It wasn’t that long ago that college degrees were rare. Having a college degree virtually guaranteed you a job because employers side as a mark of distinction. Current degree programs have been dumbed down to the point that nearly everyone can get a college degree of one form or another. It’s possible to junior college degree without even knowing how to read. When your diploma doesn’t even guarantee an employer that you can read at a decent level, it really isn’t worth very much. Now days a great number of jobs require a college degree but that’s not in order to get somebody of superb quality. Instead it simply to weed out the bottom rung of people who have no degree whatsoever.
It’s questionable how effective this is considering a number of people that didn’t go to college and probably outperform some of the college graduates that have no skills whatsoever. Still it does point to the fact that a college degree is not worth what it used to be even though the cost of education is rising.
If you want to truly stand out from the crowd you’re going to have to do something other than simply getting a bachelor’s degree. This is where masters degree comes in. A Masters degree allows you to further specialize and helps give you an academic experience that goes well beyond what you receive as an undergraduate. A Masters degree gives you the qualifications that a bachelors degree once gave job seekers. It allows you to be part of a smaller segment of well-educated people and get employers to take notice of your academic credentials in a world were suddenly having a college degree means very little when it comes to the hiring process.
It’s important to pay attention to the quality and reputation of your school when pursuing a master’s degree. One benefit of getting a masters degree is it may allow you to diversify or even cover up the quality of the school you went to for undergrad. There a lot of hiring managers that don’t really understand the differences between colleges. If you go to a college that they recognize it’s considered a good thing. If they have heard the school or have heard bad things about it is considered a negative and that’s about as detailed as their assessment goes.
However, not all schools are equal. Every school has different things it’s good at different things is not so good at and sometimes even thinks it’s really bad. It may be difficult to judge where a school falls for the degree program your wishing to pursue. When trying to decide which school to choose for your masters degree studies you need to consider a lot of different factors. Talking to prospective employers about your different potential school choices isn’t a bad idea. Also looking in the news to see which universities are making announcements and producing research in your area of study can be a good indication of which schools are well known for what you want to learn.
Of course there’s nothing that says you have to go to this top school for your field. In some cases you may get a better education going to a less known school that has a degree program you’re interested in. If you go to a top school you will probably be competing with other top students. If you’re at the very top of your class and everything this might not be a bad thing. However if your normal student you may have more opportunities going to school but smaller and not as well known for what you’re wanting to study. You may be able to do more, get more interesting research positions, and interact more directly with the teachers at a smaller school than you would at a larger one. You also may be able to be the top of your class and the smaller school where you would just be average at a larger school. By larger school and in a school that has a lot more people and a lot more resources invested in the topic you wish to study.
On the other hand a larger school that has a big program in your chosen department may have resources that you would not have access to at a smaller university. This digitally true if you’re doing your studies in an area that requires significant amounts of equipment or other types of capital investments.
All in all which school is best for you depends on a lot of different factors and you just need to make sure your considering all the different angles before making a selection. There is also the small fact that you may not be able to get into every school. Your best bet is to apply to a handful of schools that you think would be a good fit for you and them choose from the ones that accept you to find the very best one for your particular situation and educational needs.
A master’s degree can go a long way toward making you stand out from other job applicants. However in the end it is only one part of your resume. Make sure you don’t put everything you have into getting a degree in overlooked important things like job experience and other achievements.
In the future we are probably going to see more and more people getting masters degree in order to stand out from the crowd. If you want to be competitive in the job market getting a master’s degree may be one of the best ways you can do that in the best way to show that your above average and have an educational experience that will allow you to perform better than the majority of your peers.