7 benefits of studying a masters degree

Posted 19 June 2020
Students talking to a professor on campus

When you graduate with your Bachelors degree, it is the result of years of hard work, a lot of reading and applying yourself to your studies. You should be proud of yourself, you did it! But what happens next?

It can be tempting to immediately join the workforce to start earning money and gaining experience, but this is only one of your options. You also have the opportunity to continue your studies with a Masters degree and enhance your career options further.

You may have already started work and are looking for a promotion or to change your area of focus. There are many reasons to choose a Masters degree, here are seven reasons why this might be the right choice for you:

Benefits of a Masters degree

Career prospects

Many people choose to study a Masters after working for a few years and discovering what they enjoy most or how they would like to progress their careers. A Masters degree is a great way to take your CV to the next level, as well as your career. With a Masters, you can apply for more senior positions and show your expertise compared to other candidates without a Masters.

Specialist knowledge

A Masters degree specialises in a field of study within the subject you studied at undergraduate level. There are two types of Masters degree. Taught Masters are similar in structure to an undergraduate degree but to a more advanced level, you will attend lectures and seminars, working towards your dissertation. A research Masters allows you to work on a topic independently and further your chosen field of study to produce a paper for publishing. Both options will develop your ideas and teach you different skills in academia which you can apply in your future career.

Networking

During your undergraduate degree you met people who may have become friends for life, and this started your professional network, even without realising it. As a Masters student, both you and your new friends are focusing on similar or related fields and moving to the next level in your careers. Building your network is an important part of studying and working, and having the opportunity to meet new people and reinvigorate these relationships will be very useful, and fun!

Students together during an event

Personal development

A key difference between your undergraduate degree and a Masters is the level of independent study. You will be expected to have autonomy over your learning and spend time researching ideas that you have not been specifically asked to. Along with this, you will gain the necessary skills for your personal development, like motivation, independence and time management. You will also build your confidence in sharing your ideas, meeting new people and presenting to a group, which are all helpful in your personal and professional life.

Earn more money

A question you will ask when deciding your next step is: is a Masters degree worth it? Further study is not cheap, but it is an investment. Research has shown that people with a Masters degree earn more than those with a Bachelors degree: full-time employed, working-age postgraduates had a median salary of £42,000 compared with £34,000 for working-age undergraduates (Graduate labour market statistics 2019). Not only that but as an expert in your field, you are likely to find work that suits your interests.

Get smarter - prepare for a PhD

Not everyone wants to work for a private company, or any company. You may be considering continuing in academia and going on to study for a PhD. A doctorate will make you a leading expert in your field, and allow you to continue your research in highly specialised topics. A Masters degree is necessary to continue to this level as it develops your independent research skills and knowledge ready for the highest achievement in academia. A PhD can take anything between 3 and 6 years to complete, and will likely include some teaching work as you educate others with your expertise.

Academic recognition

Far fewer people attain a Masters degree than a Bachelors. It signifies a commitment to learning and development that employers recognise as a benefit to their company. Key skills that are valuable in most professions can be developed at this level of study, like problem solving and analysis, so your studies will benefit more than just yourself.

Students working together in class

Why study a Masters degree in the UK?

You can study a Masters at most universities around the world but it is important to consider which country offers you the best opportunities. One of the advantages of a Masters degree in the UK is that you will gain a globally recognised degree from a world-class university. Additionally, if English is not your first language, then studying in the UK gives you the opportunity to improve your language skills while you work alongside experts in their field. This means you will not only learn standard English but also the terms relevant to your field of interest so when you come to present your ideas on a world stage, you will have the insight and communication skills to discuss with world-leading academics and enhance your career opportunities.

Studying a UK Masters degree as an international student

If you are planning on studying abroad, you may need to take a Pre-Masters Programme before starting your degree studies. These courses introduce you to life in the UK, improve your English language skills and include academic courses related to your field of study too. At Kingston University London, you can choose to study a Pre-Masters and Masters in Business and Management with Academic IELTS for UKVI 5.5 (in all skills) or equivalent.

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