The National Student Clearinghouse estimated that while enrollment in undergraduate programs for associate’s and bachelor’s degrees fell by 9.7 percent compared to 2019, enrollment in master’s programs increased by 6 percent. Amongst the Outlook staff, a discussion was had as to whether pursuing degrees that exceed a bachelor’s level are on our minds.
“I am a large supporter of lifelong education and learning,” said one editor. “While my undergraduate journey is coming to a close much faster than I’d like to admit, I am beginning to think about options for graduate school and whether or not it will be a good fit for me at this point in time. Part of me wants to hold on to college for a little bit longer and sometimes I feel like a graduate program would do that, however, a more practical part of me is debating finding a job that will help pay for the continuation of my education.”
A second editor agreed that pursuing a graduate degree can be worth the investment, but it is field-dependent.
“Personally, I am enrolled in Monmouth’s 5 year B+M program and will be returning to earn my Master’s in Interactive Digital Media next year,” the second editor said. “If the opportunity hadn’t presented itself through a pre-existing program at the school I was already attending, I don’t think I would have gone through the process of applying to graduate programs at other universities. I also wouldn’t have felt nearly as compelled to pursue a graduate degree if I wasn’t graduating undergrad early. I’m finishing my Bachelor’s in 3 years, so staying for my Master’s next year will give me the full 4-year college experience.”
A third editor felt differently. “I do not believe I will get a graduate degree unless absolutely necessary,” they said, “I am perfectly content with my undergrad degree and entering the workforce.”
A fifth editor argued that whether a graduate degree affects your earning potential or not, it is still a worthwhile experience. “Education is one thing no one can take away from you,” they said.
“I firmly believe that furthering one’s education can only put you at an advantage, whether intellectually, financially, personally, or socially. With that, I am enrolled in the University’s Five-Year MBA program, and I am excited to streamline my education and start my work career with two degrees under my belt.”
“I am confident that the experiences I’ve had as an undergraduate will help me land the job of my dreams,” said the editor.