Getting a master’s degree is a big decision that should be held with high regard and approached with caution. The problem, however, is that this process is sometimes embarked with so much caution that students tend to postpone the process.
Whether it’s the application process, the desire to take a year off, the hope of entering the work field, fear, or pure laziness, several students decide to wait to enroll in graduate school. However, there are several reasons that students should not wait to attend graduate school:
1. You Might Lose Motivation to Return
Although many students have the intention to return to school after graduating from college, some decide to take a short break—whether it is for mental health, stress relief, financial reasons, or any other reason. There is nothing wrong with needing a break; the problem lies in the fact that many students who decide to take a year off never return to school!
The Bureau of Labor Statistics advises, “Postponing school or work takes people off of a more traditional path, and it’s sometimes challenging to get back on. If not carefully planned, a gap year might seem too unstructured, and people can become frustrated if they feel that they aren’t putting their time to good use” (Torpey). Regardless of their initial motivation and intention, a number of individuals lose the willpower to return after getting a taste of the real world.
Think of someone you know who graduated with a bachelor’s degree only to remain at the restaurant or retail position he/she had during college. Most have seen it happen; unfortunately, it is easy for this individual to feel stuck, leaving him/her unmotivated to take the steps toward learning again!
2. Your Loan Payments Will Go on Hold
A benefit to going to graduate school immediately after undergrad is that these students continuing their education do not have to pay their loans while in school.
On the contrary, students who do not continue their education must begin paying their undergrad federal student loans six months after graduation. It is important to remember that loans wait for no one—even in the midst of a recession and a tough job market, loans still demand payment.
Remember though, students who have been out of school for over six months need not fear. Once an individual enrolls back in school, his/her federal loans will once again be put on hold. Do not forget to inform your loan company that you are attending classes!
Continuing education should never serve as a tactic to dodge loan payments, but it is a great way to put them on pause until after one has gained further education.
If finances are still an issue, consider applying for scholarships, and apply to work for companies that provide tuition assistance! For example, FNU offers tuition scholarships to all employees, which helps to assist with financial needs. FNU also offers tuition scholarships to government employees, medical professionals, and those studying certain programs, such as Radiology Technology. See the University Catalog for other scholarship opportunities!
3. You Can Earn a Higher Salary, Sooner
It is no secret: those who specialize in a subject by obtaining their master’s degree tend to earn more. The time and money spent learning an expertise is repaid—literally.
Students who intend to earn a master’s degree, but first decide to enter the workforce are losing valuable time. Why waste time getting paid less? Once graduate school is completed, students and young professionals will have the opportunity to make more.
One may find themselves wondering typically how much more they can earn. Fox Business reports that those who hold a master’s degree can earn about 30% more than those with a bachelor’s. This means that once graduate students are done with their master’s, they have a higher chance of being hired—before they need to begin paying the loans that were on hold after undergrad.
4. Those With a Master’s Choose From a Better Job Pool
Students who attain a master’s degree have a larger job pool from which to choose, and they tend to stand out among potential professionals with a bachelor’s degree.
Picture this scenario; the hiring manager for a professional office is offered the option of hiring:
- Candidate A, who holds a bachelor’s degree related to the company’s needs, 4 year’s of experience working in retail, several volunteer hours at a local homeless shelter, and a GPA of 3.6
- Candidate B, who recently earned a master’s degree slightly less related to the company’s needs (but still relevant), has related internship experience gained during a program in graduate school, and a GPA of 3.4.
Who would you hire? If you would hire Candidate B, you are not alone; time after time, Candidate B will be hired. Fox business notes that the unemployment rate for master’s degree-holders is approximately 3.6%, and for those with undergraduate degrees, it is about 4.9%.
According to US News, “Once a person has experience, the master’s degree will open more doors than a bachelor’s” (Olson). Their internship experience gives them a more compelling resume, as does their master’s degree.
Candidate B’s commitment to effectively learning the skills needed for the workplace paired with their hands on experience earned during their internship has set them up to be a better candidate for a number of positions in the industry.
5. A Master’s Degrees Can Help You Move Up in a Current Career
Not only do those with master’s degree have a higher chance of landing a position, but they also have greater opportunity to move up once they have a job. All in all, holding a master’s degree sets one up for greater potential in the workforce.
FNU: Helping You Move Forward
The decision to earn a master’s degree considers many factors; we suggest planning ahead. It is highly beneficial to move forward and enroll in a master’s program immediately after graduating from college.
Anyone deciding whether or not to apply to one of our graduate programs should review our programs; if you are interested in enrolling in our Master in Business Administration (MBA) program, or our Master in Health Services Administration (HSA) program, don’t procrastinate—apply today!
Olson, Lindsay. “Is It Worth It to Get a Master’s Degree? – US News.” US News Money. US News & World Report, 18 July 2013. Web. 29 Aug. 2014.
Torpey, Elka Maria. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Gap Year: Time Off with a Plan. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Fall 2009. Web. 26 Aug. 2014.