Four Things to Consider When Choosing Your Master's Degree
December 20, 2022
From the beginning of our academic careers, there are many important decisions we need to make. What subjects do we select in school? What undergraduate degree to choose? And finally, which master's program to select? For most people, earning their master's degree will be the final qualification they work toward, making this one of the most important professional decisions they face.
No matter where you are in your career, there are far-reaching benefits for earning your master’s degree. But before you initiate the journey back to campus (or virtual campus) you need to confront a tough choice – selecting your program.
While it may seem like a straightforward question, but choosing a master’s degree program is anything but easy. There are significant factors that will influence your decision, with some of these not being apparent at first.
Some of these factors include more general questions, from whether you will be on campus or not, which career your postgraduate degree could lead to, the costs of the program, to how you will fund your studies. These considerations are barely scraping the surface of what to consider when choosing your master’s degree.
We are here to help. We have compiled a few handy tips to steer you in the right direction and to help you choose which master’s degree program is the right fit for you and your career goals.
Choosing a University
Choosing where to do your master's is the first and most important step because selecting the right university is crucial. Investigate the institutions’s reputation, connections to the education industry, success rate of graduates and its overall ranking for master’s degrees. Find an institution that puts students first and maintains both the consistency and quality of academic provisions.
Think About Specialization
Many people think about the next logical step in their academic and professional careers. However, you must ensure you know where your passion lies. For instance, you decide to work toward a master’s in management. But which part of management do you find really interesting? Are you interested in marketing or are you exceptionally passionate about leadership? Maybe neither, and your true passion lies in finance.
When choosing your program, you must consider your specialization and base it on your interest in that field of study. If you have an affinity for a subject, the chances are that you will be more interested while studying, be able to manage time pressures during the program and achieve success in your area of specialization.
Your Career Prospects
Many of us have a dream job. Getting that dream job mainly depends on your communication skills and the reputation of the program you have studied, combined with your acquired skill set and leadership style.
When you have a master’s qualification, you enter the employment market on a different footing. Over the years, we have seen increased graduate competition. Remember to be humble but persistent to achieve your long-term goals. Many students want to secure their dream job immediately, and although this is possible, it rarely happens.
Whether you are pursuing your postgraduate degree to enhance your career prospects, enter a particular profession, or accelerate career progression, you must explore if it is necessary for your career. If it is, choose the right program to make your career goals materialize.
Course Structure and Flexibility
For many, flexibility is a key factor. If you need distance-learning options, learn more about the online curriculum of your program. If you have work or family commitments, look into how specific programs are structured to plan your time efficiently and effectively. Consider how many days a week you need to dedicate to study and how many tutorials, quizzes and lectures to expect.
Ensure the master’s degree you have selected provides an option for part-time studying if you require it, keeping in mind that this will often double the time it takes to earn your degree. Make sure the course structure fits your lifestyle and is flexible enough for you to be able to complete it. There is no use in selecting the right master’s degree if the schedule and curriculum don’t fit your lifestyle and studying capabilities.
We encourage our students to pursue their passion. Make sure your selected degree is in line with your career goals and will help you land your dream job.
Choosing to work toward a master’s degree because it looks like the best way to increase your income or progress your career may be financially viable. However, if you don’t have a keen interest in a specific field of study, you may find yourself getting bored by the program. We encourage our students to pursue their lifelong dreams and exude passion for their chosen field of study.
Do you need help deciding which program to choose? We are here for you and ready to answer any questions you have. Webster University offers flexible graduate programs that fit where you are now — and where you want to go. Whether you enroll full time, part time or online, we’ve been uniting theory and real-world practice for over a century. Each course is taught by faculty experts committed to our mission of ensuring students have access to high-quality learning experiences.
Webster University has a dedicated Student Success Center to assist you in defining and exploring your career goals while developing the confidence and skills necessary to succeed. We have online tools that help you to get to know yourself. Still unsure? We have helpful resources to clarify your academic and career goals.