Career Advice

10 reasons to do a master’s degree right after graduation

When you are nearing the completion of your bachelor’s degree, you have to make an important decision: Enter the workforce or immediately continue with a master’s degree? There are 10 good reasons to do a master’s degree right after graduation.

You want to broaden or specialise your knowledge

A bachelor’s degree provides you with a good foundation of knowledge. However, many bachelor’s graduates don’t feel fully equipped to enter the workforce yet.

These graduates tend to fall into one of two categories: First, some feel the need to broaden their existing knowledge. They may want to cover more elements or aspects of a specific topic, before starting a job in their preferred field.

Second, there are those graduates who feel like they need to specialise further. Maybe their bachelor’s degree covered a wide range of topics in a specific discipline. Now they want to narrow down their focus and become experts in a niche topic.

In both cases, a master’s degree right after graduation can be a good course of action.

You need a master’s degree for your professional plans

Some bachelor students have very concrete professional plans for their future. And to accomplish some of these professional plans, a master’s degree is simply necessary.

For instance, if you want to pursue a PhD in the future, a master’s degree is a hard requirement in many parts of the world. Or if you want to practice in a specific field of medicine, you may already know that a bachelor’s degree is not enough to do so.

If you have a clear vision for your professional career and it involves a master’s degree, why wait? Doing a master’s degree right after graduation can bring you one step closer to accomplishing your professional goals.

You are undecided about what you want to do professionally

While some bachelor graduates have a clear vision of what they want to do professionally, others simply don’t. Being indecisive at this stage of your life is very normal!

Maybe you don’t know what to do next, or in what area or profession you would like to work. Instead of entering the job market aimlessly, a one or two more year master’s degree allows you to figure out these fundamental questions.

Continuing with your studies right after graduation, in an area that interests you, can help you to figure out your professional calling, while also adding another qualification to your CV.

You don’t feel ready to enter the (full-time) work full-time

Does the idea of turning your life upside down, and working 40 hours per week, sound unappealing to you? You are not alone. Many bachelor graduates don’t feel ready to start working full-time right away.

If that is the case, why rush it? Doing a master’s degree right after graduation provides you with valuable time for both personal and professional development.

The average age of bachelor graduates in some countries is similar to the average age of high school graduates in others! It is not always beneficial to rush things. Take your time. Enjoy being young.

The current job market does not provide many opportunities

If you graduate into a recession, the job market may be suboptimal. So if you do not see many appealing job offers, it can be a smart decision to do a master’s right after graduating with a bachelor’s degree.

In fact, in a bad economy, many graduates choose this route. They continue studying, earn an advanced degree and enter the job market once it provides better opportunities.

Especially if you were thinking of doing a master’s degree at some point anyways, why not do it immediately to bridge some time until the economy recovers?

You are still used to studying from your undergraduate degree

Being close to finishing a bachelor’s degree means that you are used to studying, writing essays, and completing group assignments. Most likely, you are well aware of what it takes to excel academically.

When you take a long break between your bachelor’s and a master’s degree, however, chances are high that you get rusty and have to ‘re-learn’ how to study effectively.

You might as well continue right away with a master’s degree, instead of struggling in 5 or 10 years down the line.

You want to be of similar age to your peers during your master’s

The majority of master’s students come straight from a bachelor’s programme. This means that most master’s students are similar in age. Thus, there is a higher chance that they lead similar lifestyles and share similar interests.

If you do a master’s degree several years after you completed a bachelor’s degree, you will likely be older than the average master’s student.

While some don’t mind this age difference, you have to ask yourself if you would be comfortable as an ‘older’ master’s student. If not, it can be a good reason to do a master’s degree right after your bachelor’s.

You know that you can earn more money with a master’s degree

Immediately continuing with a master’s degree can have financial benefits. Even if you have good chances on the job market with a bachelor’s degree, you may be able to increase your earning potential and your starting salary with a master’s degree.

So the question emerges whether it makes financial sense to do a master’s right away. Sure, in the one or two years that it takes to complete a master’s programme, you will likely have less income than when working a full-time job.

However, it can be easier to support yourself financially while leading a student lifestyle (shared housing, etc.), than later in life. Plus, as a result of prioritising your education right now, you may be better off financially in the long term.

You don’t want to go back to a student lifestyle in a few years

One thing that can drive you to do your master’s right away is that you don’t see yourself going back to a student lifestyle in a few years.

Next to the financial aspect, a student lifestyle may appear carefree but it requires a lot of flexibility. Shifting class times, university excursions, exams, study groups and group assignments.

This is something you should take into account if you, for instance, plan to have a family but currently do not have any care responsibilities. It can be much more challenging to combine a student lifestyle with care responsibilities.

It feels right and you are up to the challenge

The last reason to do to a master’s degree right after graduation is that it simply feels right.

Maybe you cannot pinpoint why exactly you want to pursue a master’s degree immediately, but you know that it feels right and that you are up to the challenge.

In this case, don’t worry if you cannot rationally explain or justify it. Trust your gut and embark on this new journey!

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