The importance of a Master degree is a popular debate and one that is becoming more important as the global economy becomes increasingly competitive. Rick Joseph, Provost of Hult International Business School shares his thoughts on ‘The Importance of a Master Degree’.
1. In your opinion, why is it important for students to undertake a Masters degree?
A Master degree allows you to specialize in an area about which you are passionate. It is regarded as a quintessential career booster—opening a wider array of career opportunities, providing graduates with a much-needed competitive edge when they apply for a position; perhaps most importantly giving graduates leverage in salary negotiations (according to a QS International Recruiter Survey, an annual survey of 498 international employers, there is on average a 71% disparity in salary between an employee with an undergraduate degree and one with a postgraduate degree).*
In the current economic climate and the reality that thousands of university graduates swell the job market every year, a Master degree can mean the difference between an offer and a rejection. As the job market becomes increasingly competitive, a Master degree has effectively supplanted the Bachelor’s degree as essential.
2. Should students enter their Master degree immediately after their undergraduate degree?
This is a personal decision and there is no definitive answer. Many choose to pursue a Master’s degree after completion of their undergraduate course of study. They have already developed good study habits and have few employment obligations. Additionally, as some occupations require an advanced degree even for ‘entry-level’ positions, students prefer to pursue a postgraduate degree immediately after earning their Bachelor’s degree. Others prefer to work a few years before obtaining their Master’s degree either to improve their financial position or to gain field experience before furthering their studies.
3. What factors should you consider in choosing a Master degree program?
To make sure the program is the “right fit” for you, there are several factors you should consider, including
- Specialization:The area of specialization will ultimately depend on your interests. You might also take into account job market conditions. Some specialty areas will experience growth, while others might contract.
- The People: How many international students are likely to attend the school? Where are the school’s alumni working now?
- The Faculty:You may earn your degree from a “university,” but you get your education from your professors. What are their backgrounds and expertise? Have they had real-life experience?
- The location: Do you want to study abroad? Is there a region more favourable or suitable for what you want to study?
- The cost and financial aid availability: Is the school willing to work with you to help you finance your degree?