Do You Really Need That Masters Degree?

There have always been debates on whether a Masters qualification is worth it. There are currently 957,000 unemployed 16-24 year olds in the UK. The pressure to be successful is more stressful than ever. Making the right decision on whether to carry on studying can be extremely difficult.

Here are a few aspects to consider if you’re still unsure of which path to take.



As of August 2016, the government now pays for your Masters as a new loan, to coincide with your undergraduate degree loan. You’ll be granted up to £10,000 to pay for your course and living costs. Typically, course costs can vary between £2000 and £18,500.

The great benefit is that you don’t need to pay upfront for your course, which gives you a bit of breathing space to pay off the loan when you earn over £21.000. Although this seems appealing, remember you’ll have already ramped up huge debts for your first degree, so don’t make a decision lightly.


Interest in the subject

One of the reasons you may choose to study a Masters is to pursue your interest in the topic area. If you genuinely love studying, a Masters can broaden your scope of knowledge to learn your subject in more detail. If you’re a die-hard academic, a Masters may be the right decision for you. Despite this, you’ll have to consider the huge costs and work out whether having an extra degree would be a worthwhile investment.


Experience vs. education

It goes without saying that the core reason behind years of study is to gain a dream career. Even if studying a Masters was never about earning a higher wage, it’s probably crossed your mind once or twice.

The burning question – ‘Does a Masters get you a better job?’ has been a continuous debate for years. On one hand, higher levels of education can look great on your CV. It feels like almost every other young person now holds an undergraduate degree. 592, 290 applications were submitted to UCAS in 2015; therefore you may feel like a little fish in a big pond when it comes to applying for top job roles.

Having a Masters could earn you the respect you deserve when competing against other candidates. The endless work you put in to learn theories and academic arguments is an impressive skill, especially when showing your researched academic essays and dissertations to potential employers.

Despite this, studying for a Masters can interfere with gaining the industry experience you need. Employers may prefer to see a range of experiences, over how many degrees a candidate owns. Gaining industry experience early on can get you on the career ladder quicker; by learning relevant practical skills and meeting professionals in the field. Depending on the industry; some companies favour academic skills, whilst others favour hands-on experience and records of achievement.


What should you do?

Studying for a Masters is solely down to personal choice. The dread of unemployment is a scary situation for new graduates, so it’s can seem like a safe option.

More than 500,000 students go on to study further education at some point in their life. Remember, you don’t have to study a Masters straight after finishing your undergraduate degree; you can take on more courses at any point in your life.

Weigh up the pros and cons of the argument and work out whether a Masters would add any value to your current and past achievements. We wish you luck with whatever decision you make!


Inspiring Interns is a graduate recruitment agency which specialises in sourcing candidates for internships and giving out graduate careers advice. To hire graduates or browse graduate jobs, visit their website.