7 Ways Graduate Programs Help Your Career

7 Ways Graduate Programs Help Your Career

Many professionals and recent graduates consider continuing their education with a master’s degree. However, it can be difficult to figure out whether a graduate degree is worth pursuing or not. Factors like tuition costs, work schedules, and other responsibilities may lead you to ask whether a graduate degree is worth pursuing.

For many people, a graduate degree is an incredible asset that can take your expertise and career opportunities to new heights. 

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the number of master’s degrees obtained in the past decade has risen by 19 percent, indicating that interest in obtaining graduate degrees continues to rise as time progresses. In 2020–21 alone, about 1 million master’s degrees were awarded in the United States. 

In addition, there is an increasing demand in the workforce for highly skilled workers with advanced education and expertise. As the economy becomes more competitive, hiring managers may opt to choose someone with a graduate degree versus someone without one. 

A graduate degree can help place you in that category of qualified individuals and increase your chances at getting that dream job. 

Here are 7 ways graduate programs help your career. 

Improve your skills 

Graduate degrees are a great way to gain a more robust level of expertise in your chosen field — or to choose a specialization. You’ll be able to develop industry-smart and in-demand skills to make you more confident in your profession. 

In addition to gaining new skills, you may also learn more about research, writing and investigating work. These can be great assets for your current career and help establish you for future opportunities. 

Graduate degrees can also help you get up to date on the latest in your field. Whether it’s earning a digital marketing degree after years as a traditional marketer, or seeking a DNP in nursing in order to compete for executive positions, pursuing a graduate degree is a great way to update your skills. 

Gives yourself a competitive advantage

In the past decade we’ve seen an increase in the number of people who obtain bachelor’s degrees. The percentage of adults who have some sort of bachelor or college degree has increased from 37.9% in 2009 to 53.7% in 2021. 

As post-secondary degrees become more commonplace, a master’s degree may be a great way for professionals to stand out. In a survey conducted by Career Builder, a majority of employers stated they are looking to hire individuals with advanced degrees for mid-level positions and even some entry level positions. 

In a job market that will only become more competitive, it’s important to have the skills and qualifications to stand out. Obtaining a graduate degree can give you that competitive edge you need to get the job you want. 

A graduate degree can also help widen the scope of job opportunities you can qualify for, giving you access to specialized areas of your field.

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Improve your salary

There are many careers in which earning a graduate degree can help put you in a better position for a higher salary negotiation. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, people with graduate degrees have higher salaries and lower unemployment rates on average. 

In fact, master's degree holders generally earn 20% more than bachelor’s degree holders, taking into account differences in career paths and experience. Those with doctoral degrees generally earn 25% more than master’s degree holders. 

Getting a graduate degree will increase the chances of you being able to make more money and get the most financially out of your career. 

Increase your chances for a promotion

When it comes to promotions, managers will take several key elements into account, including how hard or well you have worked in your current position. Obtaining a graduate degree, however, can help increase those chances at a promotion. 

As stated previously, graduate degree holders tend to earn more. With a graduate degree, you’ll be in a much better position to ask for a position with greater influence and negotiate a higher salary. 

In addition, employers may look kindly upon an employee who invested in additional education to help them better do their job. 

Boost your networking opportunities

Looking for brand new opportunities and to meet more people in your field?

A graduate degree can help you achieve just that. You’ll form connections with professors and colleagues in the field and the chances of you getting an even better job through those networks may be even greater. 

Not only will you be able to make connections with future colleagues in your field through your cohort, you’ll also gain access to networking events put on by your university and other local events. In addition, being in a learning environment exposed to the latest in your field will surely help you meet people who may connect you to internships, fellowships and full-time jobs. 

Create a healthy work-life-study balance

One of the concerns prospective graduate students may have is whether they’d have the time for graduate school given the demands of a busy life. 

The good news is that most graduate programs are especially designed for working professionals and those with other responsibilities like caretaking. As such, there are many programs around the country that are either fully online or offer a hybrid model, making it easy to adapt to your busy life. 

PLNU’s graduate programs offer you a variety of choices that you can fashion to fit your busy schedule. 

Generate the ability to shift careers

Many of us have been there before: you get into a slump in your career and desire a change. A graduate degree is a great way to help make that shift toward something new. 

Not only will you gain access to a wide network of professionals in your desired field,  you’ll also gain the skills you need to successfully change career trajectories. 

Apply today to give your career a boost 

Going to graduate school is a major decision but one that can really benefit you in the end. Be sure to do the appropriate research and choose the best program for you. 

PLNU offers you great graduate degree opportunities from multiple fields that could be of great benefit to you.

Whether you are fresh off of college or are years into your career and need a boost, PLNU offers you a variety of options both online and in-person to help improve your career and find your calling and vocation.

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