Skip main navigation

Hurry, only 4 days left to get one year of Unlimited learning for £249.99 £174.99. New subscribers only. T&Cs apply

Find out more

Is a master’s degree worth it? 7 reasons why it is

In an increasingly competitive world, a master’s degree can offer numerous benefits, both professionally and personally. Find out more in this article.

two girls at a laptop

The pursuit of higher education is a journey full of crossroads, but which way is the right way for you? As the academic landscape continues to evolve, prospective students find themselves grappling with a familiar question: Is a master’s degree worth it?

A master’s degree in your field of study could help expand your knowledge and greatly improve your chances of successfully navigating your ideal career path. So, is a master’s degree right for you? Here are seven reasons why a master’s degree is worth it.

Reasons to do a master’s degree

  1. Enhanced job security:

In times of economic uncertainty, job security is a paramount concern. A master’s degree not only makes individuals more marketable but also enhances job security. Employers view advanced degrees as a testament to an individual’s commitment to continuous learning, personal motivation and their capacity to tackle complex challenges. In competitive job markets, having a master’s degree can be the differentiator that secures the best position.

And these competitive job markets are not getting any easier. An increasing number of people are now choosing to engage in postgraduate study. The Institute of Fiscal Studies states that more than 350,000 students start a postgraduate course in the UK each year, compared with only around half this number 20 years ago. If the numbers keep increasing at this rate, recruiters may raise their standards even higher, putting even more pressure on candidates to stand out.

Master’s study may also be useful if you’re looking to change careers. If you’re already working in your preferred industry, a postgraduate degree could lead to rapid career progression. It could also emphasise your drive, determination and willingness to increase your ability in a chosen area.

  1. Increased earning potential:

While the cost of a master’s degree can be high, the return on investment is a compelling factor for many. Numerous studies consistently reveal that people with a master’s degree tend to enjoy higher earning potential over the course of their careers compared with those who only have a bachelor’s degree.

According to Graduate Labour Market Statistics, master’s graduates earn more on average than those with only an undergraduate degree. The average salary for working-age postgraduates was £45,000 whereas the average salary for working-age graduates was £38,500. For non-graduates, it was £27,000. 

While the initial upfront cost of a master’s degree can be high, this is often cancelled out very quickly compared with the long-term financial gains this well-respected qualification can offer. 

  1. Elevated expertise:

Achieving a master’s degree represents expertise within a chosen field. Unlike undergraduate studies that provide a broad foundation, a master’s program delves deeper into specific subjects, allowing individuals to immerse themselves in advanced coursework, research, and critical analysis. This depth of knowledge not only enhances professional proficiency but also positions graduates as authorities within their respective fields.

A master’s degree serves as a passport to the upper echelons of the professional world. Many leadership and managerial positions explicitly require or strongly prefer candidates with advanced degrees. The skills honed during a master’s program, including critical thinking, problem-solving, and strategic decision-making, lay a solid foundation for assuming leadership roles. 

Many master’s programs involve research components, allowing students to engage in academic inquiry and contribute to their field’s body of knowledge. This research experience can be particularly valuable for those interested in academia or research-focused careers.

Are two master’s degrees worth it? It can be, depending on your chosen career. Having a thorough understanding of two different fields that complement each other can greatly broaden your comprehension – and opportunities – in both areas. For example, an MBA – a postgraduate business degree – can give you a comprehensive understanding of how managing a business works within your chosen field, further strengthening your position. Find out more about MBA’s in our What is an MBA article.

  1. Networking opportunities:

Don’t underestimate the power of networking. A LinkedIn survey discovered that most people (73%) have been hired as a result of someone they know making an introduction, or because they had a personal connection to someone within the company (70%). Building a robust professional network is an important asset in today’s interconnected world, especially for master’s students.

Studying for a master’s degree can give you unique access to a specialised networking environment, opening the door to like-minded peers, accomplished professors, and industry experts. There are many options available to expand your network, including in-person, social media, events and research.

Master’s students are encouraged to share their knowledge with each other to improve their learning outcomes. These interactions could lay the groundwork for future career opportunities, collaborations, and even mentorships, which could become invaluable when you’re looking for opportunities to advance your career, now or in the future.

>> Discover our collection of online master’s degrees

Online Degree

Master of Business Administration

  • 1 year full time – 2 years part time
  • postgraduate
  • Flexible Learning
Apply now

Networking ideas

  1. Develop relationships with other students 

It’s important to make an effort to get to know your fellow students. Pursuing a master’s degree can be an excellent opportunity to build connections, networks, and even lifelong friendships. 

  1. Connect with professionals in your industry 

Connecting with academics and industry professionals can be incredibly valuable for your studies. You can gain access to unique insights, the latest industry trends and resources, and even potential career opportunities. 

  1. Attend relevant events 

Thanks to virtual meetings, it’s never been easier to participate in events with people from all over the world. Attending relevant events, both online and in person, can help you expand your professional network. 

  1. Establish an online presence 

Creating an up-to-date online presence is crucial. If someone wants to contact you about an opportunity, make it as easy as possible for them to do so.

  1. Proof of skills:

Experience and knowledge are valuable tools, but an accredited qualification serves as a formal acknowledgment of an individual’s skills, knowledge, and competence in a specific area. A master’s degree validates skills through a structured and standardised assessment process, providing a tangible and recognised representation of a person’s capabilities.

This external recognition adds credibility to the qualification and assures employers, peers, and the broader community that the skills acquired are aligned with industry standards and expectations. Successfully navigating these assessments confirms that a person has the requisite skills associated with the qualification, and this builds trust and confidence with others.

  1. Adaptability to industry trends:

Adaptability to industry trends is a crucial aspect of learning in the ever-evolving professional environment. In an era characterised by rapid technological advancements and evolving industry landscapes, the ability to adapt is a prized skill. A master’s degree equips individuals with the tools to navigate these changes seamlessly, by offering a more in-depth understanding of the subject.

The curriculum for a master’s degree includes cutting-edge content, exposure to emerging ideas, and the cultivation of skills that are not only relevant today but also poised to meet the demands of tomorrow. The result? Agile and qualified professionals ready to embrace current industry trends and also contribute to upcoming industry trends. 

  1. Lifelong learning and personal growth:

Lifelong learning, the continuous pursuit of knowledge and skills, is a transformative approach to personal development. Knowledge is not static; it is dynamic, evolving, and ever-expanding. The commitment to continuous education allows individuals to stay abreast of advancements in their fields and engage with emerging ideas. This perpetual curiosity fosters a mindset that embraces change and innovation, propelling personal growth.

The continuous exploration of new concepts and exposure to various viewpoints cultivate critical thinking skills. Lifelong learners develop the ability to analyse information critically, make informed decisions, and approach challenges with a well-rounded and open-minded perspective.

Completing a master’s degree takes time and the application process can be a bit more complex than a bachelor’s degree, but education is not only a means to an end but a journey of self-discovery and personal fulfilment. The continual process of goal setting not only propels professional success but also contributes to a sense of purpose and accomplishment. The cycle of learning, applying new knowledge, and setting new goals becomes a cornerstone of personal growth throughout life.

So, is a master’s degree worth it? 

We think it is! But it’s important to consider all the options for your circumstances. The reasons to do a master’s degree vary from person to person, but the potential benefits in terms of knowledge acquisition, personal growth and long-term career success are undeniable. 

Things to consider before starting a master’s degree:

  • What are my goals? 
  • Can a master’s degree help me achieve them? 
  • Do I have enough time for a master’s degree? 
  • Can I afford the costs? 

Only you can answer those questions, and then you can weigh up the benefits of studying for a master’s degree and how it will help you in your chosen career. Ultimately, the worth of a master’s degree lies in the balance between personal and professional aspirations. For many, the investment in a master’s degree proves to be a valuable asset that pays dividends throughout their life.

Online Degree

MSc Cyber Security

  • 2 years
  • postgraduate
  • Flexible Learning
Apply now

Why choose FutureLearn?

At FutureLearn, we believe education should be accessible and transformational. That’s why we offer a range of high-quality and accredited master’s degrees, including IT and Computer Science degrees, Healthcare degrees and Business Management degrees.

Ready to take the next steps in your professional development? What are you waiting for? Start your master’s degree with us today!

Related stories on FutureLearn

FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now