Why getting your Masters isn’t all it’s cracked up to be

November 25, 2016
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For most jobs, getting a Master’s degree has become redundant. Unless you’re planning on becoming a scientist, business-whizz or academic, forking out a few extra grand isn’t going to give you the job security you’re after, and it won’t necessarily make you more employable.

If you’re clamouring at higher qualifications, hoping they’ll make your fam proud, or you think it’d be a chill way to spend a couple of years –  let’s be real – it might not be worth it. Here’s why.

Experience > Masters

What’s more impressive to an employer is often personality traits, your portfolio and the experiences you’ve had.

If you’re bilingual, have spent a year on exchange, or volunteered for a conglomeration of projects, these things are often regarded as more useful than another piece of paper stuffed in the face of an employer.

A Master’s degree isn’t enough to set you apart from the herd. Don’t let the fancy uni propaganda fool you.

The exorbitant cost

Getting your Masters doesn’t come cheap. You’re looking at around $20,000 – $37,000 a year at some of Australia’s top-rated universities.

Instead of raking up a total debt of around $60,000, you could put the money towards buying a house in this impossible real estate market, going on holidays, buying a car or investing in a business idea.

The question is: do you really want to continue living the broke student life for another few years?

So many successful people never got their Masters

Getting a Master’s degree isn’t the sure-fire way to bank success. In fact, there’s a tons of successful people that didn’t go to uni, let alone get their Master’s degree. Here’s a few examples:

Nikola Tesla, the famous engineer and inventor. He abandoned his university education altogether and still managed to become a household name.

Virgin media founder, Richard Branson, who never even went to uni. Today his net worth stands at over $5 billion USD.

Emma Watson, our beloved Hermione from Harry Potter, graduated from Brown University with a Bachelor's degree in English Literature.

Suffice to say, a Master’s degree isn’t what counts in the name of success. Talent, drive and intelligence will always prevail over good grades.

It probably won’t amount to more $$$

Those who plan on taking up a Master’s degree to rake in more cash in a future job may be disappointed. On the mere basis of your extra qualifications, you might not be able to barter for a higher salary.

Studies show that on average for the nearly 80 fields examined, there’s almost no additional money earned from a Master’s degree qualification. Another study from the UK confirms that a Master’s degree does not make graduates more ‘employable’.

In other words, if you’re a fan of the ‘Get Rich Quick’ scheme – a Master’s degree might not be the best way to go about it.

If you’re chasing the extra qualifications on your own accord and for the right reasons – because you have a passion for a subject area for example – then do you, go grab that extra education!

Otherwise, I’d consider ditching a Master’s degree, proven to be unbeneficial for us archetypal struggling students who dream of the day when we’ll be able to afford non-microwavable dinners.

Eden Gillespie

Eden Gillespie is an International Studies/ Media student at UNSW with a love for breakfast bagels and Louis Theroux.

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