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Top 3 Reasons to Pursue Your Graduate Degree

Top 3 Reasons to Pursue Your Graduate Degree

Earning an undergraduate degree is a huge accomplishment. It sets you apart in the workforce and helps you earn the skills you need to succeed as a professional in your field. However, you might be wondering how you can further distinguish yourself in the workforce. If so, you might want to consider pursuing a graduate degree.

As always, returning to school is a commitment, both in time and in money. But pursuing a graduate degree can be very rewarding. It can help you grow personally and professionally. A graduate degree is also another personal milestone and can help set you up for future success. Here are the top three reasons to pursue your graduate degree:

1. Gain Knowledge and Build Credibility

A graduate degree can help distinguish you for your expertise. When you return to school at a graduate level, that means you are approaching your studies with a new level of depth as compared to when you earned your undergraduate degree. Professors expect a higher standard of work, but that also means that you have more freedom to pick an emphasis that you care about and become an expert in that area. This often makes your coursework more exciting because it focuses on something that you are really interested in. It also adds to your credibility when applying for jobs or seeking a promotion.

2. Better Networking Options

Graduate programs are generally filled with like-minded individuals; that is, people who are passionate about their work and what it is they are studying. This makes it an excellent opportunity to develop professional relationships and build your professional network. Many of your professors will also be experts in the industry. They can act as mentors and advise you on the next steps in your career.

3. Advance Your Earning Potential

With increased education, also comes an increased earning potential. Not only will you be more eligible for higher level and more specialized roles, but on average, individuals with a graduate degree or higher earn 21.1% more than those with only an undergraduate degree.1 The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics also indicates that there is a slightly lower unemployment rate for graduates with a Master’s degree than with a Bachelor’s degree (2.2% v. 2.0%).2 This shows that employers are willing to hire and pay more for individuals who have put in the time and effort in earning their advanced degree. Your commitment to your education not only signifies your accomplishment, but it also shows your ambition, work ethic, and sense of initiative.

Master’s Degree or Doctoral Degree?

Once you’ve decided to return for a graduate degree, you can choose either a master’s degree or a doctoral degree. Here are few key differences between the two degree levels.

Depth v. Breadth of Study

Time to Completion

Course Work

Ultimately, the decision between a master’s degree and a doctoral degree depends on your career and personal goals. While both options can lead to higher potential salaries and better career prospects, they do have different outcomes. Since a master’s degree is typically less specialized, there might be more general applications and more transferable skills. However, a doctoral degree might open more pathways for leadership opportunities and unique specializations.

If you are considering returning to school for your graduate degree, we’d love to help! Feel free to browse our programs here or complete a Request for Information Form and someone from our advising team will be in touch with you soon.


Works Cited

  1. National Center for Education Statistics. (2023). Annual Earnings by Educational Attainment. Condition of Education. U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences. https://nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/indicator/cba.
  2. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2023). Earnings and unemployment rates by educational attainment, 2023. https://www.bls.gov/emp/chart-unemployment-earnings-education.htm.

Published May 27, 2024