It’s not difficult to get a job, but getting the job you want is a different story. If you’re like most people, you have a job or career path in mind – one that’s in a field that interests you and that will provide good compensation. That means, the higher the pay, the more glamorous, fun or interesting the field, the more competitive the jobs in that field will be. In many jobs, there are also requirements to enter the field – degree or certificate completion, industry-related experience or specific skills.
If the job title you have your eye on is highly competitive, such as a Creative Manager, Information Technology (IT) Manager or other management-level jobs, you need to do more than have the standard education and experience required. When a hiring manager is faced with two candidates with similar job and life experiences, the higher degree level will prove more desirable, particularly if an organization wants employees who will also be leaders.
A master’s degree is one pathway that can make you an attractive candidate for in-demand jobs, higher pay and security from job loss. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), individuals with a graduate degree have a lower unemployment rate and median earnings compared with those with a bachelor’s degree.
Here are five ways a master’s degree can help you, not only earn more, but also qualify for the career that you want:
- You’ll obtain a specialized, higher-level education. Master’s coursework is discipline-specific and helps sharpen key management-level skills such as critical and analytical thinking. The combined knowledge of soft and direct skills transfers into most career paths – particularly those with managerial responsibilities.
- Advances in technology and science mean that jobs in the U.S. will require higher academic credentials. According to Georgetown University’s Recovery, of the 165 million jobs that will be part of the U.S. economy in 2020, 11 percent of jobs will require a minimum of a master’s degree. However, less than 11 percent of Americans have earned a master’s degree, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
- Master’s degree attainment demonstrates stamina, intellectual aptitude and the ability to establish a big goal and achieve it while under stressful situations. As an adult student, you have more than just school responsibilities to handle. The ability to get things done while juggling other responsibilities shows leadership and persistence in achieving a goal.
- Your credibility as an expert will increase. Not only are employers more apt to trust your abilities, so will peers and coworkers. This allows you to be a source of knowledge and leadership in the company you work in, and within your department.
- You’ll experience an increase in your sense of accomplishment and confidence. When you’re up for a prized position in an organization that everyone wants to work for, you’ll need every advantage. Explaining to the CEO how your master’s degree will only help your chances.
If you want to improve your job and career prospects through a master’s degree, look to Southern Nazarene University’s online graduate programs in business, counseling and more. Along with the flexibility of online learning, the master’s degree programs are designed for working adults, so you can attend classes one night a week and earn your degree on a schedule that works for you.