In some job titles, a master's degree diploma is a non-amendable requirement, while in others, a long list of educational attainments in a resume won't matter too much. There is no doubt that a master's degree will provide you with more advanced knowledge, something that can be necessary if your career path is fashioned based on increasing knowledge and skills. For example, a Master's Degree in Data Analytics from a prestigious university in Singapore may open bigger opportunities for you because extensive knowledge and skills are needed to be able to work in different industries.
But if you're in another situation wherein you're questioning the importance of a master's degree, all you have to do is ponder the following:
1. Your Career Goal
If your chosen career is something skill-based rather than knowledge-based, then you won't need a master's degree to advance. Skill-based jobs value experience than formal training, so it would be more practical to master your craft in an actual work setting rather than a classroom. If you feel like more knowledge will put you in an advantage, consider workshops or seminars related to your job.
Some people who aren't clear on their career goals yet or those "in a limbo" may consider getting a master's degree, as they believe it could lead them to their ideal career path. However, this mindset may not be very helpful in the end; a master's degree should bring you closer to your goal, not become your security blanket while you're not deciding on a career yet.
2. Your Personal Goal
Your career goals can also be intertwined with your personal goals. For example, if your goal is to gain more self-assurance, do you think you'll obtain it from a master's degree because it will increase your chances for a promotion? But what if a different career can also give you the same psychological benefit?
If your expertise and passion are in a particular field wherein knowledge is highly valued, then a master's degree will be necessary. It can guarantee your career advancement and personal satisfaction. But if your current goal is raising your self-confidence or feeling accomplished, you might want to think again if a master's degree is the true solution for that.
3. Do You Truly Want It?
Societal pressure do exist, and no one is truly immune to it. If it's still unclear in your head whether a master's degree is what you really want, take the time to discern about it alone, without any distraction. If you discover that one of the reasons you want to pursue it is to please family members or other people with high expectations of you, maybe it isn't truly your heart's desire. Go for it only when you're absolutely certain that you want a master's degree for yourself and not for anyone's sake.
4. Impact on Your Career and Future
Assuming you've decided to pursue a master's degree, the next thing to ponder would be its impact on your career and future. If you work as a professor in a university, for instance, then your master's degree will certainly help you achieve more milestones. Educators need to continuously expand their knowledge to impart updated and accurate information to their students. It would also be wiser for them to pursue a doctorate degree after a master's.
Think about how you'd manage your time. Getting a master's degree means sacrificing your evenings for school, while all your daytimes are reserved for your full-time job. It will also affect your finances because you may need to obtain a loan for your tuition fee, unless you have enough savings.
After organising all of those, think about what you hope to achieve out of your master's degree next. Once you're already able to visualise your future clearly with a diploma in a master's degree, then you're ready to go after that goal and make your dreams come true.