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Why Postponing Your Masters Degree is a Good Career Move

Why Postponing Your Masters Degree is a Good Career Move

17 Jun 10:00 by Deana Zafir

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A Masters degree could be a useful tool for some degrees. However, going to grad school can be a waste of time for individuals working in most industries. Here are 8 reasons why we believe you should apply for a full-time or temp job in Malaysia before pursuing your Masters degree:

1. Financial Reasons 

One major reason you should postpone that Masters degree is simply because it’s expensive as heck. Before jumping onto that Masters course, check if:

  • You’re still paying back your student loans for your undergraduate degree.

  • You don’t have any savings to help pay for your post-graduate degree.

An advantage of joining the workforce before pursuing your Masters degree is the amount of money you’ll be making. The benefits of a full-time job definitely outweigh the benefits of a part-time position. Firstly, you’ll be making more money, and steadily contributing to your CPF account. It might not be as much as you dreamed of, however, it’s a start.


2. Learning Better Skills and Gaining Comparable Experience


Sure hitting the books is important. But you’ll need hands-on experience in order to succeed in your desired career as well. Joining the workforce (either in a full-time or temp job role) early gives you a headstart to climbing that corporate ladder.

In fact, depending on the area of your study, your full-time job might be able to shave off a year of study from your Masters degree. Consider what are some of your career goals. You might be able to learn some of the skills that a Masters degree will provide, by taking up some short courses. Additionally, some organizations will be happy to sponsor your pursuit of gaining some good skills.

3. No Guarantee of Higher Salary


Unlike an undergraduate degree, getting a graduate degree does not mean that you will be offered a higher paying position. Or land an entry-level job with a higher pay scale.

In fact, pursuing a Masters or a graduate degree without any job experience might make it tougher for job seekers looking to land an entry-level position. This, combined with a specialist degree might make it hard to find opportunities outside of your field of study. 

4. You’ll be Overqualified

An advanced degree might also be a liability. You could be overqualified for an entry-level position with your Masters degree. You might need to hide your graduate degree in both your job application and resume.

This, of course, does not apply to all jobs. Some HR recruiters might be interested in hiring qualified candidates with a Masters degree, especially for positions that require a lot of training. A graduate degree might show some recruiters that you’ll do well in courses. In this case, a graduate degree provides the recruiters with some confidence that the job seeker might succeed in the training.

However, keep in mind that more and more companies are starting to value experience and skills over qualifications. Check out the article, “You Are More Than Your Qualifications” to find out why.

5. Burnout

Did you know that the World Health Organization recently classified burnouts as a medical condition earlier in May 2019? Burnouts are described as chronic stress that has not been successfully managed.

Burnout doesn’t occur only in the workplace. It’s important to understand that a graduate degree can be emotionally exhausting. Combine this long-term emotional stress with the highly competitive nature of grad school and you have a recipe for burnout. The only problem is that once remedied, you won’t have any job experience to help you land your next position.

For tips on how you can manage burnouts at the workplace, click here

6. You’re Planning on Pursuing Courses Not in Demand

If you’re going to be dropping thousands and thousands of dollars on a graduate degree, it’s best to pursue a course that’s in demand. While there can be several benefits to pursuing a niche degree (e.g. equipped with training for specific “ready-to-work” skills), there are several cons that should be considered as red flags.

Firstly, depending on the type of degree you’re studying for, you might find that your niche degree is relevant to a small number of hard to get entry-level positions. This is the main reason why recruiters and career advice websites such as Career Metis recommend those looking to pursue a graduate degree to gain some work experience first. It helps you decide if a niche graduate degree would be useful in your career path. 

7. You’re Not Ready to Work

Another common reason why most people pursue a graduate degree is simply that they’re not ready to work just yet. To some, the idea of working in an office seems like a bleak and a daunting future. However, most millennials don’t realise that working in an office isn’t that different from studying at University.

Much like University, you’ll have a daily routine and set of tasks to complete. Additionally, you’ll have targets and goals to aim for. The best part is that you’ll be bringing in cash at the end of the day, unlike a Masters degree.

If you are terrified at the prospect of working, then consider taking up an internship or a part-time role to ease you into the working life. We recommend you read, “What Our Interns Actually Think of Temporary Jobs: Ben”.


8. You’re Unsure What to Pursue 

Everyone worries about getting stuck at a “9-5” role that they hate. But there is no better way of figuring out what you want to do than actually doing the things you want in your life.

Here’s the thing, even if you have a “dream job” that you’re striving to work for, you might end up disliking the job for other various reasons. Alternatively, you might discover a position that you enjoy better further down your career path.

Remember, you can also move on to a different role if you’re not enjoying your current position. Find aspects of the job that you like and then look for a position that prioritizes it.


9. You Want to Network in University  


Networking is the key to getting your foot in the door for most industries. However, there are other ways for you to network without paying expensive tuition fees. One way to make solid connections to help boost your career is through internships. However, you need to make sure that you make a good impression during your time there.

Networking is also commonly done through social media websites (e.g. Linkedin). If you’re looking to specifically make connections through your University, try searching for some familiar names on Linkedin. There are other great ways to make useful networking connections as well. Check out these articles for more information:

What are some of the reasons you wanted to pursue a Masters degree? Let us know in the comments section below!

Recommended Readings:

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