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Is a Masters degree just a financial investment?

By River Reporter Oct 23, 2012

Kingston University has made students aware that they can earn £250,000 more during their lifetime when having studied a Masters degree.

But is it the right choice for you?

Lisa Moravec

Personally, I believe more in the educational importance of doing a Masters degree, rather than in the fact that it could increase my employability. I have always known that I would be doing one after finishing my BA at Kingston.

Being an economics and journalism student, I can clearly see how the techniques and theories I am learning at university are applied in everyday life. This is precisely what a Masters degree aims to teach: how to put that knowledge into practice. 

If you are determined to increase your knowledge and to challenge yourself practically and academically speaking, then a Masters could be the right choice for you.

I enjoy being a student, digesting new academic literature, being keen on getting in touch with new topics, enriching my skills by facing new challenges and analysing them critically. This is my intrinsic motivation to learn as much as possible during my university years.

Of course, you can continue having an academic approach towards life when you are working. However, the stimulating exchange of ideas with students and professors equally interested in the subject you like is something that characterises schools and universities rather than the working environment.

Doing a Masters will give you time to think about how you can use the knowledge gained during our BA and how to apply it. If you decide to specialise in the same field you chose for your BA in, you will then become a real expert in that area. And even if you think you have looked through how the world works, there is still more to learn. Studying at different stages (BA then MA) is like reading a book twice during your life: a different age and a different environment can change your point of view.

On the other hand, an MA will also make you realise how much energy one has to invest in the job they choose, compared to the level of dedication they invested when they were still completing their BA. 

 This is not good news for you, if you hate sitting in the library by yourself and if, being already in your third-year, you still feel like you desperately need your spare time. In that case, maybe you should put aside the idea of doing a Masters degree – at least for now.

 If you are not willing to devote your time to your studies, often giving up the chance to spend time doing something lighter outside university, than maybe an MA is not your ‘cup of tea’.

Why? Because becoming a post-graduate, in fact, means a lot more than just increasing your future income. It will change your approach towards work, as it will give you an idea of how many hours one has to invest when they have a real job in comparison than to being a BA student.

Clearly, an MA will be most rewarding if you study what you have got a keen interest for, as you will have to dedicate your full attention to it. 

The old general rule is always valid: you can only be successful if you are intrinsically devoted to your job. And if at one point, having completed a challenging MA in something that you are passionate about, will also have some kind of good influence on your income, well, I guess that will not do any harm.


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