You love your job, and there’s no doubt you’re proud to be a college graduate. But something’s missing. You want more. You need more.
A master’s degree just might be the puzzle piece you need to feel more complete both professionally and personally. Research shows that a little over 9% of people over age 25 in the United States have this degree.
2019 is a great year to join this group by earning your master’s degree. Why? Here’s a rundown on eight benefits.
1. This Can Help You to Move up in Your Career
Let’s say you’re a nurse who has earned a four-year bachelor’s degree. A master’s can help you to easily transition to a more senior position, such as leadership.
Specifically, if you earn a masters degree, you’re eligible to take an exam to become a certified clinical nurse leader. In this role, you’d essentially serve as an advanced generalist focusing on improving patient healthcare outcomes.
Many organizations don’t just recognize that master’s degrees offer many benefits. They actually prefer that their employees have them.
In fact, most employers have elevated their educational standards during the past few years in pursuit of job seekers who have earned advanced degrees.
Especially in the healthcare and education fields, graduate degrees provide the training needed to be promoted to certain jobs.
2. Develop Specialized Knowledge
When you earn a master’s and thus build on your current skills and abilities, you develop the specialized knowledge you need to stand out in your industry.
When people look at your resume and see that you’ve completed a master’s program, they’ll see you as a person who’s dedicated to increasing your expertise in the industry.
As a result, you’ll appear more credible over someone who hasn’t completed advanced training. And that’s golden when you work in a particularly competitive industry.
3. Boost Your Earning Potential
Obtaining your master’s can drastically improve your income.
For instance, going back to the nursing example from earlier, a registered nurse earns a salary of nearly $63,000 on average. However, a clinical nurse leader — a role that requires you to have a master’s — earns nearly $77,000 on average.
That’s a 22% increase.
So, if you’ve already completed four years of a college education, it may be worthwhile to complete another two to experience a significant jump in your earnings for years to come.
4. Enhance Your Professional Network
When you take master’s degree courses, you’ll come across classmates from various backgrounds.
And you can use that to your advantage.
Many of the people you’ll meet in class will be thriving in their particular careers, so they’re excellent people to add to your professional industry network.
On top of that, you’ll be studying with professors who are leaders in their industries. Again, these are great people to add to your network and gain real-world knowledge from.
All of this can help you to advance your career.
5. Experience Lifelong Learning
By completing a graduate program, you allow yourself to expand on your current knowledge and prepare yourself for a vibrant life of continual learning.
More than 70% of people in the United States view themselves as lifelong learners. If you’re in this boat, then earning a master’s degree simply makes sense.
6. Move up in Your Education
Perhaps you love learning so much that you’d like to earn a terminal degree.
Earning a master’s is the stepping stone you need to complete a doctoral-level education. After all, most doctoral degree programs won’t accept candidates who haven’t earned their master’s degrees yet.
The reason for this is that Ph.D. programs, in particular, are very theoretical, which a person with only a bachelor’s degree may not be prepared for. However, those with master’s degrees have already learned this, so they won’t be as surprised by the content they’ll face in Ph.D. programs.
A doctoral degree is particularly valuable if you plan to teach at the collegiate level in the future.
7. Become More Intelligent
One of the biggest benefits of earning a master’s is that you’ll become smarter.
As a master’s student, you’ll spend a great deal of time researching, analyzing and writing — all wonderful skills to develop.
Sure, you complete these tasks at the undergraduate level. But they’re even more intense at the graduate level, transforming you into a professional who can solve problems and tackle complex tasks more easily.
Also, the major cognitive skills you develop in an advanced degree program can be useful in virtually any field. After all, every professional job field requires a level of analysis and creativity to a degree.
What’s especially wonderful about a master’s program is that these types of programs are set up to allow you to teach yourself, instead of only receiving information. Again, this is a skill you can apply just about anywhere.
8. Develop Yourself Personally
Yes, a master’s can certainly help you to develop both professionally and academically. But it can add just as much value to your personal life.
Graduate courses are extremely autonomous. Therefore, when you navigate and eventually master these courses, you naturally develop self-motivation, confidence, and independence. And these are skills that can most definitely come in handy outside of the classroom and the office.
How We Can Help
In addition to highlighting the benefits of a master’s degree program, we offer a number of tips and the latest news for those who are interested in becoming clinical nurse leaders in the future.
Our goal? To encourage nurses to pursue master’s degrees in nursing and advance in their careers.
Take a peek here to find out more about how earning a master’s degree in nursing can benefit you on a professional, academic and personal level long in 2019 and beyond.