A good portion of the people reading this post is probably thinking about getting a masters degree. Let’s look at a quote from Henry Ford before we examine this possibility.
“If money is your hope for independence, you will never have it. The only real security that a man can have in this world is a reserve of knowledge, experience and ability.”
Based on Ford’s contribution to society, it’s safe to say that he knew what he was talking about. I believe this quote can be directly applied to higher education. For most disciplines outside of medicine and healthcare, experience would serve you better than earning a masters degree. After all, bosses want people who already know how to perform. You can save a lot of money by getting a foothold in an industry and firmly planting yourself. If what I’ve just said still has not deterred you from attaining another degree, there are two things to consider before taking out your student loan.
A) One amazing business idea could eclipse any help that a masters degree could give you. Since your climb up the career ladder will probably be met with at least 3 layoffs in your lifetime, why not start your own business earlier than later?
B) The most valuable part of a masters degree would be the business connections you form. You could get a better job even before graduation if you are the kind that likes to network.
Like I said before, those who are in medicine or healthcare don’t need to think hard about the issue of getting a masters degree. They should just go ahead and get it. Others who are in public school education, psychology, social work, journalism and history should bypass getting a masters degree altogether.
Those who want to study computer science, electrical engineering, information systems or economics may enjoy a substantial pay increase with a masters degree, but then again they may not. It’s really a gamble but if fact B speaks to anyone who wants to follow one these disciplines, then go for it. Also, if you’ve already landed a job and would like to heighten your credentials, you can’t go wrong getting your masters. As for career changers, you really need to take a hard look at fact B and know that if you graduate without getting a job, Career Builder or Monster probably won’t help you.
Although I have gotten a masters myself, I gravitate towards fact A because I am self employed and I didn’t need the sheep skin to be where I am today. In fact, had I just stuck with a bachelors I would have become self employed faster and saved myself a lot of money in student loans.
The Hard Reality
Can you believe that one of my regrets of getting a masters degree was being over qualified? This is a sobering truth that has barred me from a lot of opportunities over the years. One of my friends told me that the secretary in his company has 3 masters degrees and is more qualified on paper than anyone in his office. But in all likelihood, she will be sitting next to the entrance for a long time while her student loans remain unpaid.
I advise any of this blog’s readership to act like an eagle early on if that is what they are. Eagles fly alone and no one understands them. But if they build what they have been programmed to build, they will be 100 times more successful later in life without the burden of another student loan.