When college students begin considering a master's program, there often seems to be countless variables that must be assessed. Whether it is the amount of financial aid that is needed or how it will affect their current profession, this is not a decision that should ever be taken lightly. For those who are wondering if a master's degree will be worth it, here are some of the considerations that every student should think through.
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Why Choose A Master's Degree?
The first step in this process is to take a thorough look at what exactly the student hopes to achieve from their master's program. For most, it will be for increased flexibility and maneuverability within the job market, but others have a more unique look at their higher education. Many students look to these programs as an alternative to a doctorate while still progressing further in their chosen field. More students than ever are now also looking at these programs in order to become eligible for promotions within their current company. Whatever the reason may be for furthering one's education, it is important to carefully consider how a master's degree will affect their current situation as well as their future.
Cost-To-Benefit Ratio For a Master's Degree
Another important aspect of a master's degree is the cost-to-benefit ratio. Student debt has become a hot topic throughout the world and many wonder if the increased wages over the years will balance out the current cost of higher education. According to American Student Assistance, there is now upwards of 1 trillion dollars of outstanding student debt within the United States alone . Student debt has quickly moved past medical bills and home loans as one of the leading causes of debt, and this has left many potential students wary. Luckily, there are a number of unique and effective options for keeping debt as low as possible while still receiving a master's degree.
What To Expect In A Master's Program
Once the financial considerations have been made, it is important for students to then contemplate exactly how much time and energy they have to devote to their schooling. Due to the fact that many students must now carry one or more jobs while studying for their master's degree, many of the top colleges now provide programs that have been created specifically for the full-time employee. Depending on the amount of time that the student has available to devote to their schooling, most master's programs will take two years. That being said, students may take as a little as a year and a half or as long as four years depending on a number of outlying factors. Nearing the ending of the master's program, students will typically need to complete a master's thesis, field research, or a comprehensive exam.
With a number of new financial options, such as the Income-Based Repayment program , it is now viable for more students than ever to enjoy the many benefits of a master's degree. This includes higher earnings throughout their lifetime, more maneuverability within their field, and countless new career choices in the coming years.