Is Getting a Master’s Degree Worth It?


There is not a one-size-fits-all answer to whether or not getting a master’s degree is worth the time and financial investment it takes to complete the credential. Cost, length of study, as well as purpose for study should all influence any decision when it comes to undertaking this higher degree. Depending on your circumstances, leaving school with a graduate degree in chirology and 120k in debt may not be the most prudent financial choice. While there are many programs which offer funding and employment, this will vary highly depending on the discipline and the institution. Graduate degrees can mean greater opportunities in the job marketplace with a broader range of income possibilities, but they don’t guarantee them. If you are asking yourself, “Is getting a master degree worth it?”, you may wish to weigh these things.

I chose my graduate program based upon the faculty. It was my first and only choice. I applied while I was teaching in Korea, which I suspect factored into why I was given a merit-based scholarship that covered effectively my entire tuition on top of an offer for employment. Looking back, had my graduate degree not been a financial net-positive for me, I’m not sure I would say it was worth it. Given it was what it was, I would not trade the experience. In addition to a terminal credential, I gained quite a number of soft skills which have served me well in my professional life. I suppose it is also worth noting that of my cohort of thirteen, only two people are still producing the art of their discipline in any faculty at all.

I did not get out of my MFA what I expected to get when I began the program. Friends of mine express similar sentiments about their own experience completing master’s degrees. When asked “Is getting a master degree worth it?” a political activist friend with an MSc in physics told me that he felt “master’s programs are where intelligent people go to become disillusioned about things they love,” but also that he discovered a career he loves outside of physics as a consequence of his program.

For those interested in MSc or MBA programs, the costs versus the benefits of completing a program may be much more clear-cut. Many programs can be completed in as quickly as a year and may open doorways in your career and sometimes even qualify a person for automatic salary boosts. Some employers even help to pay for higher degrees, and this financial aid can be the quickest route to a “yes” when asking oneself, “Is getting a master degree worth it?”

What many people may not consider: it is possible to complete higher education abroad. The appeal of international programs is not just the chance to study in faraway locations, but also, in many cases, the cost of education can be much less of a burden. However, be sure to thoroughly investigate unfamiliar programs and institutions to ensure that they have the proper accreditation and sufficient training for use in your field of choice.

In the event that you choose to study abroad in order to complete your graduate education, you will need to provide your schools of choice with your official transcripts and records of graduation for your prior courses of study. Sometimes schools are able to evaluate these documents without external help, and sometimes they may require you to complete a credential evaluation. At Scholaro, we are able to evaluate and convert academic credentials from any country for use anywhere in the world. Scholaro’s evaluation reports can help you on your academic journey. If you are unsure about whether or not your documents are recognized as credentials with comparable equivalence in another country, we offer a Preliminary Review with a customized consultation to help answer your questions regarding the process and our services. 

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