What are the Benefits to Earning a Masters Degree?
For most people, college stops after the bachelor’s degree. However, you may be able to pursue graduate education in your discipline, which involves more specialized knowledge in your field of study. Most master’s programs are two years long, but some may take three years. However, there’s nothing like being able to add the words “M.A” after your name! Here are some of the other benefits to getting this type of education, which can be done online or off:
Proof of Discipline
Earning a master’s degree is no easy matter. All master’s level classes are considered seminars, where you are expected to actively discuss the class topic, rather than sit and watch a lecture from a teacher. You will also be expected to formulate your own research that usually results in a paper being produced at the end of the semester or even several papers being completed throughout the course. At the end of classes, you are expected to either take a comprehensive exam (comps) or write a thesis; some make you do both. The end result is that this is a clear sign that you’re more disciplined than many, and not only is this personally gratifying, but it also tells employers in your field that you’re a top candidate for a job.
Understanding of Theory
The undergraduate end of your chosen field is seen as giving you the product of knowledge. That is, you’re consuming knowledge made by others. In the graduate level, you’re trained in producing knowledge through theory. Ultimately, you can develop theories that could shake the way people think about your discipline. This could lead to published work, as either papers in a journal, or in a book. You have the chance to shape your industry in a profound way if you earn an advanced degree.
One side benefit of having a master’s degree is that you are given enough knowledge to be able to teach undergraduate courses. You may be given training as a teaching assistant as part of your own lower-division course, but a master’s degree lets you teach upper-division classes in your field as well. However, you can only hold a full-time job at a community college; only a Ph.D may get a tenure-track job at a university. In any case, your advanced education allows more jobs to open for you, especially in the teaching field.