Two Degrees or One?

That is the question. Part of the career search process is deciding what you want to do before you go job hunting. The whole point of getting a degree is to start a career, but some jobs require more than a bachelor’s degree to get there. If you’re in college, especially a senior, no doubt a friend or relative has asked “Are you going to get your masters?” When I hear this question, I am immediately filled with some anxiety because I’m not exactly sure, but at this point, if I can make it work I want to get my masters.

According to the U.S. Census, from 2002 to 2012 the percentage of people that obtained their master’s degrees went up by 43 percent (with the number of women outweighing men.) But I have to always ask myself, as a journalism major, would it be useful? Do I really want to take the extra step down the line to get my Ph.D. and maybe teach later? Do I really want to dig myself deeper into my student loan debt hole? Will I regret it later if I don’t get a master’s degree? So, after doing some major finger exercises Googling the pros and cons of getting a master’s degree, here are my findings.

It’s a personal and professional choice – unique to every student

Food for thought before making the BIG decision:

  • Today more than ever- it’s a skills based, experienced-based workplace.  Go get hands-on experience and confirm to confirm this is the field you want to work in before investing significant amounts of time and money pursuing an advanced degree in the same career area
  • Research your field of study including a review of job descriptions to find out if a masters degree is required to actually ENTER the job market.  Occupational therapy, speech and hearing, and others majors DO require master degrees for entry- level job placement.  Ideally, you want to know this before your junior and senior year so you can plan your finances to pay for it.
  • Begin taking classes on-line – there’s never been more variety and the quality and acceptance by universities and employers alike continues to increase.  Because college student debt stands at a record high of $32.5K, tread carefully before taking on more debt.
  • Check out Certificate programs – these can fuel your passion for learning and provide the opportunity to build new skills while reducing $ and time commitments
  • Research, research, research

Cost vs. Benefit:

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