Published On: Wed, Oct 19th, 2016

Does a Masters Degree Make You More Employable?

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Many professionals studied hard and prepared for a career in their particular field by pursuing a degree. There are dozens of different fields of study to consider, with many opting for a standard, four-year bachelors degree. For others, the chance to pursue postgraduate education is an alluring option that provides some benefits. In an increasingly competitive economic climate, more people than ever before are wondering whether a masters degree can make a person more employable. Is there an easy answer to this question? Let’s delve into the facts and help explain what you can expect with a masters degree.

The Cold Hard Stats

The broader question as to whether a masters degree makes you more employable can be answered – simplistically – with a “yes”. The overall employment rate for those with postgraduate degrees tend to be a couple of points higher than those with two- or four-year degrees. Whether you pursue a masters through a local community college or through an institution like Concordia University online, this applies. It is not a huge difference, but for those seeking to maximize their employment potential and minimize the likelihood of dealing with long stretches of unemployment, there does appear to be inherent benefit in pursuing your masters. However, this is not a uniform answer and does not reflect the full story.

Broad Degrees Versus Specialist Degrees

Not all masters degrees are created equal. It is not that any masters degree doesn’t have inherent value. Some degrees just require a more specific focus and therefore limit the number of people who pursue them. A broader masters will in all likelihood be more common place, which can partially or completely negate your competitive advantage in the job market. If, however, you pursue a masters degree in a specialist field, then you do increase the likelihood of being hired by a specific employer. However, it is also worth noting that the more specific your degree, the fewer overall employment opportunities you’ll have from which to choose. In many respects, it is about trade-offs: reducing your potential selection of jobs but improving the likelihood of being hired for a specific job.

A Masters Provides Abstract Employment Benefits

A masters degree is not easy to earn. It requires additional skill and dedication – above and beyond what 90 percent of the population is willing to work for – and that can be a huge advantage in a job search. If you know how to emphasize your credentials and frame your degree in the proper context, then it can absolutely demonstrate wherewithal, capability and an ambitious streak. This will undoubtedly make you an asset to many employers, but in some cases, they may not view the differences between a bachelors and a masters as being significant. It becomes incumbent upon you during the interview process to sell your degree as something far more encompassing than it may appear on paper.

Overall, having a masters degree does in fact make you more employable. At the same time, it can also make you a better employee. If your masters degree has a specific focus, then the advantages of finding gainful employment do increase in a meaningful way. In other situations, it can vary depending on the job market, industry and your specific qualifications.