(Closed) Bees with master's degrees, what did you do and did it help you?

posted 4 years ago in Career
Post # 2
334 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2015

I have an MPA.  Right now, useless.  I’m hopeful that when I’m further in my career it will be more useful.  I’m sure once I’m higher up it will be worth it.  I could have got my job without a master’s, but I make more $ with it.  

Post # 4
3276 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

I’m getting my master’s in speech pathology right now. It is most definitely worth it because it is somewhat competitive to get into and is necessary to be lisensed so I couldn’t get a good job without it. Essentially no I could not do this job at all without a master’s degree. I do have family and friends that went and got an MBA and found it largely a waste of time and money as they feel it hasn’t given them any advantage in the job market as soo many people have MBAs and they are still working $10-15/hr jobs. Obviously that’s not everyone and depends on the area you live in as well, but I do know everyone I know who has one, has not received any benefits from them, yet. If I was in your position I’m not sure I would spend the time and money on something I wasn’t sure would be worth it, but I also have no experience with PA or EA so it’s hard to say! 

Post # 5
1833 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

bmo88:  I had a BA and had no direction in terms of a career path. After working for a year and a half I nixed the whole thing and started from scratch. I did an accelerated 2nd bachelors and got a degree in nursing, then worked for 2 years, then enrolled in a full time 2 and half year masters program (the 2 years of work experience was a prereq). All said and done it took 6 years. I was only 24 when I decided to go this route, and there’s a significant pay jump with the masters degree. Although I did take on 6 figures in student loan debt, I’m glad I did it as I am still relatively young and have a pretty decent job. I think that you probably have an idea as to what the right choice is for you, and you should go with your gut.. And as a side note, the right thing to do is usually the hardest thing to do.



Post # 6
867 posts
Busy bee
  • What did you do? 


  • When did you do it?

Graduating in the spring at 27 years old.

  • Was it worth it/would you do it again?

Absolutely. I’m looking at a $20,000 a year raise and positions that I would never have been able to get without the degree. Considering my entire graduate degree cost $20,000, it was a no brainer — particularly because I didn’t have to take time off of work to do it.

Post # 7
116 posts
Blushing bee

Just got my MLS (masters in library science) in May of this year. I couldn’t have moved on without it cause librarians are required to have masters degrees. As far as doing it again: I love libraries and have been working in one for eight years. However the current employment situation for librarians is not ideal.

Post # 8
9546 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

I don’t know that I’m really helpful but I have my masters in genetic counseling. It is a requirement for my job or any job like mine. So I didn’t really have a choice! Since I love my job, it absolutely made sense for me, but I was doing it for a very specific purpose. I don’t think I would have gotten a masters in something generic, that wasn’t a requirement for my job or didn’t result in direct improved job prospects. 

Post # 9
2600 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

I have a Ph.D. and an MA–in the humanities. 

Was it worth it? 

Yes and no. It would have been absolutely necessary to continue on in my field…the problem is I chose not to continue in my field and that makes it a struggle to find a job. Having said that, because I was accepted into a PhD without an MA (and earned the MA along the way), it wasn’t a complete waste because I didn’t pay for it; they paid me (not a lot, but I got the stipend). I also lived at home after college and saved a couple years worht of salary to pay for living expenses whlie I was in graduate school.


Moral of the story? 

At least have a clear sense of what the degree will and will not do for you, and what determines its necessity versus “nice to have,” and think carefully about debt. What would have made my situation unbearable would be to be forced into a field I had lost my because I had to pay off school debt. Some school debt is worth it; some of it is not–and that is defined by each person’s individual finances and goals. My basic example is if you wanted to get a law degree because **you really want to be a lawyer** versus you want a law degree because it’ll help you start a professional career and helps you support a more comfortable lifestyle. These are perfectly fine aspirations–really–BUT if you were to owe student loans exceeding $90K, I’d think about it more if the second scenario applies, because in that case, you would be stuck in a professional career you’re not sure you love, working to pay off debt. That’s just a basic example, but you get the drift. 

My advice is if you are happy in your job and with your colleagues, then keep it. Use the time to conduct your own professional development. You always have the opportunity to return to school but a job that suits you and satisfies you is hard to find!

Post # 10
349 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2015 - country club in Michigan

I have a masters in public policy (mpp), and I manage the budget office at a small federal agency. I got the degree in 2010, and it was essential for me to get into my field–they rarely hire people into these type of govt anyalyst positions without masters. So yes, it was worth it. I wouldn’t have my job, or my income without it (not that I make a ton of money, but I make more than a BA in sociology would have gotten me).


Is it useful? Um…I mean, its way more focused than my BA (sociology), but I probably only use 3-4 of the classes I took for the work I do (out of 14 classes I took for the degree). But I needed it for the job so its useful for that.


My biggest warning is to watch out for debt. My degree was mostly paid for via scholarship, but I still ended with $34K of debt to cover living expenses. Thats now $400 a month for 10 years in loan repayments, which sucks. I wouldnt have done it had my income not been sure to rise.

Post # 11
13384 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

I have a master’s in criminology.  I don’t think it was worth it, and every student loan payment makes me regret my degree more.  It didn’t help me and was unnecessary.

Post # 12
719 posts
Busy bee

People already said this, but having a Masters degree is only worth something if it’s the right Masters degree for what you want to do.

I’m an MBA.  I also started 4 years post college.  I could have advanced without it.  I would do it again.  

In your case, I think an MBA would absolutely apply, but my advice would be to ask yourself if you need it.  What will the $16K buy you?  A promotion, a raise?  If the answer is simply the badge of having a Masters Degree than I would suggest waiting a year or two until you can articulate for yourself the logic of getting a specific  degree.

Post # 13
96 posts
Worker bee


  • What did you do? Master in Human Resources
  • When did you do it? Late 20s/Early 30s
  • Was it worth it/would you do it again? Yes
  • Could you have advanced without a master’s degree? Most likely; but not sure I would ever be in an executive level without it.  Also, the VP of HR of our organization pretty much won’t consider you for a promotion without one. 



Post # 14
5984 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2010




  • What did you do? I got an MBA. It was a cohort from a local university that has a special set up through my work and classes were at my work once a week for 4 hours. 
  • When did you do it? I did it over 3 years. age 26-29. 
  • Was it worth it/would you do it again? Yes and Yes. I paid 4,000 out of pocket total. For a 30,000 degree. totally worth it. I would NOT have done it if I had to pay full price. but, thats just me. 
  • Could you have advanced without a master’s degree? I applied for a manager position 4 months after graduating and got it. I know that having that masters degree made a difference in me getting the job as as masters is a requirement at my work to be in management. 

<br />You have to create a pro/con list 😀 Thats how I made my decision!<br /><br />

Good luck 😀


Post # 15
474 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2014


What did you do?  Masters of Science Nursing- Education

When did you do it? I started at 27 and just finished 2 months ago at 28

Was it worth it/would you do it again? Yes, completely worth it!

Could you have advanced without a master’s degree? Yes, to a degree. I have more opportunities now.


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