The Appeal of Graduate Degrees


Today’s grim job market requires job seekers to get an advanced degree to improve their chances of landing and keeping a higher paying job. A high school or college diploma no longer guarantees employment in an ever-increasingly competitive world. Many professions demand that individuals obtain graduate degrees as a prerequisite to employment, while others require them for job advancement.

Advanced degrees do not guarantee higher income or job security, but the average graduate student earns a higher income over time than an individual with only an undergraduate degree. Graduate degrees do help expand career horizons as well as potentially increasing salaries. Many businesses prefer applicants who hold a graduate degree, because of their advanced knowledge and skills.

Many professional jobs are limited to people with graduate degrees. It is imperative for those interested in a career in law, medicine, education or business administration to hold an advanced degree. While some colleges and universities employ some adjunct faculty members, most only hire those with doctoral degrees. Community colleges require a minimum of a Master’s Degree for all faculty members.

There are many valid reasons for pursuing a graduate degree including monetary, tangible benefits, but gaining a higher level of knowledge motivates many. The pursuit of knowledge drives some to continue their education. Gaining intimate knowledge of a specialized topic and enhancing their credentials are among the reasons given for focusing on earning graduate degrees.

Obtaining a graduate degree is much easier now than in the past. Many schools design masters and some doctoral programs with the working student in mind by providing classes on a part-time basis. Distance learning and online classes are more readily available to help students who may live too far from a university to commute. There are still many graduate programs, however, that require full-time study, especially in research fields.

Students usually pursue advanced graduate degrees in the same subject of their undergraduate degree, but that is not always the case. Those wishing to make a career change may find it necessary to seek a graduate degree in another field. Some people employed in a particular occupation may wish to enhance their earnings and advance to another level in their present job by obtaining a graduate degree. Graduate degrees open doors previously closed to some