Is a Master's Degree Worth It?

At DeVry, we think a master's degree is absolutely worth it if you’re looking to advance your education and pursue higher-level job positions.

Of course, worth is a relative term. What has worth or is worthwhile for one person might not necessarily be for another. But when people say that a master's degree is worth it, they usually mean that the benefit of having one outweighs the effort it takes to earn one.

In this article, we'll take a look at some of the benefits of earning a master's degree in the following sections:

Like any important pursuit, earning a master’s degree takes time and effort. By examining these factors you'll be on your way to determining if a master's degree is worth it for you.

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What the Statistics Say

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), people who hold a graduate degree, such as a master's degree, typically make more money and experience lower unemployment rates than those with a lower level of education.

While these statistics do not guarantee that if you hold a master's degree you will always earn more than someone with a lower level of education or will never lose your job, the data does suggest a positive relationship between your level of education and your potential salary.

Can a Master's Degree Help Me Earn More?

According to the BLS, the median weekly earnings of someone with a master's degree is about 18.4% higher than the wages of someone with only a bachelor's degree.

It's important to note that earning a master's degree is not a guarantee that you will earn a certain amount of money. Higher education can increase the chance of earning a better wage, but there are countless other contributing factors that can influence your wages such as where you live, the industry in which you work, your previous job experience and more.

How Long Does It Take to Earn a Master's Degree?

How long it takes to earn a master's degree can vary greatly from program to program and even from school to school.

Typically, each master's degree program has its own minimum credit requirements that you need to meet in order to graduate. At DeVry, the credit requirement for a master's degree program can vary, but typically hover around 13 courses usually 3 credit hours per course.

In terms of time, master’s programs can take about two years to finish if you attend on a full-time schedule*. Though if you choose to earn your master's degree on a part-time schedule, it may take more time to earn your degree.

Does Earning a Master's Degree Increase Your Chances of Finding a Job?

It’s important to remember that finding a job comes down to more than just your education. While having a master’s degree may help you meet the job requirements, there are lots of other factors that employers take into account when making hiring decisions. Here are just a few questions they might consider:

  • Do you fit well within the company's culture?
  • How well did you perform in the interview?
  • What is your previous work experience?
  • Do you have any unique skills that are highly relevant to the role?
  • What is your management or leadership potential?

A master's degree may help increase the types of jobs you’re able to apply for, and the level of those jobs. Some jobs require you to have a master's degree in order to be considered a viable candidate while others may simply say having one is preferred. Either way, having a higher level of education is often seen as a positive to employers.

Are There Any Disadvantages to a Master's Degree?

We believe that it's always worth it to expand your knowledge and build your skills, and that a master's degree is a great way to do that. To determine whether a specific master's degree program is a great idea for you, take a look at your goals.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself to if you’re thinking about earning your master's degree:

  • Does the curriculum of the master's degree program align with the skills I want to learn?
  • Does this program touch on skills that are important to my desired career field?
  • Does the program offer the flexibility I need to meet my obligations while working toward my goals?
  • Do the classes help prepare me to pursue a career that meets my personal interests and goals?

Earn Your Master's Degree from DeVry

Thinking about continuing your education? We offer online master's degree programs in technology, business, accounting and healthcare so you can attend school on your schedule, working around commitments like work and family. Classes are offered on an 8-week schedule, so you don’t have to wait to get started.