Master’s degree: is it worth the bother?

By Anjali Chudasama

Time’s ticking and your degree’s coming to an end, but are you ready to leave education yet? The most important thought running through students’ heads is: “Am I ready to go into the big wide world? Am I mentally ready to conquer all obstacles? A master’s degree may look like a half-way house between undergraduate and work, is it right for you?

A lot of students, including myself are on edge, coming to terms that their degree is finishing, but is hitting the job market the next step?  With 957,000 16 to 24 -year-olds currently unemployed in the UK, the majority will feel shut out by an austere economic climate.

Masters-better-job-004Statistics show that more than 500,000 students each year decide to pursue further study such as a master’s.  The impulse behind such a huge decision comes from believing that a higher-level qualification will result in a better job. But does having an MA printed on your CV actually raise the chance of employment?

Emily Pollard, who went to further study after completing an undergraduate degree in Fashion, says: “Choosing to do a master’s in a different field has unquestionably opened up many gates in employment regarding opportunities that weren’t there before.”

It is said that having a master’s degree develops more superior abilities than a normal undergraduate qualification. For one thing, acquiring a master’s shows you have knowledge in a specific field of work, which no doubt looks good when applying for your future job.  However, getting the job you want is about more than just having a qualification. As one lecturer at Leicester University told me: “The real value of a master’s degree surely just depends on what you do with it.”

Steff Young, an MA literature student at the University of East Anglia says: “ Postgraduate study certainly builds on the skills acquired at undergraduate degree level: time management, self-discipline and working to deadlines.”

I believe it is another stage of maturity. You no longer need to feel like you are a minor in the classroom; you aren’t the student to the teacher. You feel like your much more respected. It helps you enter the workplace as a professional, rather than merely a graduate.

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