Is Pursuing a Master’s Degree Worth it for Me?

By: Tyler Rock

At what point is going to graduate school worth it for a Communications major? If you are asking yourself this question as graduation looms in your near future, know that you aren’t alone.

In most cases, people will say that you can never have too much education. Workingtowards a master’s degree is something that requires time, money, and some sacrificeaccording to Kerry O’Grady, a Professor of Public Relations and Corporate Communication at the New York University. The following are five reasons to consider when deciding whether to pursue, or wait to continue your education.

Undergraduate Students Kaitlin Bigham and Alexandra Williamson pose with Big Red at a Graduate School informational session (Photographed by Tyler Rock)

The Right Reasons

  1. If you’re currently working for a company that will pay for you to go get your master’s degree, take advantage of that. If it makes sense for you, and is manageable with your current position and lifestyle, it’d be a waste to not add some extra education to your resume! Think about it; why pay for your master’s degree out of pocket if you do not need to?
  2. If you do not currently have an extensive background in public relations but you want to enter this field, entering a graduate program specializing in this will only benefit you! It will encourage you to transfer your existing skills, while gaining new ones. According to the Graduate Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, noted transferable skills you pick up during your grad program can range from analyzing data, providing and defending an argument, as well as gaining proficiency in software programs. 

The Wrong Reasons

  1. If you are looking for a raise, getting your master’s isn’t necessarily going to ensure you earn more money. According to an article from the Scholars of Harvard, an article titled, The Pros and Cons of Graduate School, states that, “the lost real world experience and compensation can be immense,” meaning that while holding a master’s is impressive, some employers prefer a growing resume than an extra degree.
  2. If you are simply bored, in a slow-moment of life, do not pursue a master’s degree to fill the time. In that same regard, do not choose the grad life to put off, “real world,” responsibilities. We all have to face life at some point, and adding up extra debt and stress from grad school isn’t going to help your transition from school to the workplace
  3. If you simply want to learn more about the field, pursuing the grad life track isn’t necessarily the only way to achieve your desire for learning. Joining professional organizations, attending conferences, and doing your own research on the content that drives your interest can all satisfy your curiosity. Do not limit the aspect of learning to four walls in a classroom!

Regardless of where you are in your academic journey, it doesn’t hurt to think ahead on whether or not attending graduate school is something you want to consider. Stay focused on your goals, talk to your professors, and take time to think about what is the best decision for you. 

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