Can a Master’s Degree Recession-Proof Me?

Man at work with business section of newspaper, coffee, laptop, and calculator.

The economy is strong and expanding right now. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, national unemployment dropped to 3.9 percent for December 2018. But we all know that – at some point – what goes up, must come down. Eventually, the economy will cycle back into a recession. What does that mean for you? Should you take the plunge and invest time and money into a degree?

Nothing is guaranteed, but there are career fields that provide stability when the economy inevitably contracts. Here are some ideas to consider!

Mental Health Counselors

American society is shifting to focus on the importance of maintaining one’s mental health. Unfortunately, during recessions, there is an uptick in individuals seeking help for major mental health issues like depression. Circumstances that are easily glossed over when times are good are seemingly magnified when financial strain and economic stressors are present.

Marriage & Family Therapists

If I said that divorce rates spiked during the 2008-2011 recession, you would probably agree that assessment is true. Economic times are hard, tight finances cause marital strain, and stressors are emphasized by environmental circumstances. Makes sense, right? But it’s wrong.

A 2014 study showed that divorce rates actually decline during a recession. While stressors and hardship are very real during a recession and negatively affect marriages, they also represent a hurdle to actually following through with divorce. As long as couples remain married, there is an opportunity for them and their therapist to work to save their marriage.

Business – Budget Analyst

Who is most valuable to a company when finances are tight and the fat has to be trimmed? The budget analyst, of course. Having the wherewithal to evaluate spending and prepare effective, beneficial budgets solidifies your position at any business. Generally, budget analysts work for government agencies, universities and large, private corporations. As government and university finances become more scrutinized by the public, responsible budgeting comes to the forefront.

Business – International Focus

It might seem strange that someone working in international business has more stability in a recession, but it’s true. Companies are growing and placing operations overseas to increase market share and decrease costs. If you have the capabilities to conduct business internationally, you become a highly valuable asset.

While your credentials and education are important, it’s vital that you create and maintain professional relationships. Networking will make a world of difference in your career stability. Should you find yourself in a bind during a recession, you can rely on your network to help you in finding your feet again. And of course, you could be primed to help others in their time of need.

If you’re considering earning your graduate degree in counseling or business, jump in now while the economic outlook is rosy. Our advisors are available to speak with you about your career aspirations. If your goal is to find security and weather the storms that will arise, SNU is here to help you achieve those goals!

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