Why going back to school will give you more than just a salary bump
If the undergraduate degree is all about exploration, the graduate degree is undoubtedly about definition. By now you’ve seen a bit of the world and have a better idea of what you want your place in it to be. While some people fall into their careers effortlessly after their undergraduate degrees, it’s becoming more and more necessary in industries ranging from business to counseling to upgrade skills through further study. While this can be done with independent study (there are after all countless online courses offered through companies like Coursera, Lynda.com, and even youtube) for many professions, nothing really signals true competency to employers and potential clients than a Master’s degree.
But why on earth would you want to go back to school? Well for one, the specialization acquired in Master’s level study usually equates to more pay. However, if the promise of more pay alone is not enough to push you to commit another two years of life to study, you might want to consider some non-monetary benefits of completing graduate level academic work.
Study what you love
Sure, you had an elaborate send-off party for your last undergraduate paper, but did your major really reflect your true passions? Most people have a “get‘er done” approach to their BA degrees. If you no longer see the relevance of your BA degree, or you just want to dive deeper into your chosen area of study, a graduate degree can give you permission to indulge your intellectual curiosity. Whether you’re thinking of diving deeper into a particular area of study or of switching professions entirely, taking time to study a subject that you’re deeply invested in will put you steps closer to fulfilling whatever it is you’ve been dreaming of doing. An added bonus is that you’ll be surrounded by peers with shared interests and professors committed to helping make your dreams come true.
A graduate degree can give you permission to indulge your intellectual curiosity
Another benefit of going back to school is to sharpen your skills and open yourself up to more and greater opportunities. They say the MA is the new BA, and in an ever-uncertain job market where jobs are being replaced with machines, this couldn’t be truer. In some careers a Master’s degree is absolutely necessary, in others its gives you a definite edge. Regardless, MA’s provide essential skill training for a host of career paths. Furthering your studies won’t guarantee success, but it will open doors and provide that extra bit of insurance in an uncertain job market.
Bring meaning to the marketplace
Since we spend so many hours of the week working, our jobs should serve a greater purpose. If you’re unsure about what your true purpose is, you might consider pursuing a graduate degree at a Christian university. There is great value in being surrounded by faculty, alumni, and fellow students with shared beliefs and shared values. You never know what kind of world-changing ideas can spring forth when two or three are gathered. Professors at faith-based institutions can also help you work through ethical dilemmas. Will you know how to navigate your profession when your morals are tested? Faculty and fellow students with shared faith can offer wisdom and strength so that you’ll be fully capable of making those crucial decisions when the time comes. In summary, learning to integrate your values with your career and life will enable you to help people and make a positive difference in your community.
For many Christians, it can be easy to feel utterly overwhelmed in this survival of the most skilled rat race we now call life. Answering the call to the marketplace doesn’t mean forsaking the call to minister and live like Jesus. In fact, being well equipped with real world skills allows you to reach the unreachable through actions. Although you may not be able to verbally minister the gospel, you can powerfully share your faith by being a working example of Christ’s love. And how will you do that? The answer is simple: strive to be the best you through Christ. You’ll soon uncover your special calling, the reason you were fearfully and wonderfully made.
Written by Shara Lee, Marketing & Communications at Trinity Western University
TWU offers 19 Master’s degree programs with flexible full time, part-time, and online options for working adults. Curious about how you can make a Master’s degree fit into your life? Shoot us an email at [email protected] and we’ll answer any questions about admissions, finances, or work/study balance.