The widespread belief is that having a masters degree will instantly advance your career, earn you more money, and generally just make you a better person. The fact of the matter is that some careers do require a masters degree. If you want to be a doctor, you better put in the many years of studying it takes to know how to take care of people and their various medical conditions. In other job fields, a masters degree is not so necessary. Success can be attained in almost every field without a masters degree, and here’s why.
1. Real World Knowledge Trumps Classroom Knowledge
Learning stuff in a classroom isn’t the same as applying those concepts in the real world. The trick to really understanding something is going out and actually doing it. This means that there is going to be a learning curve with any new job, whether you have gotten a masters degree for that particular field or not. Every job has its unique aspects and quirks that you won’t learn about by listening to lectures, so why not dive right in and get real working experience. Having previous hands on experience with doing something makes you a much more valuable employee than somebody who has hypothetical knowledge from a classroom. The trick is making sure your knowledge and effort show through in your work. Being adaptable to different situations is another huge aspect of surviving the workday. If you can think on your feet and put in a good day’s work, there is no reason for you to get a masters degree.
2. Most Jobs Don’t Require masters Degrees
As stated previously, if you want to be a doctor, you should definitely go to school for your masters degree. However, it is a completely unnecessary move for achieving a high rank in most job fields. What can be more important than a masters degree in receiving a promotion is the quality of the work you do and the experience you have doing it. One job field that many people think requires a masters degree is the world of Fortune 500 companies. Common belief is that a masters degree is required to move up the ranks in that type of company. The fact is, the school you attended for your four year degree is far more important in this situation then whether or not you have a masters degree. Good grades along with a good four year degree from a top ranked school will get you the furthest, along with good old fashioned elbow grease. Once you get your foot in the door, it is the quality of your work that will move you up the ranks. A good entrepreneurial spirit will get you further in the world than any piece of paper.
3. There Are Other Ways to Learn
Some people want to get a masters degree just for the sake of knowledge. They collect degrees like other people collect trading cards. The thing is, you don’t need a masters degree to learn new things. As stated in the first point, the best way to learn something is to go out and do it. There are plenty of workshops and classes that can be taken without enrolling for a masters degree. There are also numerous books that can be bought or checked out from a library that cover all fields of knowledge. Just immersing yourself in something is another great way to learn and expand your horizons, all without needing a masters degree to do it.
4. Tuition is Expensive
Getting a masters degree is a very expensive path to take, especially if you plan on attending a good university. If the idea behind getting a masters degree is to use it to make more money, you should know that it might not work out that way. Enrolling in a masters degree program while you have a job means a lot of money from your current job is going towards tuition. Chances are you will need to take out some student loans. This means that you will already be in debt when you graduate, so you won’t be able to entirely enjoy any potential raises that might be received because of the newly earned masters degree, at least not for a while. That is an extreme example of course, but it is a very real reminder that a masters degree is not an instant ticket to wealth. Often times, it is better to just stay working and do your best to get a promotion and raise. This allows you to save up your money, and then when you do get that promotion or raise, you won’t be in debt. This process could be longer than getting a masters degree or shorter, but it allows you to maintain a cash cushion.
5. You Can Forge Your Own Path
Many people view the masters degree as the necessary step that they must take in order to be successful in life. The thing is, everybody is free to forge their own path. As corny as that sounds, it is the truth. The best way to get ahead is to find something that interests you and tackle it head on. Terms like thinking outside the box and being a go getter are used often, and are considered cliche. That doesn’t make them any less true.
A masters degree isn’t what will make or break you in life. Finding something that you are good at and pursuing it with vigor is what will get you ahead in life. Getting a masters degree is something that some people want to do, but now you know that it most likely isn’t something that you have to do.