Going back or continuing in school to earn a postgraduate degree provides you with an in-depth learning experience and the opportunity to approach the job market with complete confidence and a competitive edge. In this article, Ron Cardenas, MBA, a Vice President of Human Resources in Omaha, Nebraska, examines the top reasons to seek a master’s degree.
Advance Your Current Career
In a highly competitive field, having a master’s degree can make or break your chances of advancing your career. When pursuing that perfect position, you will want to do everything you can to stand out from the sea of other applicants. Having a master’s degree in a related field of study can be just what’s needed.
For some high-level management and senior technical positions having a master’s degree is a requirement for the job. Other times having a master’s degree can substitute for up to five years of required work experience. And, of course, all other things being equal, a candidate with a master’s degree in a related field will often get chosen over those with only a bachelor’s degree.
Prepare for Graduate Study at the Doctoral Level
You may have your sights set on a Ph.D., and if you do, a master’s degree is the next step after your bachelor’s degree. That intermediary step is valuable, especially if you want to work during your doctorate program.
It will not be easy, and not all programs even allow it, but for some, the only way to make earning a Ph.D. feasible is to work full or part-time while they earn their doctorate. If you go that route, it could easily be the most challenging yet rewarding period of your career.
Strengthen Business Acumen, Regardless Chosen Professional Field
Some students are unsure what direction they want their career to take following their undergraduate years. It can be very beneficial to pursue a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree that is a good complement for most undergraduate degrees and an excellent foundation for a professional in any business. This strategy enables the professional to be a partner to the company, despite their area of discipline.
If, for example, you earn a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering but later decide you want to lead an engineering group and consult the executive team, pursuing an MBA would make perfect sense. In that sense, a master’s degree is often seen as a postgraduate finishing school, and earning one indicates that you have a well-defined area of focus while understanding the financial aspects of the business.
Whether you want to advance in your current career path, start in a new direction, or are on your way to a Ph.D., a master’s degree can be critical to your success. It will signify that you are serious about your chosen field, love to learn, and have the discipline employers want.
Not everyone’s life circumstances will allow for postgraduate studies. Still, if you have the means to do so, it’s hard to imagine that pursuing a master’s degree is a decision you will ever regret.
About Ron Cardenas
Currently based in Omaha, Nebraska, Ron Cardenas is a versatile Human Resources professional with over 30 years of domestic and international experience. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Colorado State University and an MBA from Regis University in Denver, Colorado. Cardenas currently serves as the Vice President of Human Resources at an agriculture holdings company.