It is often counterintuitive to say you need to spend money to make money, especially with the cost of higher education in the United States. However, it is necessary for today’s job market to have the most education you can in any given field.
This is especially true in the areas of administration and management along with the education field itself. To truly rise in any field, you need a master’s degree. What the graduate degree is in depends on the field you are in.
A Master’s in Public Administration for instance can give you a leg up in a number of areas. Here is why you need a graduate degree to make more money.
A bachelors is not enough
It has been said in recent years that an associate degree is the new high school diploma, and for many positions, a bachelor’s degree is necessary for most entry level positions. Many jobs offer a certain pay level until you complete a graduate degree or a certain number of continuing education credits.
In the education system, there is even a ceiling for teachers who do not have a graduate degree. In the areas of management and public administration positions, often a specialized graduate degree is required for certain promotions or higher-paying positions.
Simply stated, in many fields a bachelor’s is only enough to get started, not to move forward and excel. For example, if you want to work with animals and start looking at Vet Jobs you may find that you require more than a standard bachelors degree.
The market is changing
A part of the reason a bachelors is not enough is that the job market is changing. As more candidates complete college and get bachelor’s degrees, the market in certain fields becomes saturated, and a job seeker needs a way to stand out. There are two ways to do this, and they are not mutually exclusive.
The first is through experience. This is often difficult because to get the jobs where you will get the experience you need, you often need a graduate degree. However, there are some cases where an employee will be grandfathered in and can get the experience they need for a certain position without a degree.
Most of the time though, you will need the education to get into certain positions, and without the right educational credentials it will not matter how qualified you are in other ways. In this case, in order to move up and make more money, you will need a graduate degree.
One of the things you gain through a graduate degree is specialized knowledge. There are things you will learn in a graduate program that you are unlikely to learn in other ways. Your professors have often worked in the field as well as studying in it, and they can and do offer unique industry insight.
While this knowledge can be gained by on the job experience, if you can have a good foundation ahead of time, your transition to a more demanding position (and a larger paycheck) will be easier.
This specialized knowledge is often worth the price of the degree program. Learning the ins and outs and tricks of a professional before you are forced to put them into practice offers you a unique opportunity.
Management is more complicated
One of the reasons for a graduate degree is simple: in the digital world, management has become more complex. The fact that many companies employ freelancers or remote workers makes overseeing a team more challenging, especially when some of them you will rarely or never meet in person.
The other challenge is that much communication is done digitally, and that can create issues. Text or email can be flat and emotionless, leaving room for the misinterpretation of even factual information. Video conferencing and chat can be helpful but offer their own challenges.
Training is also much different than it used to be, and dynamic and interactive programs are expected as employee retention becomes even more critical. Finding employees who are both qualified and that fit the company culture offers another unique challenge, especially when the world has become the market in the case of remote workers and digital nomads.
There is also the management of goods as well as services. The market is global as well, and you may be receiving the product from around the world and sending it back around the world as well. The logistics that were once simple are much more complex now and knowing each market is critical to your company success.
Besides employees and services and products, there is the advent of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and an entirely new way to look at the Human Machine Interface in nearly every industry. Managers may be called upon to deal with this data, its analysis, and the infrastructure it creates.
It is perhaps the complexity of management that is chief among the reasons for a graduate degree. More education and knowledge is needed to deal with these global issues, the rise of new technology, and a reinvented workforce.
Learning to learn
As rapidly as the world is changing, one of the most valuable skills any student in a graduate degree program can take away is the ability to learn. Knowing how to learn and where to find the answers is more important than the knowledge itself. The world and the workplace will continue to grow and evolve, and those who can grow and evolve with it will rise to the top of the pack in both position and earning potential.
Money isn’t everything, and it should certainly not be your only motivation for continuing education. Yet the changing market and the specialized knowledge you will need, the complications of management, and the fact that you will need to know how to learn above all else are a few of the many reasons having a graduate degree will make it possible for you to make more money.
Your earning potential will be dictated by the education you have. Don’t let the opportunity to earn your graduate degree while you can pass you by.