Taking the Extra Step For Your Future: The Master’s Degree

A Master’s Degree Signifies a Higher Education, But is it Required?

By: Brooke Price

Caption: Does the hard work for achieving a master’s degree pay off? (Credit:

In today’s workforce, some jobs prefer people to achieve a master’s degree because it indicates that they are more serious about their career path. It’s no secret that having a master’s degree can signify having a higher education.

In an article written by, over the years, companies are more likely to hire people who have a master’s degree over those that do not.

The article claims that “Nearly a third (32%) of employers are bumping up education requirements for new hires. According to a new survey from CareerBuilder, 27% are recruiting those who hold master’s degrees for positions that used to only require four-year degrees.”

While a bachelor’s degree indicates that you had received a good education, companies seem to prefer those who take the extra step and take the initiative to achieve a higher degree.

A bachelor’s degree generally takes around four years to achieve, while a master’s degree may take six years.

While a bachelor’s degree is required for most jobs, a master’s degree is preferred. As a result, a master’s degree recipient may get paid more than those who have a bachelor’s degree.  

In an article written by, a study from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) discussed the salaries of different professions who have a master’s degree:

“A sample of median salaries for careers that require a master’s degree, as provided by the BLS in May 2016, indicates that nurse practitioners made $100,910 annually, education administrators made $92,510, occupational therapists made $81,910, physician assistants made $101,480, and speech-language pathologists made $74,680.” also referenced another study from The National Association of Colleges and Employers in which they recorded the salary for those who have a bachelor’s degree in 2013. 

They found that people who had a bachelor’s degree in elementary education, history and nursing had an average starting salary of $39,000, $42,100 and $52,000 respectively.

People who pursued a degree in engineering, such as chemical to mechanical engineering that only had a bachelor’s degree had an average starting salary ranging from $63,900 to $96,200 according to The National Association of Colleges and Employers in 2013.

According to, public school teachers who had a bachelor’s degree had salaries that ranged from $52,520 to $56,629. Public school teachers who had a master’s degree had salaries ranging from $53,045 to $57,267.

In order to achieve a master’s degree, you need to attend around two more years of college than you would with a bachelor’s degree. You might even need to attend graduate school depending on the degree you want to pursue.

In addition, people can attend college to work on their degree, or they can simply take online courses from online colleges.

Information for  indicated that, “a master’s degree program typically requires a year and one-half to two years of full-time study spanning 36 to 54 semester credits.” This amount of credits equals around 12 to 18 college courses according to the website.

Due to the fact that achieving a master’s degree requires you to go to school for a longer period of time, it can be proven costly. included that “The National Center for Education Statistics reports that the average cost for a master’s program tuition and fees is about $16,435 per the 2012-2013 school year (based on in-state residency).”

Even though the steps to obtaining a master’s degree can be quite costly and it is a difficult path to follow, it may secure a brighter future for you in the end.

By obtaining your master’s degree, you have access to more job opportunities, as well as a higher income than those who apply to jobs that only have a bachelor’s degree. 

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