Is a Master’s Worth it?by Yasmina Carlton
Starting a postgraduate taught or research degree can be incredibly rewarding, but it’s also an important decision that should be properly researched to make sure it’s the right choice for you. When considering this type of study, you might be contemplating whether pursuing a Master's degree is worth the investment of your time, effort, and resources.
To help you make that decision, in this blog post we explore the different aspects of a Master's degree - shedding light on the reasons you might choose to do one, the benefits it can offer, and the potential impact on your future career prospects.
Popular reasons for doing a Master's degree
The decision to carry out a Master's degree can be for a number of different reasons.
Whether you’re considering postgraduate study straight after your undergraduate degree, or as part of a career break, carrying out a taught or research Master's course can broaden your employability prospects, fuel your passion for a subject, or switch your area of career. Some other popular reasons include:
- specialisation and expertise - a Master's degree allows you to delve deeper into a subject or topic you’re passionate about and contribute to the knowledge base in that area
- progressing a current career path - for those of you looking to advance in your current career, a Master's degree provides you with knowledge and transferable skills that can help you climb the professional ladder
- improving employment prospects - a Master's degree can enhance your employability prospects by showcasing your expertise in an area - making you stand out in a competitive job market
- progressing to a higher-level qualification - for those of you considering further academic study, a Master's degree can serve as a stepping stone towards a higher-level qualification, such as a PhD
- entering a particular profession - some professions require or prefer candidates with a Master's degree, making it a necessary step for entry into specific fields
- meeting the requirements of a current job - in certain professions, obtaining a Master's degree may be a requirement or strongly recommended to meet the qualifications necessary for career advancement within your current job
What will you get out of it?
A Master's qualification is so much more than furthering your education – it could be your perfect next step. Beyond the academic knowledge you’ll learn, you'll also develop transferable skills that can be applied across a range of industries. These include advanced research and analytical skills, critical thinking, problem-solving, and effective communication – all of which are highly sought after by employers.
You’ll gain collaboration and teamwork skills through group projects and discussions, while time management and organisation become second nature as you balance coursework, research, and other commitments.
You’ll also exercise critical thinking and problem-solving as part of your degree, preparing you to approach challenges creatively. You’ll skill-up on your communication methods (both written and verbal) through presentations, seminars, and academic writing – which will be invaluable in any professional setting.
Carrying out a taught or research postgraduate degree will also make you more adaptable, with the ability to work independently preparing you for the challenges of a rapidly evolving professional landscape. These skills not only make you a valuable asset to employers, but can also make you feel more confident - both personally and professionally.
How can a Master's help you get a job?
A Master's degree signals to employers that you have acquired in-depth knowledge and skills in a specific area. It also demonstrates your commitment to continuous learning - a quality highly regarded in today's job market.
Many professions, especially in academia, research, and specialised industries, require candidates to have a Master's degree for entry or advancement. Additionally, having this type of qualification can open doors to managerial and leadership positions – it may give you an advantage over other graduates with a Bachelor’s degree .
Is it worth the cost?
A Master’s is an investment in your future, where the returns can help both your personal and professional growth.
The cost of a Master’s degree varies depending on the course you choose. You can find information about this on each of the course pages. When looking for possible funding, it can be difficult to know where to start as there are many different sources available for UK, International, and EU students.
To make it easier to see what’s available, our dedicated funding database is regularly updated with the latest funding opportunities. Simply enter some basic details about yourself and the subject you’re hoping to study, and the search will bring up the relevant funding sources.
Not sure where to start? Download our Postgraduate Funding Guide for information on tuition fees, funding sources, and more.
Benefits of studying a Master’s in the UK
For International and EU students considering a Master's degree, the UK stands out as a premier destination.
One key advantage is the quality of education - with UK universities consistently being recognised as world-leading in the QS World University Rankings. The UK also boasts a diverse and inclusive environment, providing a welcoming atmosphere for students from around the world.
What’s more, the Graduate Route (post-study work visa) allows International graduates to remain in the UK for two years after completing their Master's, providing you with opportunities to gain work experience and explore career options.
Academic giving a lecture at the Researchers Empowering Newcastle University (RENU) Conference
The decision to carry out a Master's degree is one that requires careful consideration before undertaking it. Alongside wondering whether or not it’s worth it, it’s important to ask yourself; is it right for me?
As a World Top 40 and UK Top 5 Student City (QS Best Student Cities 2024), at Newcastle, we’re proud to welcome students from a variety of different backgrounds.
Explore how Newcastle University could be a part of your Master’s journey.
Published By Yasmina Carlton on 31/01/2024 | Last Updated 06/02/2024