrollment Specialists can help you launch your online education journey toward earning a degree such as an MS in Human Resource Management, an MS in Psychology with a specialization in Educational Psychology, or an MSN with a Family Nurse Practitioner specialization.
Earning a master’s degree online is a great choice for adult professionals seeking higher education, as it lets you continue to work and stay engaged with family, friends, and hobbies. With a laptop and an internet connection, you can decide where and when to do your coursework. And from there, you can chart your course to earning a master’s degree and reaching your career goals.
Walden University is an accredited institution offering certificate programs and bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree programs online. Expand your career options and earn your degree using a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.
Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.
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