Maybe you're about to graduate from college and you're figuring out the next step. You could also be working already and deciding if your dream of becoming a certified, professional (insert profession here) still holds true. Or maybe you're just really interested in a certain field or discipline and you want to see where that takes you. Getting a master's degree is no joke and requires a lot of dedication. Before you even start that application for a master's degree, ask yourself these two questions:
Why are you considering a master's degree?
For many people, it's about pursuing a field that will lead them to a certain career track in the future. These are your medical and psychological professionals, educators, etc. Others also choose to pursue a master's degree for the competitive advantage and increase their chances for better employment later on. A company will be automatically enticed by the business development applicant with an MBA. The unemployment rate for master's degree (and post graduate degree) holders is lower than that of bachelor's degree holders. But don't let this tidbit be your deciding factor as it doesn't apply to all master's degrees. Some disciplines secure jobs and higher salaries than others.
Be clear with yourself as to why you want to pursue an MA, MBA, MFA, or what have you. Have a plan or rationale for the decision to dedicated another couple of years to diving back into the books.
How will you pay for it?
In the west, you can apply for student loans to help you get through school. Here in the Philippines, that isn't so common. For more well off individuals, their families are known to cover educational expenses whether that means an extra two or ten years of schooling. For the rest of us who aren't blessed with bank signs, creativity and hustling is a necessity. If you're already set on getting your master's degree but didn't land a scholarship, there are other ways. There is never a deficit of students fundraising via homebaked goods, graphic tshirts, and services based on their hobbies like makeup and styling, graphic design, writing, etc. The important thing to remember is that you need a game plan to pay for your master's degree. If there is a will, there is a way (to pay for grad school)!
Of course, there are more considerations than these two questions before you rush off to become a master of anything. Here's an infographic to help you decide whether or not the road to a master's degree is the one for you.
[caption id="attachment_7641" align="aligncenter" width="700"] (Source: brandman.edu)[/caption]