Why Pursue a Master’s Degree?


Many GSAS students have more than a single reason for considering graduate studies at the master’s level. Students often enter master’s degree programs:

  • To start a new career in a chosen professional field

  • To prepare for graduate study at the doctoral level

  • To expand their knowledge of fields related to their current areas of professional specialization

  • To study a field they love and to explore future employment in a related area

  • To acquire skills in new technologies and methods that have developed in their fields

  • To improve their relative standing in a competitive field and a challenging job market

  • To prepare for entrepreneurial projects that require expertise in a specific field of study

  • To gain access to the professional resources available in New York City

  • To take advantage of the outstanding resources available at a world-class research university

Benefits of Obtaining a Master’s Degree

Securing Your Career

  • In the highly competitive global marketplace, a master’s degree sets you apart from other job candidates.

  • With a master’s degree, you’ll be eligible for more jobs. The number of occupations that typically require a master’s degree will increase by nearly 20% between 2006 and 2016.

  • A master’s degree helps give you job security. In 2008, among individuals 25 years of age and older, those with a master’s degree faced an unemployment level of only 2.4%. For individuals whose highest degree was a bachelor’s, the unemployment level was 2.8%. And for those with an associate degree, 3.7%.

Professional Development

  • Master’s degree programs are increasingly becoming professionalized, with a new focus on preparing graduates for careers in business, government, and non-profit settings. 

  • A master’s degree commands more money than a bachelor’s degree alone. In 2008, individuals over the age of 25 with an advanced degree earned, on average, 27% more per week than those with only a bachelor’s.

  • Master’s degree programs combine discipline-specific, advanced coursework with skills like critical thinking, analytic ability, and time management that are easily transferred if your career path changes.

Personal Development

  • A master’s degree not only deepens your education, but also allows you to contribute out of the classroom. 

  • Demand for services in education and not-for-profit sectors continues to grow and, as a highly-skilled master’s degree recipient, you’ll be able to fulfill those roles.

  • Choosing to pursue a master’s degree takes initiative and commitment. The same traits, along with your newly gained knowledge and skills, will make you a successful leader and innovator when you complete your degree.



Updated on 11/05/2009