A Master’s is an advanced professional degree awarded at the postgraduate level. Unlike a Bachelor’s degree, earning a Master’s takes, on average, two years. But due to the complexity of such programs and, of course, the high cost of education, just a few decades ago, not so many students were considering continuing their education to a Master’s degree.
These days the situation is somewhat different. According to statistics, the number of awarded MA degrees has grown significantly over the last 70-some years. For example, in the 1950 academic year, the number of students who earned an MA degree was 16,980 among females and 41,220 among males. In the 2021 academic year, the same indicator for female students has risen to 542,000 and 334,000 for male students. On top of that, as many as 27% of employers now demand an MA diploma for jobs in which BA degrees were historically prevalent.
These numbers can make you feel like acquiring a Master’s degree in today’s world is no longer an option but a necessity. But is it really worth the effort? In this article, an expert writer from a trusted write me an essay service for college students will tell us about the key pros and cons of going for an MA.
Pro: Better Career Outlook
The biggest benefit of acquiring an MA degree is that it looks great on a resume. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in jobs that demand MA is expected to grow by around 17% between 2016 and 2026. This is the fastest growth rate among all academic levels. Thus, if you continue your education, your chances of employment will be much higher.
On top of that, a postgraduate level of education is also required for the majority of job advancement opportunities. As a result, many employed professionals continue their studies after five or more years in the labor market just to climb the career ladder further.
Con: Intense Workload
The biggest con of earning a Master’s is the complexity of such programs. Compared to Bachelor-level studies, MA programs are much more difficult and imply a more intense workload. Often, this is what holds students back from continuing their studies.
But the good news is that the workload varies a lot depending on what you are studying. Besides, there are many helpful paper writing services like EssayService that help students reduce their academic load. So, going for an MA doesn’t necessarily mean it will be a major struggle.
Pro: Higher Earning Potential
Your future earnings depend on a number of different factors, including your specialty, location, and years of experience. But one of the biggest things affecting your income is the degree you hold. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, higher academic degrees typically imply higher annual salaries.
The average pay for a BA degree holder is $64,896, with an unemployment rate of 2.2%. The average earning of those with an MA degree is $77,844, which is more than $10K more than that of BA holders. And the unemployment rate for such specialists is also lower – 2%.
Con: Higher Education Cost
There is no secret that education is expensive these days. According to Education Data, in 2021, US students in 4-year BA programs graduated with an average debt of $28,800. Studies show that it takes around 20 years on average to pay off your student loan. Now, as you can easily guess, continuing your studies to a postgraduate level will ultimately mean adding up to your debt.
The average cost of an MA degree is between $30,000-$40,000 for typical public or private schools and over $100,000 for more high-end, prestigious schools. Paying more for your education can increase your debt and the time needed to pay it off.
Pro: Specialist Knowledge
The reason why employers are actively seeking MA degree holders and are willing to pay them more is that Master’s programs are known to provide very specific and detailed knowledge. If you go for it, you can improve your industry expertise and credibility. Respectively, you will gain a significant competitive advantage in your field.
At the same time, a Master’s program also builds more sophisticated skills and encourages lifelong learning. So, this is one more reason to consider this opportunity.
Con: More Time in School
Finally, the last drawback of going for an MA diploma is that this way, you spend even more time in school. As was mentioned earlier, such programs will add two more years in school, which means that, in total, you will have to spend nearly six years of your life gaining higher education.
According to reports, the biggest share of MA students studies full-time due to an intense workload. That is, if you continue your education, you will likely not be able to start building your career or making money for a living before you complete the program.
The Bottom Line
So, are MA degrees worth the struggle? As you can see, earning such degrees has pros and cons. Therefore the answer to this question eventually gets down to every student’s unique needs and goals.
Carefully consider all the advantages and disadvantages to make the right decision for yourself. Take enough time to decide!
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